Blog is short for "web log," a website that is updated regularly by an individual or organization with new articles ranging from casual musings to formal essays. Most blogs allow readers to make comments. A forum supports multiple subjects, and registered users can contribute to diverse discussions. These sites provide a vehicle for sharing and learning views, knowledge and insight on just about every field, including religion and spirituality. Many Hindus are posting to blogs and sharing on forums. Here is a short selection to get you started. Beware, you may not necessarily agree with everything anyone says, but it is interesting reading, so be prepared to get lost in the world of Hindus talking online.
A New Mode of Education
While many blog articles parade as fact, remember these are usually just one person's view. That said, it can't be much worse than most of today's textbooks!
Hindu-blog is one of the highest trafficked and most frequently updated blogs on Hinduism, www.hindu-blog.com. It covers a wide range of topics, ranging from dates and times of Hindu festivals and occasions, to questions like "Why is Lord Shiva worshiped in the form of Linga," to quirky facts on the famed Tirupati laddoo.
Devdutt Patnaik, the best-selling author of several books of Hindu legends and stories, regularly posts fascinating articles that often link Hindu teachings with insights into leadership and management. See devdutt.com/category/topics.
The Gita Blog, gita-blog.blogspot.com, features a wonderful collection of posts on the Bhagavad Gita. The author takes up topics of practical interest, such as maintaining a conflict-free mind, and ties it into insights and wisdom from specific verses of the Gita.
Om Etc., www.ometc.net, is a great resource for those looking for the meanings and functions behind Hindu rituals, mantras and philosophy, featuring useful articles such as "The How and Why of Fasting in Hinduism."
The Hindu Dharma Forums feature lively discussions on all aspects of Hindu life and philosophy: hindudharmaforums.com.
Agniveer, agniveer.com, offers a rationalist and humanist approach to Hinduism, taking a more intellectual bent to questions of faith, such as issues with the caste system and the role of women in Hinduism.
Those interested in issues of public policy and advocacy would do well to follow the blog posts and press releases of the Hindu American Foundation, which works to promote a progressive Hindu voice in America. www.hafsite.org
Up Close and Personal
In many blogs individuals share intimate views from their own lives.
Ravi Ladva, raviladva.blogspot.com, writes from a personal perspective his thoughts and experiences with Hinduism.
One blog, though updated only occasionally, carries a remarkable series of posts: the White Hindu, whitehindu.blogspot.com. The author, Ambaa, is an American woman of European ancestry who chronicles her experiences and insights into the faith. Her blog has now been published as a book, The White Hindu, which is available on Amazon.com.
Western-Hindu.org, a comprehensive blog on a British Hindu's views and experiences, maintains an exhaustive list of fellow "Western" Hindu bloggers, at western-hindu.org/westerners-following-hinduism.
Bamboo Thoughts, bamboothoughtlemons.blogspot.com, is by Art from Kentucky, who belongs to the Ramakrishna Vedanta movement, who details his sadhana on his blog.
White Indian Housewife, www.whiteindianhousewife.com, is not a Hindu blog per se. It is a hilarious and charming account of an Australian woman living in India with her Indian husband, detailing her cross-cultural experiences, and the ups and downs of living in India, all with a generous and sweet perspective on life as a whole.
These blogs are by no means a comprehensive list, but can serve as an introductory survey for those looking to explore further Hindu resources online. Don't forget to follow the daily happenings at Hinduism Today's headquarters, Kauai's Hindu Monastery, through our blog, "TAKA," at himalayanacademy.com/blog/taka.