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Parents should live a Hindu dharmic life, be a model for their children: Acharya Arumuganatha Swami


Achaarya-Hinduism today

By Nithin Sridhar

Hinduism in US: Present and Future: Part 3

In this third installment of the “Hinduism in US: Present and Future” series, NewsGram continues to explore the status of Hinduism in the US and how it may evolve in the future.

A PEW survey has shown that the share of Hindus in the US population has increased from 0.4% in 2007 to 0.7% in 2014, with the 2014 Hindu population in absolute terms being approximately 2.23 million. But, Hinduism Today magazine had estimated in 2008 itself that there were around 2.3 million Hindus in the US at that time itself. So, the Hindu community as well as Hindu religion is growing slowly in US.

In order to have a better understanding about the Hindu American community, NewsGram spoke to Acharya Arumuganatha Swami, the Managing Editor at Hinduism Today magazine.

Nithin Sridhar: What values and tenets do the Hindu Americans consider as being core to their religious practice and everyday life?

Acharya Arumuganathaswami: Existence of God everywhere and in all things, a belief in the law of karma (actions) and the principles of dharma (duty and righteousness), and a respectful attitude toward all religions.

NS: Do Hindu Americans identify more with the core tenets of dharma, or do they only have nominal affiliation to the outer forms that define identity like dress codes, using sindhur (red dot on the forehead), etc.?

AA: I think they have both—those that hold strongly to the Hindu principles and those that don’t give much thought to the religion, but maintain an ethnic identity as an Indian.

NS: What role do you see for various temples and spiritual organizations in the survival and propagation of Hinduism to the young generation in the US?

AA: The temples serve for the ritual worship, for cultural events such as music and dance, for celebrating festivals, and for the sense of community. Spiritual organizations and the larger temples provide teaching centers for the youth.

NS: What initiatives or practices should the Hindu parents adopt to impart Hindu values to their children?

AA: Most important is that parents themselves start living a dharmic life and thus start modeling the Hindu lifestyle and values for their children to follow. Further, a better systematic presentation of Hindu practices and beliefs should be adopted.

NS: There is a growing interest among non-Hindu Americans towards Yoga, Ayurveda, and other spiritual aspects of Hinduism. Do you see these interests translating into their formal adoption of Hindu religion in near future?

AA: Many in our organization, which does bring people formally into the Hindu religion, have come through their initial interest in yoga and meditation.

More in this segment:

Hinduism in US: Present and Future: Part 1

Hinduism in US: Present and Future: Part 2

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Life Lessons We All Should Learn From Lord Shiva

There are lot's if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons
There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • Lord Shiva is the supreme Hindu Deity
  • He is a symbol of peace and tranquillity
  • There are lot’s if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

Lord Shiva as everyone knows is a Hindu God. He is one of the Trinity and is the principal deity of Hinduism.  God Shiva is considered the “destroyer of evil and the transformer” of the world. The Birth and history of Lord Shiva are topics of great discussions and confusions.

Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of hinduism. Wikimedia Commons
Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of Hinduism. Wikimedia Commons

Lord Shiva is known to have no end and no beginning, yet, the origin of his birth is a much sought-after topic for several generations. Many ‘Puranas’ claims Shiva to be ‘aja’ meaning the one who has no birth. Some other scriptures claim that Lord Shiva was born out of Lod Narayana or Lord Vishnu. However, the authenticity of all the claims remain unclear, and there is still a solid mystery which surrounds the origin and birth of Shiva.

Shiva is also known Mahadev, i.e., the gods of all gods and rightly so. Throughout the Hindu mythology, Shiva has been portrayed as a tranquil and peaceful figure who grants all prayers of his followers and devotees. His another name is ‘Bhole Bhandari’ because of his innocent nature.

Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay
Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay

However, other than his peaceful nature, the other thing Lord Shiva is famous for is his flaring temper. Indian mythology is full of stories about Lord Shiva causing mass destruction due to his anger. The opening of his third eye is said to cause mass destruction.

Also Read: Enigmatic Mount Kailash: The abode of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva’s appearance is a beautiful shade of blue because of him consuming the poison from the sea to save the world. However, just like his body is shades of blue there are many shades to his personality as well. Here are few life lessons of Lord Shiva that we all need to take a note of.

  • Come what may never tolerate the evil. Being destroyer of the evil himself, Shiva teaches us to never tolerate or bow down in front of the evil.
  • Self-control is the key to living a fulfilled life. Excess is of everything is bad and losing control ourselves is worse. One should always have a control over themselves to live a successful and fulfilled life.
  • Materialistic happiness is temporary. To be happy, be adjustable like water. Shiva says that attaching our happiness to earthy, material things won’t give us long-lasting happiness.
  • Keeping calm is very important. Lord Shiva used to meditate for hours and is easily the epitome of calmness and that’s what he advocates too.
  • Desires lead to destruction. Shiva believes that desires lead to obsessions which in turn leads to destruction. Never desire more than what you deserve. Be happy with what you have and work hard for what you want to achieve.
  • Respect your family. Lord Shiva is husband to Goddess Parvati and father to Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. He respected his children and especially wife a lot. Respecting one’s  family is very important for living a successful life.
  • Control your ego and let go of pride. Ego prevents us from achieving greatness. Let go of your pride and control your ego to live a fulfilled life.
  • Everything is temporary. Everything in this world is temporary. Time changes as do we and our choices and desires. It is better to let go of all the ‘moh maya’ and live in the moment happily with what we already have.