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Feb 15 2019

“Mother Ganga”, The Pioneer (Part 1)

This article was originally published on The Pioneer, here. The crystal-clear, blue, rushing waters of Mother Ganga cut through the foothills of the Himalayas, carving out the most sacred riverbed in the world. Out of the Mother Glacier more than 13,000 feet above sea level, the Goddess Ganga- daughter of King Himavat, the king of the Himalayas, and Queen Meru, sister of Uma, Bhagawan Shiva’s divine consort-is said to have descended upon Earth, an act of grace and compassion to bring liberation to the fallen sons of King Sagara and all...

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Feb 12 2019

“Knowledge is Not Wisdom and Other Insights India Taught Me”, Thrive Global

This article was originally published on Thrive Global, here. Finding inner bliss is much more than what conventional norms of success mean. One of the crucial lessons that 22 years in India has taught me is that knowledge and wisdom are critically different. During the first 25 years of my life, I was a top student and a graduate of Stanford University. My test scores were always in the highest range. I was, I believed, smart. I even believed I was intelligent and wise. However, despite my ability to read, assimilate, remember and regurgitate...

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Jan 04 2019

“A Summer Evening on the Banks of Ganga”, The Pioneer

This article was originally published in The Pioneer, here. A sadhu sits, his lean body draped in a single, worn scrap of orangish brown cloth, swaying ever so gently in the rapture of his meditation. His head tilts barely perceptibly to the right. Otherwise his posture is perfect, his legs folded neatly and easily into lotus position, palms up on his knees. His body ever so gently sways to a music only he can hear, a music which brings a faint smile to his lips. An elderly woman gently unfolds her cloth...

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Jan 02 2019

“Thriving in the New Year – From New to You”, Thrive Global

This article was originally published on Thrive Global, here. 'That true self is not new of course. But it is new to us. It is new to our experience of our selves.' Every day is new. As my Guru says “Whenever you wake up, it’s morning.” So every day could be your birthday, or New Year. There is nothing I know of astrologically that makes January 1st a particularly auspicious day for embarking on life changes or that makes Mondays better days to start anything new than, say, Thursdays. Nonetheless most of...

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Dec 20 2018

“My 22-Year-Old India Love Affair Began with Food”, Thrive Global

This article was originally published on Thrive Global, here. The author describes her journey from Hollywood to the holy woods. Most people go to India seeking enlightenment, or at least advanced yoga studies. I went because I liked the food. Twenty-two years ago, I had graduated from Stanford and was doing my PhD in psychology, with only my dissertation left. It was time for a travel break. I agreed to go to India, a place I knew nothing about, only because I was a staunch vegetarian, or “veg-terrorist” as my friends used...

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Nov 30 2018

“Thanksgiving-An Opportunity to Give Life, Not Only Thanks”, The Pioneer

This article was originally published in The Pioneer, here. In America, one of the biggest holidays of the year is Thanksgiving. The feast is in honor of the first good harvest after the pilgrims came to the new land. In theory, this holiday is a beautiful one. The idea of gathering to give thanks, gathering on behalf of the bountiful harvest God has provided, gathering with family, is wonderful. It is one of the few times a year that Americans tend to ensure that the entire family is together. Thus, in...

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Nov 19 2018

“Is It Okay to Lie Occasionally If the Truth Hurts?”, Thrive Global

This article was originally published on Thrive Global, here. The author debates what could be the best possible solution—truth at all costs or is it better to be kind and beneficial? I spent my youth believing in truth at all costs. It didn’t matter how painful, the truth must be told. The truth was my religion, and lies, of any sort, were sacrilege. At the beginning of my senior year of high school, my dad and I sat in our local diner eating French friends and drinking milkshakes. “So, what’s going to happen...

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Nov 02 2018

“Diwali – Dispelling the Darkness”, The Pioneer

This article was published on The Pioneer, here. Lighting oil lamps are one of the most common daily rituals in Indian tradition. Whether in temples, in homes, in offices or simply in small shrines on a shelf in a dorm room, one will always find a small brass or silver lamp to be filled with oil and lit on a daily basis. However, my Guru, Swami Chidanand Saraswati frequently implores people: “Don’t just light the lamps in your temples, homes and offices. Also remember to light the lamp in your own...

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