World WReligion Wednesday: Misconceptions about Hinduism

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“Are Hindus polytheistic or monotheistic?” 

This is a question I am often asked, particularly by my students. Typically, Hinduism is popularly perceived as being polytheistic (that is, worshipping more than one god). However, I think that is somewhat inaccurate. In fact, Hindus worship various expressions of the same god. Granted, many Hindus may not perceive this, but I think theologically it is accurate. There is almost always variance between core theology and the way people live out their theology. Some Hindus may align themselves as worshippers of Lord Krishna to such a measure they are not thinking of Brahma, the ultimate creator. This is where the disconnect is. At the top of Hinduism is the Trimurti, a trinity of sorts, consisting of Brahma (creator), Shiva (destroyer), and Vishnu (preserver). Thus, it comes down to one god. 

For more understanding of Hinduism, check out this helpful CNN article:

 

 

 

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World WReligion Wednesdays: 5k Years of Religious History in 90 Seconds

I’ve shared this video in the World Religions class I teach. I think it’s great for putting the religious and cultural evolution in perspective. We live now. However, the global schema has not always been as we experience it. It’s good to remind oneself that the current experience is only part of history. There is much more. Enjoy!

 

 

What surprised you about this video? What was particularly enlightening?

The start of MIDDLE EAST MONDAYS!

Marhaba! (That’s “hello” in arabic.)

This past weekend I went to the 7th annual Arab Women’s Conference in San Francisco, California

It was incredible. 

While there, I met one of the speakers. In our introductions, I said, “I’ve been passionate about the Middle East for almost twenty years.” She stopped in her pin-striped blazer, well-hanging trousers, and politely savvy heels. She smiled, poignantly. “Thank you for loving the Middle East. We need more of that.”

I smiled a reflective accord. “You’re welcome,” came the happy hope from my living words. 

I love loving the Middle East. It’s one of my most significant passions and callings. Well, I’ve been thinking about commencing the habit of posting on this blog about the Middle East every Monday. The fire found in the conference was my tipping point. 

So, WELCOME TO MIDDLE EAST MONDAYS. This is merely the beginning. See you next week! 

Do share this blog with friends who have an affinity for the Middle East! I want it to be a place for people to come together and strengthen each other in hope and vision for the region. Plus, I truly want to enjoy the great things about that region together. So, if you have a poem, painting, video, etc about the Middle East that you’d like to share here, email me at hopeiraq@gmail.com

Let’s hug the Middle East together… especially on Mondays! 🙂

 

 

 

Welcome to World WReligion Wednesdays!

I teach “Christianity and World Religions” at a university. Today, I’m embarking on a new rhythm: I’m going to post about World Religions every Wednesday. My hope is for the posts to cheerfully prompt new ways of thinking, truth-discovery, and great dialogue. You are reading this, so you’re here in this flat-screened coffee shop of blog-mugs and internet-tea with us! How grand! Do feel free to pull up a mismatched chair and join the chat. I’m glad you are here.


dharma bike

Samsara

If I was on a bike in the sun, I’d want to keep riding as long as my happy legs could. If I was on a bike with a flat tire on a muddy path, being followed by a gaggle of cantankerous geese, I’d want to get off that bike.

I teach “Christianity and World Religions” at a university. I currently teach at night so, I often come home with my thoughts whirring rather than sleeping. Like tonight.

Tonight it’s about samsara – the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth or reincarnation, as linked up in Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as other religions. I’m pondering the ways my own belief system, as a Christian, are different from that. An overarching theme is peace.

I’m thinking about how wonderful it is to have good things be permanent and bad things not be. Namely, suffering will eventually come to an end. Moreover, ecstatic elation, oneness with God, and complete communion with Him will not. I am truly going from glory to glory, ever-increasing in my experience of union with God. That will be most flourishingly activated once I’m no longer earth-tied. Whether I float off like Enoch or live a life that rides on into Jesus’ return, there will come an end to suffering AND a permanent establishing of peace. It will be a true, sweet return to Eden. This is very beautiful; and a great example of God’s value for rest, intimacy, and bliss.

 

What do you think about all this?

 

Destiny means DRIVING THROUGH WALLS

Today I read the last paragraph of my book again. It re-inspired me. Let’s apprehend our dreams with courage, shall we? YOUR dreams are important. I release to you the power, clarity, and vision needed to move forward TODAY. May today be the best day of your life thus far! You are loved!

Destiny is not a merely a rambling road thrown like ribbon over a hillside to some distant location; it is fury and passion and grace and power. It is each and every person fully fulfilling their strengths, their dreams, and their unique place in the global glory flood of love. It is knowing who you are and what makes you come alive. It is doing what makes you come alive in such a Jesus-confetti way that everything around you comes alive in response. It is not being led by confines and well-paved roads; it is driving in the direction of your dreams, no matter how many times the word “impossible” shows up. Being you, truly you, will inevitably lead to driving through walls. Beckon your heart to life today; then floor it straight through those walls. It’s going to feel really good, but more than that, it’s going to be really good. Destiny is apprehended through courage. Drive through the walls.

– Dawn Bulchandani, Driving Through Walls, 272

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Two Classes I am Teaching

Check out my upcoming classes at Simpson University for Seniors! It’s going to be wonderful!

World Religions occurs in October

The Transition from Judaism to Christianity occurs in May

Dawn Bulchandani

Dawn Bulchandani loves California. She also loves the Middle East. She lived in Israel three years and most recently worked with an organization in Baghdad, Iraq. She teaches Introduction to the Bible at Simpson University. Dawn is the author of Driving Through Walls: My Supernatural Journey of Hope. She has three master’s degrees and is married to Neel Bulchandani, a revolutionary chiropractor and book editor. Her website is hopeiraq.com.

Simpson for Seniors Courses Taught: World Religions, The Transition from Judaism to Christianity in the New Testament
Watch Video 1   Watch Video 2