Articles

  • Why Give It All Up?

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    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word "modernity"? I think of development and technology, especially my cell phone. It's a device most of us hold close to our hearts. The phone has gone from being just a form of communication to an entertainment gadget. All young children seem to be… Read More

    84% of teens say they like that cell phones make
    it easy to talk to people.

    69% of teens say their cell ...

  • Arya Mahasamvelan

    evening-photo
    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    Atlanta, GA- “The day when the translation of all four Vedas will be complete, there will be knowledge like the light of the sun; no one will be able to hide it, as no one can keep the truth secret.” Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati This July, Hindu Student Association’s (HSA) National President Varun Mehta and University of Texas’ HSA… Read More

  • Hinduism and Science

    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    According to Hindu belief, our universe was created by Maha Vishnu, who in his deep sleep continues respire, and in his process of doing so, creates and destroys universes. As he inhales, a universe is created, but as he exhales, one is destroyed. Science, on the other hand, offers another explanation for the inception of the universe through… Read More

  • HASC Press Release

    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    The Hindu Students Association (HSA) was represented at the Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) Conference hosted at the White House on July 29-31 by Board of Director Rashi Jawade, Esq., Executive Branch President Shashi Dongur, and University of Houston Branch Representative Shivani Agrawal. “Seva is not something you have. Seva is something you do” was the topic of… Read More

  • HSA Appreciation Dinner Press Release

    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    July 17, 2011 marked the conclusion of “Walking Together: Feel the HSA Pulse” dinners by the Hindu Students Association (HSA) in Houston, Austin and Dallas. An enthusiastic crowd of over 115 people attended the most recent banquet in Houston, which was sponsored by the Hindus of Greater Houston. The dinner and classical entertainment evenings were primarily held to… Read More

  • In Act of Seva

    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    Seva, is the act of sacrificing ones needs, time and comfort for the sake of others. “Hindu Student Association officers volunteering to aid victims of this natural disaster- a project away from their hometowns, for strangers that just were in need, truly embodied the spirit of selfless service that is integral to the mission of our young adult… Read More

  • Biscuits and Tea

    On the night of July 31st, I found myself in a place that would be slightly alarming for anyone. Well, perhaps place wouldn’t be just the right term, as the problem was that my apartment lease would end at midnight and I had nowhere to go. For the two weeks of classes I had left to complete at… Read More

  • Gateway 2012 – Find Your Dharma

    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    Gateway 2012 brings together students and young professionals from across the United States to educate themselves on Sanatana Dharma, discuss issues affecting Hindus, and jointly inspire one another to become leaders in the Hindu community. In addition to providing a break from daily college life, our retreat at Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas is also a means for students to explore their religion/culture… Read More

  • Finding Dharma with Hindu Youth: Gateway 2012

    Mrinalini Vijalampurum

    The Hindu Students Association (HSA) hosted their annual camp ‘Gateway’ in Bruceville, TX from February 3rd – 5th.  From all the HSA branches, there were a total of over 130 attendees.  This year’s camp sought to provide a gateway for young Hindus in “finding your dharma, ” as the camp theme demonstrated. The weekend was filled with various… Read More

  • Concerning Vegetarianism

    It’s an elective, certainly, but let us not allow that fact to emancipate us from thinking the choice over. From one perspective, shouldn’t the elective demand the most deliberation? This piece is about how I evaluate the issue. It’s not to admonish those who disagree. So feel free to, and feel freer to say why. Animals eat other… Read More

  • The Hindu Young Adult Community: Gateway 2012

    There are a lot of misconceptions circulating around about Hinduism and how it is perceived by the youth today. Many think that contemporary Hindu youth don’t really understand Hinduism and what it’s about or how it impacts our lives as whole. Being involved in Hindu Students Association (HSA) has opened my eyes to a vast group of peers… Read More

  • HSA Invests in the Spiritual Growth of its Leaders

    “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is that simple. It is that difficult.” ~Warren Bennis. Friday, March 2nd, 2012 marked the beginning of the second annual Senior Leadership Spiritual Weekend (SLSW) for the national senior leadership of the Hindu Students Association (HSA). The National Officers and Board Directors came together in Austin, Texas for a… Read More

  • Keep Calm and Holi On

    It’s a sunny afternoon on March 30th and the whole Indian student community is there! The fields of University of Texas Dallas (UTD) are buzzing with excitement. A collaborative effort of the Indian Student Association (ISA) and the Hindu Student Association( HSA), Holi was celebrated with great fervor and proved to be a huge success. The event was… Read More

  • Raising Hindu Awareness at Oxford College

    Oxford College of Emory University is a diverse community with various religious, cultural and, social clubs that make it a special and unique society in which growth, knowledge, and experience promote the efficient learning of both the students and faculty. An essential characteristic of the Oxford community is that the student body, as well as the faculty consists… Read More

  • Contradictions in Popular Hinduism

    If Hinduism is to distinguish itself from other religions (or, more aptly, just religions) then it has to be critical of itself. Hinduism as it is popularly practiced and interpreted fails this. The reasons are many – its marriage to politics, its hot and cold relationship with social stratification systems, its pride and short-temperedness. These things, items in… Read More

  • Taking the Initiative

    Aum. Namaste! Last weekend, I spent over 50 hours with the core leadership of HSA, learning how to make effective presentations, understanding how to lead others, and testing my beliefs as a Hindu in what could only be described by these two words: Dharma Initiative (DI). More than just a leadership camp or a social gathering, DI is… Read More

  • Spreading Hinduism and Resources One Page at a Time

    Do you remember the last time someone asked you why we pray to cows? What about the time when someone asked why we wear that sacred powder on our forehead? Sarcastically or seriously, someone has asked us these questions. I was fortunate to have the book, ‘Dancing with Siva’ by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on hand, and I was… Read More

  • Litmus Test for a Leader

    The words “leadership” and “team work” are thrown around a lot these days. These skills are sought by corporations, colleges, and in politics. In the past, the only time we needed a leader was in crisis. Companies wanted managers, colleges wanted grades and politicians needed money. So why is there an emerging need for leaders, now? Because there… Read More

  • HSA Provides Hindu Representation at Telugu-American Convention

    After several urgent messages from HSA National CFO, Ramya Ravi on Thursday June 28th, I found out about an event in Houston, TX: the North American Telugu Association convention. It took a some last-minute schedule changes and convincing my parents before I was driving to Houston the next night with HSA National Secretary, Shashi Dongur and University of… Read More

  • Crossing the Line that Divides

    Imagine living in a world where your every move is already planned and scheduled for you. All you’ve been doing is merely playing your assigned role. Some people call this fate while others deny the very idea. If I had to map out pivotal moments in my life, I’d dare say almost 90 percent of them are either… Read More

  • The Case for Moderation

    Namaste. The summer before I started my freshman year at University of Texas, I distinctly remember seeing the infamous “choose two” triangle. Of the three necessities in college—studying, socializing, and sleeping—one would have to be sacrificed. It seemed a rather blunt ultimatum, but now that I have completed my first year at UT, I understand how easy it… Read More

  • What is Yajna?

    The Animation Video Project is an initiative by the Hindu Students Association (HSA) to bring proper understanding of Hindu philosophy and practices to Hindus and non-Hindus. As a generation that spends hours on the internet and learns through mediums other than just books, this is a fun and interesting way to learn more about Hinduism. HSA’s first animation… Read More

  • Pre-Marital Children in the Mahabharata

    As a child, when I was told the story of Mahabharata, it seemed like every other fairy-tale – good vs evil. The good side sticks to their morals or dharma, while the evil side violates dharma in every way. Finally, in a gigantic and epic battle, the evil side is finally defeated as peace and balance is restored… Read More

  • Hinduism Awareness Week at University of Texas

    Hinduism Awareness Week (HAW) is one of the newest events hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s chapter of the Hindu Students Association. The reason for the founding of this event was to expel many of the negative stereotypes and misconceptions associated with Hinduism within the general public, such as the idol worship or polytheism. In recent… Read More

  • Hiranyagarbha

    Recent scientific discoveries state that in a small fraction of a second, the universe went from being contained in a small point less than the size of an atom to being close to its current size. However, this claim raises concern for many religions, as it does not agree with many of the creation theories stated in various… Read More

  • The Riddle of Judgement

    This article is an opinion of solely the author, and not that of the organizaion. “Don’t judge” is sort of universally accepted as a hallmark of common decency. But it is the very same of us who vocalize this axiom that sometimes parade against those who do judge: advocates of marriage equality against its opponents, for example. This… Read More

  • Paintbrushes and Turf

    As I read deeper into the lines of the Bhagavad Gita, I realize that some pages are not meant to be read so much as experienced. The meaning of a complex passage might become clear only after I have followed a winding road, questioning what I have previously understood about the world, but at the end, I find… Read More

  • Holi Festival 2013

    Holi, also known as “The Festival of Colors”, is a Hindu festival that has also become popular with people of other backgrounds and communities, with thousands of people celebrating it each year. Holi is a joyous occasion that commemorates the story of Prahlad, an ardent devotee of Vishnu, prevailing over the demon Holika. Furthermore, Holi ushers in the… Read More

  • Blind Tradition

    Worshipping ignorance? Surely that can't be good. Delighting in learning? That sounds more positive, yet why do both lead to 'blind darkness'? In this excerpt from the ??? upani?ad, avidy? is not referring specifically to ignorance and vidy? is not referring specifically to learning or knowledge. In the context of worship, one could think of avidy? as worshipping… Read More

  • Austin College’s Experience at Radha Madhav Dham

    Radha Madhav Dham is one of the biggest Himdu temples in the country, established by the grace of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Maharaj. Out of his five main ashrams, Radha Madhav Dham is the only one outside India, attracting many western devotees, and spreading the true divine knowledge of the Hindu scriptures. Holi at Radha Madhav Dham is one… Read More

  • The Big Event

    Imagine planning months in advance for a Seva (volunteering) project with your close friends that binds all of you closer. We were given the opportunity to help out our neighbors in College Station, Texas. Some of us woke up as early as 6AM on a Saturday, a day where college students generally cling to their beds like a… Read More

  • Predestination vs. Free Will

    This article is on opinion of solely the author, and not that of the organization. According to predestination, every event in life has already been planned out or determined by God, and everything happens only according to God. Individuals do not have control over events. Hindu dharma, however, accepts both concepts of predestination and karma as valid. In… Read More

  • Music in Sanatan Dharma

    This article is on opinion of solely the author, and not that of the organization. Music is an important part of our daily lives. From AC/DC to Zeppelin, music is all around us, and in the society that we live in today, we can never get rid of it. This artistic tradition has its roots from the dawn… Read More

  • Exploring Hinduism by an Atheist and a Believer

    Saloni: When my brother first invited me to HSA’s Senior Leadership Spiritual Weekend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Part of me was excited from hearing about my brother passionately talking about how these retreats help him grow spiritually, yet part of me was nervous about joining a group of close knit strangers for an entire weekend. Recently,… Read More

  • Lead Me

    asato m? sadgamaya tamaso m? jyotirgamaya m?tyorm? am?ta? gamaya b?had?ra?yaka upani?ad I.iii.28 From the unreal (asato; from asat), lead me (gamaya) to the real (sad=sat). From the darkness (tamaso; from tamas), lead me (gamaya) to the light (jyoti). From death (m?tyor; from m?tyu), lead me (gamaya) to immortality (am?ta). From the unreal, lead me to the real. From… Read More

  • A Soulful Song

    Since I began learning my first instrument in the sixth grade, music has functioned as a creative outlet, a window to the world, a way to connect with people (those who attended late-night jam session at the last Gateway know what I mean), and recently, a mode of spiritual discovery. The relationship between music and spirituality may seem… Read More

  • Get Down to the Philosophical Roots of it All

    It seems that religion today is less of blind faith, and more of a constant questioning of concepts that are very difficult to grasp. Philosophical knowledge has become an identifying trait of religions and level of spirituality. Of course all philosophical standpoints must begin with an epistemological base. Epistemology is the theory behind a certain form of knowledge,… Read More

  • Idolatry: Truth Found Within

    Once my parents took me to a Hindu temple in the D.C. metropolitan area dedicated to Lord Jagannath of Puri. From a toddler’s perspective, the disproportionately large eyes and the unfamiliarly shaped wooden arms of the religious icon were terrifying. To my parents’ embarrassment, I burst into tears and had to be carried out of the sanctuary. It… Read More

  • The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita in our Daily Lives

    While growing up in India and attending a Hindu school, one of the mandatory weekly classes we had to attend was an hour of Gita reading. Looking back now, I remember my classmates and I dreading the moment our teacher would walk in and ask us to take out our copies of the book. From grade 1 to… Read More

  • Curiousity and the Bhagavad Gita: A Narrative

    My parents tell me that as a kid I enjoyed sports and anything that started with “Nintendo.” They also like to mention, especially at family gatherings, that I asked questions of all shapes and sizes, sometimes to their annoyance. “Papa, why is the sky blue?” My dad, remembering some of his physics education, would reply, “Because of the… Read More

  • Virtuous Sita

    Rama [to Sita, at the culmination of the war against Ravanan]: “You, with a suspicion arisen on your character, standing in front of me, are extremely disagreeable to me…Which noble man, born in an illustrious race, will take back a woman who lived in another's abode, with an eager mind?…Seeing you, who are endowed with a beautiful form… Read More

  • Standing in the Gap

    From June 12th, 2013 to July 24th, 2013, I traveled to the countries of Rwanda and Uganda as part of a study abroad program. I was immersed in the culture and history of both countries. I have learned so many things, but the most important point I learned is regarding forgiveness. Let me explain: In a small town… Read More

  • White House Conference 2013

    "Even the least work done for others awakens the power within, gradually instills into the heart the strength of a lion...arise, awake, and stop not until the goal is achieved..." -Swami Vivekananda On the morning of September 26th, I drove to Austin Bergstrom International Airport already nervous and excited about what the weekend had in store for me.… Read More

  • Onam: A Reflection on Equality

    “When Mavali ruled the land,” the people sing, “all the people were equal.” And with this joyful song the Hindu Malayali community celebrates the harvest festival of Onam. Onam, a day filled with dances and the creation of masterful flower displays, fell on September 16th of this year. However, many celebrants often forget the religious significance behind the… Read More

  • Where is the Peace in Temples?

    Shirdi Sai Baba was and is a guru, yogi, and fakir who was considered a saint by his devotees. An interesting fact about Sai Baba is that he was revered by both Muslims and Hindus, and it was never known which faith he practiced. Sai Baba stressed the importance of surrendering to the guidance of the true Sadguru,… Read More

  • Namaste: A Thanksgiving Experiment

    Thanksgiving is a complex holiday within the American cultural psyche. Certain people group it with the celebration of Columbus Day and consider it to be the beginning of the collapse of Native cultural elements in the Americas. More sympathetic individuals find the holiday as a humbling one of tolerance and fraternity in the early years of a colonization… Read More

  • Since its inception, the Hindu Students Association has strived to have an active voice on the national platform on behalf of first and second generation Hindu young adults. This year, we were committed to take that voice to our nation’s capital. And so, on the morning of November 5th, I found myself on the way to Washington D.C.… Read More

  • The Opening of a New Path: Gateway

    As a new year starts to unfold, in the crisp chill air, every ray of sun is soaked up by the many faces that gaze up to the sky. The new year symbolizes the new opportunities, the sky our journey, and the beams of light as hope and guidance. Every year I look forward to these feelings of… Read More

  • Dharma Initiative 2013

    One minute I was nervous, the next I was overwhelmed with emotions: excitement, anxiety, and even exhaustion due to twenty hours worth of airports and airplanes. I was headed to Austin, a city I had visited only once in my life about ten years ago, but this time, I was going on my own without any family or… Read More

  • How Do We Reach The Youth?

    In the brochure distributed at the conclusion of the White House Youth Summit on December 4th, 2013, there was a short story behind the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln. The story retells how the President, weary from greeting guests for the New Year’s Day celebrations, found his hand shaking as he prepared to sign… Read More

  • Meet our New District Officers

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    1. What University do you attend (or that you have graduated from)? What is/was your major(s)? Mrinalini Vijalapuram: University of Texas at Austin. I am pursuing a career in Foreign Affairs and Law. Sidharth Razdan: University of Texas at Dallas, Neuroscience. Nishma K Patel: University of Houston, Premed/Chemistry. Aneesha Kulkarni: Texas A&M University, B.S Genetics, B.S Computer Engineering… Read More

  • Holi in the Forty Acres

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    As Hindu students living in the United States, it is sometimes difficult to connect to our native culture and religion. The fast-paced lives of school, work and family can blind us from spiritual growth. The Hindu Students Association, at each of its respective branches looks to bring young Hindus together in order to both educate our community and… Read More

  • Hinduism Awareness Week at the University of Texas at Dallas

    Hinduism Awareness Week, or HAW, is a time when HSA branches not only spread their brand, but also give students a way of connecting back to their religion in a week with various events scheduled. With UTD’s HSA growing, we introduced HAW this year. Our week consists of a Dandiya night, a temple visit, a chaat social, a… Read More

  • PRESS RELEASE – Dharma Video

    April 2, 2014 – TAMPA, FL – Following the huge success of the “What is Yoga” animation with over 60,000 views, the Hindu Students Association proudly presents its “What is Dharma” video as the latest addition to its animation series. With the mission of illustrating key Hindu concepts in a clear and concise manner while limiting the length… Read More

  • Sexuality in Hinduism

    With the current ruling of the Indian Supreme court re-criminalizing gay sex after section 377 of the Indian penal code was repealed in 2009, around 75 million Indians are at direct risk of harassment. Considering the fact that Hinduism makes up roughly 80% of India’s population, one can wrongly assume that Hinduism justifies this criminalization. Actually, Sri Sri… Read More

  • Mental Health

    Dream, emotions, and logic. All of these conflicting and different actions take place in one central location. It’s a place that runs 24-hours a day: our mind. Our minds drive us and set our mood for the day. Sometimes our minds motivate us to be better and increase our will power. However, other times, unfortunately, our minds can… Read More

  • Into The Woods

    In the vast and enormous collection of Hindu texts, there is a group of Vedic writings known as the “Aranyakas.” The texts are known for their mystical quality, often referring to less commonly understood or performed rituals and expounding on various philosophical concepts. The very word “Aranyaka” means belonging to the wilderness, and has often been interpreted to… Read More

  • Rational vs. Irrational

    Even expert physicists are not able to pin down exactly what it is, but there is a general consensus as to what the string theory is in a base sense. The string theory posits that the universe that we live in is made of seemingly infinite filaments, or strings and energy vibrating constantly, allowing for everything else to… Read More

  • The Gregarious Priests

    Well, one day there was a change in the order of things in the management of the East District Temple Society after one thing led to another and a new priest was hired in from a town in Tennessee. The current presiding priest, Mr. Choudhry, was a rather solemn and exclusive man, the diligent congregation knew well, so… Read More

  • The Sound of Faith

    Gayatri Mantra: “Om Bhuur Bhuvah Svah Tat-Savitur-Varennyam | Bhargo Devasya Dhiimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Pracodayaat ||” Ever since I was a child, my family would stand at the small shrine in our basement and recite a series of prayers before dinner. My father, in his starched white shirt and colorful lungi, would recite the above Gayatri Mantra before… Read More

  • Happy Holidays from Hindu Students Association!

    Namaste members and supporters of the Hindu Students Association! We hope finals went well, and you are enjoying your break! We have accomplished a lot this year at HSA and are proud to have had you along with us on this journey. I hope you have enjoyed sharing in our experiences through the newsletter. I am incredibly grateful… Read More

  • Giving Back through Seva

    Seva- a robust word in Hinduism with numerous meanings for each person. As a young American growing up in a Hindu community, I have been asked what Seva means to me frequently. Over the years as I served my community, my answer to that question has inevitably changed. Hindu American Seva defines seva as one’s social responsibility to… Read More

Our Network

Branches

University of Arkansas

The Hindu Students Association in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville takes pride in its commitment to provide Hindu and non-Hindu students with a better understanding of Hindu values. We thread together the many aspects of Hinduism such as prayer, seva, and duty to direct young Hindus into noble members of the society. The values learned here extends into… Read More

University of Texas at Dallas

The Hindu Students Association of UT Dallas strives to promote the awareness of the cultural, spiritual and religious aspects of Hinduism within and around the Hindu community on campus. One of our main objectives is to create a strong network among the Hindu students on campus to foster a more unified Hindu community. We strive to bring a… Read More

Texas A&M University

HSA has made a great impact in our lives because it keeps us in touch with our culture and traditions even at A&M, one of the most conservative universities in the nation. Our weekly discussions have enlightened us with the importance of Hindu festivals. HSA allows us to get close to a group of people that share a… Read More

University of Texas at Austin

Branch website: http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/hsa/ The Hindu Students Association branch at the University of Texas at Austin has been recognized on campus as the Best Cultural Organization from 2009-2011 and the Most Outstanding Organization in 2010. They hold weekly meetings on a variety of topics related to Hinduism, ranging from a character analysis of Ravan, to Ayurveda, to the Rules… Read More

University of Houston

Hindu Students Association (HSA) at University of Houston (UH) is a newly started organization with ten officers. In April 2010, HSA held its first meeting and the President gave a brief introduction of the organization and its goals. Fall semester of 2010 is the official first semester when HSA held regular meetings every Tuesday, organized two events, and… Read More

National Officers

  • Bio
    Saumya Saran

    President

  • Hari
    Hari Venkatachalam

    Vice-President

  • 0041603-14AB
    Sagar Vira

    Chief Financial Officer

  • 0041603-14AB
    Mrinalini Vijalapuram

    Secretary

  • 0041603-14AB
    Varun Mehta

    Board of Director

Invest in the Future

vivekanand

The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them- Swami Vivekananda

The future of Hinduism rests with the upcoming generation. It is our generation’s privilege to have the opportunity to live a dharmic life and discover the plethora of beauty that is hidden in Hinduism. We look to you for supporting this journey for many, many young adults.

Hindu Students Association is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax I.D. 27-2850515