Learn about different people's views of Hinduism
"I was raised in a very engaging Hindu household, where my parents provided me many opportunities to learn and practice my religion. I am very fortunate that my parents have always been open about answering questions. I never felt forced to go to the temple or participate in puja. They always explained the reasoning for all the religious activities we would take part in and welcomed my numerous questions.
From reading Amar Chitra Katha to watching Ramayana and Mahabharat tv serials I was always very fascinated by the characters in Hindu mythology and stories. At a young age I had a strong love for Hanumanji and loved hearing stories of Him. But for me they were just stories. As I got older, the magic of these “superhero-like” characters slowly faded, and my connection to Bhagvan weakened. I continued to go to the temple and attend religious events with my family, but for me it was just an action. I didn’t connect to the activity in a spiritual sense. I sought a higher purpose in life, and aiming for material goals like the world prepares us for (job, money, etc.) seemed very overwhelming and fruitless.
I found that higher purpose I sought through the study of vedanta in CHYK (Chinmaya Mission Yuva Kendra) at my university and attending YEP program (Chinmaya Mission Youth Empowerment Program) after college. I found a deeper meaning to the stories from my childhood, and how I can apply them to my life now. This reconnected me to Bhagvan, reviving that childhood love I had for Hanumanji, now with more purpose and vigor. I learned to look within myself rather than at all the things outside for happiness and peace, as I would never find it there. My study of vedanta has and continues to teach me to navigate the waves of life. I found freedom in the understanding that while there are always things I cannot change in life, there are also things about myself that I can change -- like my reactions to situations or how much I am pulled by my desires. This inspires me to continue working on myself each day to give and share more love in the world. Happiness has always been within me, it is my true nature, and my highest purpose is to find this peace within."