There are over 1.1 billion followers of Hinduism in this world, but if we ask them, “What is Hinduism” or “What I need to do to follow Hinduism”, we would’t be surprised if we get 1.1 billion different answers, if not more. Surprise to many, for philosophy of Hinduism, this is in-fact an expected outcome, and is encouraged.
Hinduism never believes in one-size-fit-all approach. Given that everyone of us is different and have different approach to life, Hinduism by design, allows and adapts to these different approaches. In fact, it is incorrect to call Hindu”ism”, as there is no ‘-ism’ or cult here, it is rather a collection of various paths of spiritual progress. For most part, people are free to decide and follow what suites them.
We have friends and family members, who range from being extremely devotional to extreme atheists, and everything in-between. None of them had to renounce Hinduism or are being called ‘non-Hindu’, to practice what they believe in. They are perfectly Hindu, and well supported by Hindu philosophy.
In short, Hindu Philosophy, does not really meet definition of word “Religion”, and is rather much broader concept. It is more like a spiritual operating system, where you can build your own spiritual app (or path), or follow something which already exists or created by someone. Most important of all, Hinduism assumes all paths are equal, which means they reach to same destination, even though they look different in practice.
While there are no set rules on how to become a Hindu, as per definition of “Vasudaiv Kutumbakam” everyone in this world is already a Hindu, and if one wants to advance on the spiritual path, in our opinion below are some guidelines to follow.
- Believe in something beyond our self-interests.
- Question everything of our beliefs, do it until we evolve our beliefs to a stage where there no more questions.
- Follow our beliefs, it takes lot of practice to do it. We may need to iterate on Question -> Evolve -> Follow -> Question..
- Know that everyone is on their “own” journey at various stages
- Respect others beliefs and paths
- Understand that there is no better/worse, wrong/right, belief/paths; there are just different beliefs/paths, which are all equal. We don’t need to interfere in others progress until asked for help.
As part of this blog, we plan to explore various paths available, and go into depth without trying to be more complicated. We will try to give examples that would help to understand various concept. We hope the information here would help you find your own paths.