India is the cradle of Hindu civilization.
What is this religion called Hinduism?
When did it start?
From whom did it originate?
If it is not so, what is it then?
Hinduism has been variously described by many thinkers as:
In this subject capsule, we look at the concept of Hinduism with a fresh inquisitive look. The aspects that we dwell into some detail are:
Let us look at what we discuss each of them.
Hinduism - A coined term:
The very word Hinduism was coined in 1829 by the Christian missionaries to identify the local Indian religions.
This observation is echoed by both foreign and Indian thinkers on Hinduism.
Hindu Religion - Commonality factors:
Hinduism is actually made up of many religions that have evolved natively in this land over the past many thousand years. Their commonality factors being:
- native origin
- they adhere to Dharma the universal order of nature
- espouse open minded thinking, questioning and discussions thereon to realize truth
If no religion called Hinduism existed about 200 years back then we need to look at how this religion Hinduism was created. The British politicians, the British administrators for their administrative convenience and later Indian politicians through the constitution of Indian and various decree of the Supreme Court have classified Hinduism as one religion.
If so, it is interesting to note that Hinduism is not a religion created by a Divine person but is a Religion as a category is created by politicians and administrators.
Given the above understanding it would be fit to call this religion not just as Hinduism but as Hindu Society Religions.
Hinduism Vs Religions world over - commonality:
Can we say that just because there are quite a few common factors in the various arms of Hindu religions and hence they should be rightfully be classified as one religion as Hinduism?
If this argument is to hold water, then if we look at the other prominent religions of the world, they have their roots from Abraham and Moses. Since they also have commonalities can they be summarily clubbed as one religion?
Hinduism Vs Religions world over – a comparison:
We can compare religions world over from two perspectives:
Here we look at the similarities and differences between religions of the Hindu society on one side and the western religions on the other side.
Uniqueness of Hindu Society Religions:
The uniqueness of Hindu religion is looked at from these 5 perspectives.
From the above discussion it would be clear to one, that Hinduism as a faith is indefinable in a few words.
Hindu Society Religions is an embodiment of the ethos of life and knowledge since creation itself, intertwined as a system of faith, practice and beliefs.
It is this uniqueness that has helped the Hindu society with a unique resilience in the past, present and that which will take it through in the future also.