What does it mean to be Hindu ?


…So what is Hinduism not ? It is not centralized, it not an organization, it is not political. It can never be. For every time there has been an attempt to organize Hinduism as a political force, it becomes by nature a finite structured force that bears no relationship to the idea for a search for the infinite.
So to those people that ask why we cannot declare India a Hindu state I ask them to understand and trace back to what a Hindu state is ? And they will soon realize they are looking for an identity. And the very basis of Hinduism negates the idea of identity. For it is a search for ourselves beyond that which is called ‘Identity’.

Which begs the question, why we cannot accept our identity as just Indian ?

59 Responses to “What does it mean to be Hindu ?”

  1. Sw. Neeravo says:

    In three thousand years man has fought five thousand wars. Can you say this humanity is sane? One cannot remember a time in human history when people were not destroying each other either in the name of religion or in the name of God or even in the name of peace, humanity, universal brotherhood. Great words hiding ugly realities! Christians have been killing Mohammedans, Mohammedans have been killing Christians, Mohammedans have been killing Hindus, Hindus have been killing Mohammedans. Political ideologies, religious ideologies, philosophical ideologies are just facades for murder — to murder in a justified way.
    And all these religions were promising the people, “If you die in a religious war, your heaven is absolutely certain. Killing in war is not sin; being killed in war is a great virtue.” This is sheer stupidity! But ten thousand years of conditioning has seeped deep into the blood, into the bones, in the very marrow of humanity.
    The racial ego, the religious ego, the spiritual ego is far more dangerous than the individual ego, because the individual ego is gross. You can see it — everybody can see it, it is so visible on the surface. But when the ego becomes racial — “Hinduism is great” — you don’t think you are claiming anything for yourself. Indirectly you are claiming, “I am great because I am a Hindu, and Hinduism is great.” This is an indirect way, a subtle, cunning way: “I am great because I am a Japanese, because Japanese are the direct descendants of the sun God”; or, “I am a Chinese and the Chinese are the most civilized people, the most cultured.”
    Man is born sane; WE drive him crazy. Once we accept that there are no nations and no races, man will become very calm and quiet. All this continuous violence and aggression will disappear. If we accept man’s body, its sexuality, naturally, then all kinds of stupidities preached in the name of religion will evaporate. Ninety-nine percent of psychological diseases exist because of man’s sexual repression.
    We have to make man free of his past. That’s my whole work here: to help you to get rid of the past. Whatsoever the society has done to you has to be undone. Your consciousness has to be cleaned, emptied so that you can become like a pure mirror reflecting reality. To be able to reflect reality is to know God. God is just another name for reality: that which is. And a man is really sane when he knows the truth.
    Truth brings liberation, truth brings sanity.
    Truth brings intelligence, truth brings innocence.
    Truth brings bliss, truth brings celebration.
    We have to change this whole earth into a tremendous festival, and it is possible because man brings all that is needed to transform this earth into a paradise.
    – OSHO

  2. Rudra says:

    Dollar Bill you silly brat, thanks for letting us know where you belong – obviously in some overflowing, stinky garbage dump , by the way if you wanted to know – thats where all the ladies i know dump their used thongs and other personal hygiene material. You truly belong there mate – I assume so do your m s and w ?

  3. All religions are a search for the infinite. This search in not done in an ethreal vacum-but down here, on the earth, on the ground. The first step towards the realisation of the infinite is to purge the mind of negative emotions and fill it with love – love of mankind first.
    There is no place for violence and inequity in this search for the infinite.They can never be part of any religion. The presence of these with the label of reigion attached to them can be attributed to flawed interpretation and practice of religion.
    Is the caste system rationalised by the scriptures? To the best of my knowledge-it is not. If i am wrong, i stand corrected. A cultural practice or system need not necessarily be based on religious teachings. Systems and practices are often off-shoots of economic or political order. As Mr. Shekhar’s post says, caste is a political phenomenon evolved in the efforts to institutionalise a great religion which cannot be contained in a man made structure.
    So why this attempt to justify the caste system?
    True, an organisation needs a hierarchy. But hierarchy does not mean a divinely ordained right of any strata to ride rough shod over the others. Besides, one can move vertically in a hierarchy. Ridiculous to compare it with caste system.

  4. Ellen Wilson says:

    @DQ – I think maybe a lot of people feel that way. Maybe. I’m not sure what people think of “East Indians” in the “Midwest of America.” That’s kind of funny when you think of it, though.
    Today I had a baby snake try to bite me. And I live in North America, obviously. I guess I didn’t charm the baby snake. Although I tried. I was trying to get it off the path, because it was sunning itself, and I was worried it would get squished. It simply got mad at me and struck out at my fingernail. I had to laugh, because it was so small. But if it was bigger I wouldn’t have laughed. I would have ran away.

  5. ikima cooper says:

    what do u think would happen if hinduism did not exist

  6. ravindra nath reddy says:

    plz, shekhar dont massage ur views on others.i suggest u to wake one fine morning at 4 am with out previous night meal and think of what u have written u will understand the truth the present generation problem is we come to conclusion tooooooo qiuckly with out actually knowing the problem. be a farmer u will understand the importance of caste system.

  7. ranjeet ranjan says:

    why we have blind faith in whatever said by religious leaders and written in religious books?
    This faith allows cunning people to use others for their own benefit;political & financial, they started casteism, following and preaching to follow.Better if we believe in ‘Truth Is What Can Be Proved’.Anything beyond logic is not truth.And all of us should go for and commit to the Truth. TRUTH THAT CAN BE PROVED BEYOND THAT NOTHING IS ACCEPTED. And of course Following Truth is something preached in all religion.

  8. vishal says:

    one who doesn’t belong……to some sect(only)…
    can be said …………a hindu
    one who belongs to ……………all and every sect……………………..a hindu
    one who doesn’t belong to the above said …both category ………………..a hindu

  9. Aditya says:

    Hi guys,
    Interesting reading!
    Mr Shekhar Kapoor, thanks for your writing and yes what you said is true… its rather easy to say what hinduism is not. I was reading of sanatan dharma, caste system…. what not! I will be certainly sharing my views here about hinduism but there are certain basic facts to remember.
    India from around 200 BC had 9 philosophies being followed or read by its people. the 6 phylosophies of the sada darshan , buddhism, jainism and carvak.
    Lets also not forget the Arthsashtra of Kautilya or even his nitishashtra as Chanakya. I am including Kautilya deliberately as it was him who had actually first thought about the theory of social security system or a concept of a welfare state that has been axcknowledged by modern day scholars of political science. It has been termed as “Yogachema”.
    As far as the caste system is concerned we should first know who are and were called “dwija” in the vedic period.Brahmins, kshatriyas and vaisas were made to go through the ritual of sacred thread ceremony and it was in that ceremony that they were given the first identuty by the guru as ” Thou art that”. The sudras or the dasas too could become dwija too just after performing a small yagna.Without going through the details Satyakam was a sudra and he too became a “Brahman”. So the caste system was certainly not very rigid.
    As far as Jainism or Buddhism is concerned they were based on faith which were absolutely portions of sada darshan. The Shankhya darshan and Yoga were used to give buddhism a phylosophical shape.
    Jainism too has accepted the theories of Sada darshan.The vedas in the upanishad part has acknowledged the contribution of Shankhya darshan
    of Nirakar Bhrahma.There were two sects The vaishnavs and the sannyasibadis.Those who worshipped Vishnu and Brahma were the vaishnav.
    Those who followed the shankhya and Yoga were sannyasis. In reality were they really different? Yascachargya the writer of Nirukta writes that the other name of vedas is “Vrishav”. Vrishav had 2 meanings in sanskrit.One an Ox is Vrishav or more precisely Nandi the mount of Shiva is vrishav and the vedas are vrishav too as they are the “Varshankari” of knowledge or as he says knowledge pours out of the vedas. In Indian mythology Nandi is a “brahman” and a mount is not an animal who carries someone but “brings forth” or upholds someone. So as per Yascachargya Nandi is a metaphor and if you understand the vedas you dioscover the “atmagyan” hidden in the depiction of Lord Shiva. Sop now who is a sannyasi and who is a vaishnav ?
    Judaism, Christianity and Islam all regard Abraham as the ansestor of humanilty. In Yogavashishta Ramayan Valmiki calls Brahma as the “great grandfather of humanity” in the very first chapter. Doesn’t it sound so very familiar ?
    The brahmasutra of Ved vyas and the Qoran both talks of universal brotherhood. Its only in Advaitaism that shankara talks of “universal oneness”
    Tantra is actually of tibetian origin. The eastern India was the follower of Tantra.It was Adi Shankara who accepted Tantra a part of hinduism before he left for the himalayas where he died.
    So hinduism , if it represents something , is only about inclusiveness. Dont we still worship the pagan gods? Each state has its share of rustic beliefs and faith. Dont people of Bengal still worship panchanan? What about the godess of snake , Ma Manasha?
    If we hear the songs of Kali in bengal we would find Kali is just described as the “brahma” and there is a school of thought who believe as nature is femenine so “paramatma” is femenine too. The shyamasangeet of Ramprasad are just a testimony of that.
    Mr Shekar Kapoor, I guess we need not justify anything. Amir Khosru through his writing has already made it known what inclusiveness is all about

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