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Do you know the philosophical tenets of your religion and more importantly, do you agree with them??

Or do
you just take pride ( ...) in being aHindu (or Muslim, or Christian, or Sikh, or Parsi) knowing fully well
that it was a mere statistical accident that you got born in this family of yours. Now don't confuse rituals with
philosophy. For example, reciting shlokas and worshipping ( ) in the prescribed
manner does not make you a better Hindu. Have you ever tried to find out what makes your religion,
philosophically different from others?
Let us make a beginning. Let's identify the main principles of Hinduismand I would request my friends from
other religions to inform us "bullet points" of what their religion's philosophy is!
1. Rebirth: ( ): A person is reborn, depending on his deeds of the previous birth. The highest
form of birth is as a human being but as a mark of punishment for your bad deeds, you could get
reborn as a cocroach or a dog or whatever...

2. Salvation: (): Everyone should aspire to behave so well in a particular birth that he / she gets
out of this cycle of rebirth. You would have then achieved the final salvation. Rebirth is thus a
"reward - punishment" mechanism.

3. Principle of non - duality ( ): Hindu philosophy postulates that everything in this world is a
part of the same entity; it even extends this logic by stating that the "creator" ( ) and the
"creations" ( ) are one & the same thing. According to this tenet, there is thus no point in
hating others - they are really a part of yourself - does the right hand ever hate the left hand??

4. Destiny (): Our destinies are pre-written by the creator and we are mere pawns on a
chessboard playing out our life as decreed by HIM (GOD is always a male). Is this why we Hindus
are a laid back lot, convinced that we can't change what is pre-ordained for us?

5. Extreme Tolerance: Hinduism should really be a delight to all modernists who value their
independence above everything else -[a] it admits that their could be other paths leading to
GOD; [b] it gives complete liberty to its followers to choose any GOD of his/her choice & their are
many to choose from; [c] it does not have strict dress or appearance codes; [d] it allows you to use
your own methods of worship; [e] it does not want to 'market' itself and spread amongst those who
do not belong to its fold; [f] it is so liberal that it even sanctions atheism as a legitimate pursuit.

6. Living life "fully": It decrees that the four life stages viz (before marriage)

(married life and raising a family), ( delegation of authority to children and

spending time in contemplation) and finally (detatchement from family and renunciation of
worldly pleasures), have different objectives and need to be lived and enjoyed fully and robustly.

7. Fully concentrating on the process of achieving your objectives without excessive
botheration about the end result: This is the famous teaching of Bhagwadgita (
). A person is called upon to perform different duties in different life stages and
these thoughts should really be his guiding principles.
Now this is what Hinduism stands for. Truthfully, I would personally agree to only 5, 6 & 7 of the above. Next
time I am filling up a form which asks me to state my religion, I should honestly write 40% Hindu (3 upon 7).