What is the Definition of a Hindu?

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Wisemarko, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Wisemarko

    Wisemarko Regular Member

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    When I asked an Indian fellow what is the definition of being Hindu, he was taken aback. It took him few minutes of explanation to describe what being a Hindu meant to him. This came with a caveat that other Hindus may describe being Hindu differently. Also, the world Hindu was not even an Indian word- it’s a Persian word for people living beyond Indus (Sindhu) river!

    Religion is a competitive business. It is a relentless process of influencing population and phasing out an alternative.

    Organized religion is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established. Organized religion is typically characterized by an official codification of rules and practices.

    All Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam are highly organized religions. Of these, Islam is organized in a socio-politico-military fashion with uniform rules, regulations and responsibilities while Christianity is organized more on social-political fashion. Judaism, being the oldest of all three is mostly socially and philosophically structured.

    Eastern religions- all remarkably originating in India, are elastic social-cultural norms that never saw the need to be uniform during its ascent. Unfortunately, it couldn’t find the opportunity to be organized during its destruction by invading Muslims. What remained of this is a hodgepodge of beliefs, traditions, literature and identity.

    This is all good and manageable as long it can survive. Lack of rigid rules gives space to new thinking and progressive society.

    However, when such system is threatened, it is not easy to mount a united response. For instance, it is difficult to convert a Christian/Muslim to Hindu but much easier the other way around. In absence of clear rules, it is difficult to decide the response to say a destruction of a temple vs killing of a cow. A mob rule without clear mandate is not a good way to deal with systemic threat to religion.

    Today, Hinduism is under grave danger- not so much from external enemies as nationalism will protect Indian boundaries. But the real danger to Hinduism comes from gradual dilution of Hindu values, tradition, language and cultural practices by coercion, manipulation and influence of other religions- most importantly Islam.

    For instance: When Hindus wish each other “saal mubarak” for Diwali- New Year, a Persian-Arabic combination - for the most important Hindu festival- most don’t even know the correct Hindu greeting.

    To many, this is not a big deal. But it is- as Jewish say, “how you handle small things will prepare you for the big things.”

    Islam understands this very well. A Muslim will greet a Muslim in same words anywhere in the world regardless of their native language. Will follow the same diet, prayer, social rules etc.

    As much as Hinduism is under threat, this is probably the only time in its entire history that almost 800 million people are alive to save it, protect it and possibly prepare it for coming centuries.

    I strongly believe that Hinduism needs to define itself appropriately. There seems to be a clear need to codify basics, establish rules and laws, regulations, duties and long term vision of Hinduism. Geeta is just not enough to compete with bible or kuran.

    A grand conclave needs to happen- May be at the holiest site of Hinduism. Just like in Roman era when they codified Christianity and wrote bible- almost 400 years after death of Jesus. Before that, Christianity was just like today’s Hinduism- with strong followers but weak set of guidelines.

    All priests from all over India, Nepal and even Sikh, Jain and Buddhist monks need to be invited. The goal of such assembly should be to prepare complete architecture of Hinduism. It can follow Romans or even the writers of US constitution in how to do so. But at end of the day, it must clearly define and make every Hindu realize what it means to call himself/herself a Hindu.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  3. HariPrasad-1

    HariPrasad-1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    According to me, all Indians who doesn't believe in foreign theology are Hindus.
     
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  4. HariPrasad-1

    HariPrasad-1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    It took me half minute to define Hindus.
     
  5. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Define foreign theology? The word "foreign" itself is so hard to define.

    RSS could not define "Hindutva" properly after 70 years of trying.

    The current Hindu society has a large amount of foreign influence. The entire concept of idol worship and caste and communal are imported concepts.

    Hindu can at best be described as a person who considers Vedic people as his origin. The key concepts are vegetarianism, primacy of Veda, and acceptance of Vedic culture.
     
  6. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hariprasad ji, panditai is your downfall. You think karmkaand is everything and you forget gyaankaand. Without acquiring knowledge of Veda, karmkaand is nothing.
     
  7. prasadr14

    prasadr14 PrasadReddy Senior Member

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    For me Hinduism means being able to do, say and worship what ever I want, who ever I want and when ever I want.
     
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  8. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    You are trying to define what is and who is Arya Samaji not Hinduism.


    Hinduism is an ocean of continuing and ever evolving living ideas as opposed to a fixed theology derived from a book or code. Even the Sikhism which takes the book to be their guide have no fixity of the ideas. Hinduism is a ever evolving conglomerate of ideas and methods of seeking and not the sought. Hinduism believes in creation but less in creator and that is why there is no final creator Hinduism believes in. Since there in no creator, there is not a book of the creator and no code of the creator. However, there are theories of creations including by that of creator. Nothing, however, is final specially in life - the focal point of all human thoughts. Hinduism is an enquiry into ná ásat, or "not the non-existent" and encompasses the most advanced concepts of "living" or "existing" in its sociological, philosophical, psychological and physical dimensions.

    Nasadiya Sukta :

    को अद्धा वेद क इह प्र वोचत्कुत आजाता कुत इयं विसृष्टिः |
    अर्वाग्देवा अस्य विसर्जनेनाथा को वेद यत आबभूव ॥६॥

    इयं विसृष्टिर्यत आबभूव यदि वा दधे यदि वा न |
    यो अस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्त्सो अङ्ग वेद यदि वा न वेद ॥७॥

    But, after all, who knows, and who can say Whence it all came, and how creation happened? the gods themselves are later than creation, so who knows truly whence it has arisen? Whence all creation had its origin, the creator, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, the creator, who surveys it all from highest heaven, he knows — or maybe even he does not know.

     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    For my English lover Scientist or deemed Scientist friends :

     
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  10. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Your definition cannot apply to a religion, even to a creed.

    The entire objective of a religion is to define a set of rules for a society.
     
  11. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Any concept that changes with time cannot be true.

    And whatever is not true cannot be a religion.

    If Arya Samaj gives you truth then let it be.

    If there is no creator, then there is no religion. Why are you discussing Hinduism then?
     
  12. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    All religions have a concept of God. Christians and Jews have YHWH. Muslims have Allah.

    What is God of Hindus???

    Unless you define God, you cannot go any further.
     
  13. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    If there is a creation then there is a creator. This is basic law.

    A country cannot function without a king. There will be chaos.

    A family cannot function without a father. It can but not very well.

    Unless basics are agreed one cannot move further.
     
  14. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle War Mongerer Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Hinduism isn't a religion. It's a set of Indian cultural groups misinterpreted by foreigners as one religion.

    As for being "organized" like Chrislamists, no. We don't fit into their definition of "religion", our society isn't based on beliefs nor any putrid book is there to rigidly govern our lives.

    We are seekers, not believers.
     
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  15. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Waman Meshram has a very valid point that Hinduism is not a religion. Because it is not. It is a political concept which has never been well defined.

    RSS was very unsure of 2019 election because it's dedicated support based is hardly 15% of Indian population. Even RSS does not know how the other 65% of Hindus will behave.
     
  16. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    I have introduced the term 'Vedic Hinduism' and Vedic Hindu religion. For me Hindu is somebody who lives in South Asia. A Vedic Hindu is somebody who lives in South Asia and subscribes to Vedic religion.

    Vedic religion is very well defined. It has a well defined God and well defined book of law in Veda.
     
  17. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Usually an aspirant is drawn to a religion by its culture. But karm-kaand can never satisfy a seeker. Karm-kaand as its limits as it does not answer questions which come to mind naturally.

    Veda and Upnishad are a large body of knowledge which answer all questions of a seeker.
     
  18. Chatrapathi

    Chatrapathi Regular Member

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    How do u define Hindu when our constitution itself is failed to define it!!
    Don't forget many are hard core Hindus at that time.

    By law: Any person who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew is a Hindu.

    Somebody call Hinduism as Culture but the problem with culture is ''it is not constant means it doesn't have rules''.

    Unlike Abrahamic Sky daddy Hinduism does not differentiate b/w Creator&Creation...That means IF GOD EXIST THAT IS ME. :lol:
     
  19. Violent peaceful

    Violent peaceful Senior Member Senior Member

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    That's a hollow argument ,if a concept can not be proven then it's not TRUE ,but it can be BELIEVED to be true by a group of people(religion) ,so that concept(god) can be changed as many times for eternity .

    Creator is another pseudo name for abhramic certified god , define a creator is he a man ,a woman or a donkey or insect ,until you can prove its just opinion followed by a group and can easily be changed by a bigger or more powerful group or sub group within the original group.

    Can you prove there's a creator?
    If not then people who say otherwise are also true until you can prove otherwise ,not anecdotal evidence but verifiable proof .

    I have seen people fighting to claim "even their religion is monotheistic" ex zorastrians ,even Sikhs are like there's one god ,this argument is laughable as you have to first SHOW that ONE god ,they laugh and try to humiliate people who believe otherwise.(psychological warfare)

    but abhramics through their propoganda campaign make people feel humiliated who doesn't follow a religion based on One god certified by a book based on some prophets who themselves were running around scared ,getting beaten up and hiding from people of those time.

    ABhramic religion is nothing but DICTATORSHIP with the ultimate dictator being the god and it's right hand the one's who interpret or modify according to need the dictatorship manual . You can compare it with Hitler and Nazis ,rewards and punishments .
     
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  20. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Om... creation itself is creator ... because if there is a creator then question arises who created him and there is no end to it.

    You are right because country is a direct consequence of the institution of rulership. But tell us who creates whom? The king creates a country or the country creates a king? It is sociological and political phenomenon. How is it connected with creator and creation ?

    What has that to do with the phenomenon called "creation" ... a family can have a father who has not created that family that is both the family and father can exist without having relation to creation.

    Your concept of creator and his relation with his creation is more of theology than philosophy.

    Yes, hence, Hinduism / Vedas / Nasadiya Sukta says that they do not know if the creation is an act of creator, or creation is self sustaining or there is something in between. They, however, clearly declare that Gods were created and hence they can not be creators. For vedas universe is not a fixed scheme of things. What it is they wish to know ....:daru:

    What is the use of advertising Arya Samaj if one does not fathom the depth of vedas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  21. Indrajit

    Indrajit Regular Member

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    Not really, neither Buddhism nor Jainism have the concept of God and both Buddhist and especially Jain philosophers have had contempt for the argument of a creator God. Parts of Hindu thought has the same philosophical line. The presence of an God as an absolute must is found only in the west Asian religions. Not necessary in India.
     

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