We often hear and say ‘I am a proud Hindu’ , ‘Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life for me’ and so on. But what is there in Hinduism to be proud of ? Are we proud Hindus just because we are born in a Hindu family? Or because there is a superiority complex that because I am born in a Hindu family that’s why this religion is great. While there are many apologetic and ‘Sickular’ Hindus, who take pride in bashing Brahmins and Hinduism, there are many proud Hindus like me who understand the greatness of world’s most ancient religion i.e., Vedic Sanatan Dharma (Hindu Dharma). There are not one or two but enormous reasons to take pride in being a Hindu.
Here, I’m explaining some of the reasons, Why I am a proud Hindu?
✒️It is the most ancient living religion.
Hinduism is a very ancient tradition. Some of its beliefs and practices date backs to prehistoric times. Probably, the present day Hinduism contains some elements and aspects of the religious beliefs and practices of the Indus civilization. Hinduism is the only continuing tradition in the world with such diversity, complexity and wide following. The Vedic civilization is believed to be at least 4000 years old. While we do not know when the first Rigvedic hymns were composed, historians believe that some of the hymns may be as old as the Indus civilization, or even older. Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and many folk traditions, ascetic traditions and schools of philosophy that are today part of Hinduism may also be older than the Vedic religion.
✒️Hinduism – Enlightened Way of Life
Vedas themselves assert that one should not be bookish in exploring truth. Even so-called books of Vedas are not to be trusted blindly. Vedas assert that the wisdom of Vedas is already embedded inside our thought process. And human life is an opportunity to extract that wisdom out through rational thinking, noble actions and positive emotions. Vedas – as books – are supposed to simply assist this process.
✒️You have the freedom to choose your path and methods of worship.
In Hinduism you are free to choose your beliefs and your path. You are not under any obligation to choose your methods of worship or forms of God. You have complete freedom to worship God according to your nature and disposition. You may choose the formless, highest God, or God with forms and aspects. You may worship your own Self as your personal deity. You may also worship numerous gods and goddesses, and make offerings to them through rituals and sacrificial ceremonies. You can pick any deity in the pantheon, and make him or her the highest, Supreme Self. You are also free to choose your methods of worship, whether you choose right hand methods or left hand methods, and whether you prefer physical worship, mental worship, or spiritual worship. In formal ritual worship you have to follow strictly the procedure suggested in the scriptures and may need the help of trained priests, but in informal, domestic worship you can choose your own prayers and methods of worship.
✒️Hinduism – Honest Liberal Way of Life
I am not sure if one can be a Muslim if he outrightly rejects Quran, or one can be a Christian if he outrightly rejects Bible. But yes, one can be a Hindu even if he outrightly rejects the Vedas, so far he has done so with best of his intent and intellect.
To be a Hindu, you don’t need certificate from any temple, church or mosque. You need not recite any verse. You need not believe in any particular God or book. You simply have to be honest to yourself.
✒️It recognizes female goddesses and gender equality.
In Hinduism, there is no difference in the spirituality of men and women. Souls have no gender, and they may change their gender from birth to birth according to their desires and karma. There is a clear discrimination in Hinduism against women in religious duties and householder responsibilities, but no such discrimination exist in spiritual matters. Women are free to pursue religious or spiritual knowledge and seek their liberation. Further, in no other tradition the Supreme Being is perceived as a goddess, or creation and existence are viewed as the combination of male and female principles. The Indus people worshipped the Mother Goddess. Vedic people worshipped numerous goddesses, and the tradition continues. Every god in Hindu pantheon has one or more associated goddesses. The Supreme Self is described in the scriptures as passive witness consciousness, will and pure intelligence, while the Goddess as the active, transformative, energy principle. They are also known as Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha is the enjoyer, the owner of the field (kshetrajna) and Prakriti is the enjoyed, the field (kshetra). Their union results in the diversity of the worlds and beings.
✒️Hinduism – synonym of practical tolerance
That takes us to the next reason why Hinduism is source of my pride. Hinduism is all about tolerance. Since each one of us has to individually take up the journey of personal discovery, and each one of us is a different being, Hinduism acknowledges that paths we choose are bound to be different. So far there is no threat or deceit involved, Hinduism encourages to respect diversity of beliefs and ways of living.
A so-called non-Hindu is not supposed to live like a second class citizen in a Hindu Rashtra or Hindu nation.
That is why since time immemorial, Hindustan or Bharat or Aryavart or India has been the cradle that nurtured a variety of theologies. There are no separate rules for Hindu, Muslim or Christian in a Hindu code of conduct. This is in stark contrast with many religions that clearly state that only followers of their set of superstitions are the special ones.
✒️You have the opportunity to lead a holistic life and enjoy it.
Hinduism encourages you to be like God and live like God upon earth and enjoy your life pursuing the four chief aims, namely virtuous duty (dharma), wealth (artha), sexual pleasure (kama) and liberation (moksha). The four aims ensure that you lead a holistic life and satisfy your carnal, material and spiritual needs without having to abandon any of them. Your life is divided into four phases based upon your duties that are specific to each age. They ensure that you age gracefully and dutifully, and in the process fulfill your obligation towards yourself, others, and God. Whether you choose to be a householder, a renunciant, or a spiritual recluse, your purpose here is to overcome the suffering and the limitations of human life and experience the blissful existence of the Supreme Self in the human body.
✒️Hinduism is the most popular non-proselytizing religion which has survived in spite of it, to this day withstanding onslaughts from other missionaries.
Except Hinduism and Judaism, all of the other major religions of the world carry out active missionary work. Hinduism inherently accepts that there is no “One Truth”, there are many truths in this Universe, each as true as the next. A popular Hindu line of thought runs thus: “Just like many rivers reach the ocean, there are many ways to reach God”. For how could a religion with such a vast diversity in its own traditions purport to uphold “one true way”?
Hinduism is not about converting non Hindus, Hinduism is not about killing non Hindus in the name of religion, Hinduism is not merely a set of beliefs, Hinduism is a science, it is way of life.
I’m Not Merely A Hindu By Birth, I’m A Hindu by Choice !