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Who is a Hindu?

There is no single central authority or any certification mechanism to declare one as a HINDU. One just have to be true to oneself. Only issue is social acceptance by fellow Hindus.

Three Basic Principles

  1. ஒன்றே குலமும் ஒருவனே தேவனும்| 
    நன்றே நினைமின் நமனில்லை நாணாமே 
    சென்மே பகுங்கதி யில்லைநுஞ் சித்தத்து | 
    நின்றே நிலைபெற நீர்நினைந் துய்மினே. - திருமந்திரம் By Thirumoolar
    Above text means: Only One race/community and one God. Think good, not only for you but also for every one. This is the only way for salvation and to eliminate fear of death. Let your mind be filled with good thoughts only. These verses unite the divided humanity instead of dividing the united Supreme Being!
  2. ஓம்பூர்ணமத: பூர்ணமிதம் பூர்ணாத் பூர்ண முதச்யதே
    பூர்ணஸ்ய பூர்ண மாதாய பூர்ணமேவா வஸிஷ்யதே
    ஓம் ஸாந்தி : ஸாந்தி : ஸாந்தி : [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad]
    Above text means: Poornam means ever full, whole, complete or infinite or Perfect. God or ultimate reality is Poornam or ever Fullness. From Fullness comes infinite beings, which is also Fullness or made up of same divine essence. Taking Fullness from Fullness, Fullness Indeed Remains and infinite reality remains the same unaffected and unchanged. (poornam also mean both full and void or zero)
    Let there be peace be in all three realms: surroundings, body and mind OR self, you and everyone
  3. அன்பும் சிவமும் இரண்டென்பர் அறிவிலார் |
    அன்பேசிவமாவது யாரும் அறிகிலார்
    அன்பேசிவமாவது யாரும் அறிந்தபின் |
    அன்பேசிவமாய் அமர்ந்திருந்தாரே - திருமந்திரம் By Thirumoolar
    Above text means: Only the ignorant will think that love or compassion and God (Sivam) are two different things; only few really understand that Sivam is nothing but love; once everyone understands that Sivam is nothing but love, everyone will become saintly or become Siva (God).
    Tara the Tibetan and Hindu Goddess of compassion, originated as a Great Goddess and the Mother Creator. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be even stronger than a mother's love for her children.

What is Hinduism?

Puranas or histories or stories

The word Puranas means "ancient, old", and it is a large number of tales based on historical facts. They also deal with Hindu cosmology and geography, as folk tales. Based on historical facts, Epics or Kavya like Mahabharata and Ramayana, have been developed over a period of time. They are made up of many large or small incidences in the form of stories with the main central theme. Both of them teaches no matter what, dharma or righteousness always wins. The stories involve family feuds, Dangers of gambling, craving for others wealth, Sex and violence and good against evil.

The Four Paths Of Yoga

There are four main paths of Yoga, suited to a different temperament and taste or approach to life. Most of the hindus may follow more than one path.
  1. Jnana yoga is the Path of Knowledge or intellectual way or contemplation. One uses mind to understand self, nature, dharma (order) and relationship with supreme being.
  2. Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action. It purifies the heart by teaching you to act selflessly. Do good and Work is worship.
  3. Bhakti Yogi is surrendering to almighty God, who is the embodiment of love. Through prayer, worship and ritual one can realize God. God, our creator will take care of every thing.
  4. Raja Yoga is the science of physical and mental control. It also includes all methods which helps one to control body, senses and mind.

Hinduism in day to day life

Supreme Being

Freedom to Worship GOD in any form

Shanmata is the system of worship, to group many deities under six categories: Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya and Skanda. Many saints have stressed the essential oneness of all deities, explaining that all deities as various manifestations of the one divine power, Brahman.

Caste and other divisions

Indians are more than thousands of tribes, with so many invading and immigrant tribes. Aryans and dravidian theory is over simplistic and is not very useful to group thousands of tribes in to 2 categories. Every tribe is both aryan and dravidian.

Castes or jatis meaning birth, are are complex social groups to fit in to any model. Varna, a theoretical model may be translated as "class," and refers to four social classes. The four varnas can not represent complex systems of thousands of castes. The term Castes, means different things to different Indians, and one can not map castes to varnas. These divisions are more to do with Indian society rather than any religion. So Indian converts to other religion still live with the caste system. Divisions like clans, race exist in all societies in the world, irrespective of religion they follow.

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