Who is a Hindu?

Hindu 123 (3 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.

Some facts on Hinduism:

Vedic origin and scriptures

Dravidian or Early Tamil belief system

There are seven thinai classifications in Puram, and Akam. Each tiṇai was closely associated with a particular landscape, and imagery associated with that landscape - its flowers, trees, wildlife, people, climate and geography - was woven into the poem in such a way as to convey a mood, associated with one aspect of a romantic relationship. Akam means inside and Puram meansoutside. There are mythical creature like asunam, mighty animal Āli, which kills elephants and lizard and crow omens.
  1. kuṟunji - Mountains - Seyyon or Murugan and valli
  2. Mullai - Forest- Thirumaal or Mayyon or Mayavan and Nappinai
  3. Marudam - pasture Agricultural areas - Indran, Vendan, Great King
  4. Neydhal plain or valley Seashore - Kadalon or varunan
  5. Palai - parched wasteland, Desert - Kotravai( or Kali)
  6. Kaikilai refers to paradesi (person who has no fixed place) or diaspora or overseas or new world or continents
  7. Perunthinai refers to akash (infinite or invisible or ether)
Later reduced to two gods: Seyyon and Mayyon, forming saiavm and vaishnavam. Sangam Tamil people understood two distinct characteristics of Godhood. God who is beyond all (கடவுள்) and the God who sets things in motion (இயவுள்). The King was 'the representative of God on earth' and lived in a koyil, which means the "residence of God".
Tamil Words meaning King and God are: (கோ "King"); (இறை "Emperor") and (ஆண்டவன் "Conqueror") now primarily refer to Gods. During the Bhakti movement, poets often compared gods to kings. Systems that does not use God concept are not treated as atheistic. Like Tirukkural, there are lot of philosophical texts independent of any group, which are universal.

Puranas or histories or stories

The word Puranas means "ancient, old", and it is a large number of tales based on historical facts. They typically contain a complete narrative of the history of the Universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and super human beings and animals. They also deal with Hindu cosmology and geography, as folk tales. There are 18 canonical Puranas, and many stories also called as puranas in many local dialects.
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.
Story telling is a part of Indian or Hindu literature about a wide range of topics to convey ideas. Like all religions, fiction, exaggeration, mysticism and super natural phenomena make stories interesting (like today movies based on history and scientific facts). Historical facts are like many dots. It is not a complete picture. People can join and create as many figures they want. Many times, many individual stories are combined and connected to make a big story.
For example, moon revolves around 27 or 28 constellations and Rohini will the closest constellation in the moon's orbit. Moon is personified as male married to 27 or 28 maidens and Rohini is his favourite wife. Daksha, Chaldean astronomer identified 28 constellations, and he is supposed to be the father of all 28 daughters. Based on this theme, many stories have been developed.

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 few paths.
  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.

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, namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Like Aryan and Dravidian theorey, these are very over simplification of reality. The four varnas can not represent complex systems of thousands of castes. The term Castes, means different things to different Indians. All are part aryan and dravidian. You can not map castes to varnas, as one caste may have people in more than one varna. Varna system had not been rigid, even during Ramayana and Mahabharatha period.
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.

Hinduism in day to day life

Supreme Being

Personal deities and Major Sects

Unification of faiths

Diverse belief system has been unified by many great personalities.
Shanmata is the system of worship, founded by Adi Shankara, to group many deities under six main deities of Hinduism, viz, Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya and Skanda. Sankara stressed the essential oneness of all deities, explaining that all deities as various manifestations of the one divine power, Brahman.
The author of Bhagavadgita integrated various Indian traditions and religions. The Bhagavadgita combines many different elements or subjects such as, Karma yoga, jnana yoga, Sankhya yoga, Buddhi yoga and Bhakti yoga. The document focuses on the immortal nature of the soul, importance of knowledge, duty, order and devotion. The Bhagavadgita is applicable to dharma-based householder life, enlightenment-based renunciate, and devotion-based theist and is not sectarian or addressed to any particular school of thought.
Bhagavadgita is universal in its approach for everyone. All paths lead to God, which is the beginning, middle, and end of creation. The entire cosmos is only a fragment of God. There are many similar texts such as Shiva Gita and Isvara Gita

Why Prayer

Prayer is talking with God, who resides in you. There is no need for any middle person. One can pray any where, any time and in any way convenient to him.
Hindus worship the God though forms and symbols. Infinitely merciful God, acts through agents or representatives.
1) Avatars or Manifestations of God in human or other forms are representatives.
2) Many deities represent different aspects of the one God, Brahman. The images are not needed once you can visualize the Absolute Reality. The creator has five functions to do Create lives, support them during life time, destroy live after the expiry time. But two more functions are Hiding (Maya or illusion) and Revelations.
Hindus pray to or worship:
  1. Devas (natural forces and objects like earth, mountains and rivers; abstract things such as compassion, youthfulness, anger and death; mystical phenomena; and super beings);
  2. Rishis (teachers, heroes, great personalities and prophets) ; and
  3. Pithrus (ancestors)

Rituals

The need for ritual is a basic human instinct, like our need for food, shelter and love. The absence of significant ceremony in our lives will leave us feeling disconnected, insulated and isolated in society or community. Rituals are part of culture rather than religion.
Rituals are like spices added to our food. Ceremonial observance adds lucid layers - depth, dimension, drama and distinction -to our lives, making the ordinary seem special. One need not follow strictly a set of hand-me-down observances, pre-prescribed formulas, or procedures. Nor do we need ordained priest/esses or gurus to design, direct or officiate our important events and passages.
No one practice religion or rituals precisely the way ancestors did 50,000 years ago. We all make it up as we go along. Many of the practices of olden days are irrelevant today.
Ritual can be defined as a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. Many felt that the burden they have to carry because of these rituals, make rituals a necessary evil.
One may feel organization, rituals and practices are evil, but one still do it, because evil is necessary.
To become ritualistic may be wrong, but a little affordable ritual with in your means is just fine.

Evolved religion over time

Karma and Rebirth

UNIVERSE


Languages and Understanding the scriptures

Geography Myths

Biology and Botony

Essence of Scriptures

The core beliefs of Hinduism are actually quite simple to understand. For example, Hindus believe there is only one Supreme Being, Brahman. Life objective is pursue knowledge of Truth and Reality and to strive for moral order and right action. Four facts karma, reincarnation, all-pervasive divinity and dharma are the essence of the Vedas and Agamas and the fabric of every Hindu's life.

Consultant by profession, Engineer by qualification; Interested in great personalities, philosophers, and Hinuism from early age; Love traveling and exploring Hinduism related places and exploring different cultures. Like to research on Science/Technology/history hidden in ancient mythologies of India and the World.
Would like to contribute for changing superstitious and ritualistic social mindset and inculcate spiritual and scientific temper. This is my personal research and views are mine.
God created all human beings. However, a human being can create a god to suit just him.