When one thinks of religion, the first thing that comes in mind is a specific set of rituals and practices specific to the followers of that religion. For example, Muslims have a specific language for Namaz and Azaan, or would keep beard in specific manner, or would have a specific variety of cap and clothing and so on. A Christian would wear a cross around his neck, or get baptized in a particular format.

In case of Hinduism as well, there are several rituals. In fact there are many more rituals, symbols and words in Hinduism than any other religion. That is what gives India its vibrant colors, its rich cultural heritage and makes it the most lively and diverse country in the world.

But there is a big difference. In Hinduism, no symbol, ritual or word is static in time or place. These change with time and place. So a Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati or Bihari Hindu would have different prayers, different religious symbols, different ways of worship. In some other religion this may amount to blasphemy and call for strict punishments.

But in Hinduism this is not merely accepted but encouraged. Because they would all point to same essence of seeing Supreme within all and all within Supreme. Since He has infinite qualities, the ways to explore, celebrate or remember Him must also be infinite.

This is what makes India so dynamic. This is what brings unity in diversity. This is exactly the reason why India is so culturally rich. Our rituals, symbols and prayers change from place to place and time to time and yet we direct them to One. This is what makes Hinduism so fresh, so evolving, so purposeful, so practical.

In fact the name Hindu itself is time-bound. The word does not exist in Vedas, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Upanishads or any other scripture. It is a word of recent origin. However, the essence is same – to adopt the roots of enlightened living.

Since Hinduism is the oldest and natural religion of every human being, there was never a reason to have a special word for the religion. Manushya Dharma or Maanav Dharma (Humanity) is the more accurate term for Hinduism. Or Arya (noble person) is a good term.

For ages these terms sufficed followers of natural human religion. It was only after people started following a specific book or God or prophet that they found the need to discover new terms to identity their cults.

And then the culture of giving names to religions erupted. So Hindu became a term to differentiate from anyone who considers disbelief in a particular book as a sin.

But irrespective of that, and regardless of whether we call ourselves Hindu or Arya or Humans or Rational Humans, we still focus on essence over symbols. Love of mother is same regardless of whether you call Amma, or Mummy, or Maa.

There is no sin in choosing a different name for mother or mother religion or mother philosophy. Fools fight over symbols. Hindus love for essence.

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Disclaimer:  We believe in "Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam" (entire humanity is my own family). "Love all, hate none" is one of our slogans. Striving for world peace is one of our objectives. For us, entire humanity is one single family without any artificial discrimination on basis of caste, gender, region and religion. By Quran and Hadiths, we do not refer to their original meanings. We only refer to interpretations made by fanatics and terrorists to justify their kill and rape. We highly respect the original Quran, Hadiths and their creators. We also respect Muslim heroes like APJ Abdul Kalam who are our role models. Our fight is against those who misinterpret them and malign Islam by associating it with terrorism. For example, Mughals, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and every other person who justifies sex-slavery, rape of daughter-in-law and other heinous acts. Please read Full Disclaimer.