This of course is always a touchy subject, but made less so in India because Hinduism is so inclusive and non-judgmental. In short, it’s not dogmatic and perhaps that’s why it’s appealing to me. I’ll explain the Gods, sacred texts and the cow in another entry. It’s as important to get the feel of Hinduism. It’s all about proper conduct (karma), plenty of reincarnations to get it right and ultimately enough self knowledge to become one with Brahman, the eternal, infinite. The best part is there is no ‘one-way’. With all the God and Goddesses, there are reported millions, your path to Brahman is a matter of personal choice and you have a lot of options. One is shown in the photo. Every home has a unique worship area used every day, not just once a week. This is not to say it’s easy and a quick learn. Everything has many layers and if you are willing to take the time to peel them back, there are great lessons behind the colorful stories about good and evil.
Hindus would say that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc. are equally valid paths to Brahman, which is pure truth. Remember Hinduism is the oldest religion, has no founder and no central authority. Sound pretty good?
Coming from a Christian background there is a story that intrigued me. By one account Jesus spent the years that are unaccounted for in the Bible in India learning from the great teachers of his day. Clearly by Hindu standards Jesus was well along the reincarnation cycle and turned out to be a fast learner. He left with some good ideas and as they say the rest is History.