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Hinduism: A religion that can't be defined
It is quite difficult to make the western world understand Hinduism as a religion, owing to its feature of comprehensive tolerance to differences in belief. Hinduism's openness makes it difficult to define it as a religion according to traditional Western conceptions, says Timothy Insoll in his book 'Archaeology and World Religions'.

Hindusim is not an organised religion since it does not have a single Prophet and one Holy Scripture. According to Gavin Flood, Hinduism does not have a unified system of belief encoded in declaration of faith or a creed, but is rather an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena originating and based on the Vedic traditions.

However, often Hinduism is broadly characterized by an abstract concept of reincarnation or worldly life or ‘samsara’, determined by the law of karma, and the idea of salvation as freedom from the cycles of repeated birth and death, adds Gavin Flood. In India, Hinduism is seen as the oldest living tradition dating back to conventional prehistoric Vedic period and often regarded as Sanatana Dharma or 'eternal law of living'.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, ex-President of India, holds that Hinduism is ‘not just a faith' in the conventional sense but a 'union of reason and intuition' to be 'experienced'. Thus, Hinduism does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion, faith or creed. Likewise, JM Koller also holds that Hinduism is 'a way of life and nothing more'.

Recently, I received an e-mail forwarded to me that had a conversation between a Hindu migrant to the US and a Christian girl to make a sense of Hindu religion. I thought of revisiting my own conception of Hinduism to arrive at the following ABC verse on Hinduism.

A: Altruism or happiness of all or "Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti"

B: Being an atheist or a non-religious person is also being a Hindu - It is a way to life -an unorganized but inclusive religion

C: Choices exist of deities, scriptures and tenets as an unorganized religion

D: Devoid of any one order, institution or controlling authority for all Hindus

E: Evolution to soul-consciousness through multiple paths - an abstract concept without a personal god is the underlying idea

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