Founder of Hinduism
Hinduism was not founded by any one individual. Hinduism believes that God is behind all eternal principles and empowers their functioning. Swami Vivekananda said that Hinduism teaches principles. He was against organized religion.
Hinduism’s foundation lies in the eternal principles called vedas. These were formulated by ancient sages and seers. Vedas have their roots in the Sanskrit word ‘ved’, which means knowledge. Hinduism is therefore known as Sanatan Dharma (eternal religion). In fact, there is no mention of Hinduism in the Hindu scriptures.
No Conversion in Hinduism
Hinduism is not prophet-centered like some other religions. You do not have to convert to Hinduism to follow or appreciate its principles. This would be like stating that the rules of Physics will only apply if you convert to the religion of Physics. Hindu rituals and ceremonies only serve to cultivate spirituality. They can be discontinued when one reaches advanced states of spirituality.
As mentioned earlier, since Hinduism was not founded by any one prophet, its foundations are not dependent on historical evidence. The vedas contain all the knowledge required for humans to attain perfection and get liberated.
Who is a Hindu?
A Hindu has the freedom to worship any saint of any religion or country. In fact, many Hindus are known to frequent churches and mosques to find solace and comfort.
Is Hinduism Pantheistic?
Swami Vivekananda says that in every temple, be it devoted to any deity, the priest chants all of God’s attributes to the deity. Thus, though Hindu gods may go by many names and characteristics, they are all incarnations of one absolute God.
Hinduism makes extensive use of idols and images. Such imagery is useful to keep in mind when one is chanting or meditating. Hindu temples contain images and idols of Gods and Goddesses. Ritual worship of these images serves to imbue spirituality in the common man. As mentioned earlier, once an advanced stage of spirituality is attained, such idol worship and rituals can be dispensed with.