Compared to other religions across the world, Hinduism is said to be the most tolerant one. The trademark of Hinduism is “Tolerance in abundance”. It’s because Hinduism preaches “acceptance of all faiths”. There will only be intolerance if there is a conflict in views.
Hindus are known to be the follower of Santana-dharma. Sanatana refers to “Eternal moral order” while Dharma refers to “righteousness”. So confiding to Santana dharma will take one to “eternal bliss and the right path to self-realization.”
Here are some of the reasons why:
1. There is eventually only one supreme god
- While there might be different paths (teachings), all path lead to the same truth, according to Hinduism.
- Hinduism doesn’t criticize other religions.
2. You can choose your own religion and god
- You have your own beliefs and faith; Hinduism doesn’t seek to change that.
- You don’t have to go to temples compulsorily.
- If you want to worship Jesus or Allah or no one at all, you have that right.
- Though Hinduism asks for followers to chant the name of God to free from materialistic pain, they are not punished for not praying to God.
- Hinduism consists of different ways of worshipping without any selection or elimination.
3. Acknowledgment of other religion
- Hindus are open minded and accept different things coming from different directions.
- Hindus recognize different paths to salvation, just like how you can reach the top of the mountain through different routes.
- Hinduism respects the path to salvation of different religions too.
4. Hinduism is open to critics and criticism
- There will always be criticism from different people, and Hindus accept that criticism.
- For instance, there are intolerant religious leaders such as Zakir Naik who openly berate Hinduism. But Hindus ignore him stating that he is only focused on materialism.
- So that people are not distracted by materialistic distractors, there are scriptures that seek god in materialism.
5. The whole universe is a one big family
- “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (One big family) is what Hindus believe in. That’s why they think they are not competing with any other religion.
- Many foreigners who have been involved in other religions travel to places like India and Nepal to seek spirituality. It is not that the gurus asked them to convert their religion.
- There is respect for different philosophies, symbols, deities.
- Hinduism believes in practicing philosophies and beliefs that make human beings better to coexist with people with different philosophies and beliefs.
- Hindus accept non-Hindus because they think that it is connecting their soul and not their religion.
6. Not only acknowledging, but embracing other religion
- There are millions of deities in Hinduism; oneness and inclusiveness are the soul of Hinduism.
- Hinduism is considered to be this sea where every river meets irrespective of the origin. So, everyone has his/her place in the sea.
7. Conversion is not relevant
- There is no motive of converting other people to Hindus for Hindus themselves.
- The essence of god is for everyone.
- The only need is to connect with the supreme god through your inner consciousness. You can do it through yoga and meditation. So, everyone is Hindu in some way.
8. Everything is god and god is in everyone, according to Hindus
- Following ‘sanatana dharma’ means that you are acknowledging god in everything including every particle, every molecule and every atom of the universe.
- So, everyone and everything is divine. There is no need for hatred, according to Hindus.
- Since humans are the most intelligent of the creature, it is for humans to tolerate and respect everyone, according to Hindus.
9. There is freedom in rituals and practices
- There is no strict rules or dogma. There are rooms for inquiries to quench your curiosities.
- Even among Hindus, there are the different culture of following and practicing rituals.
10. There are more than one Holy Book
- Hinduism has not been derived from a single book like other religions.
- The teachings are also not derived from the single source.
- There are books such as Bhagavad-gita, Vedas, Upanishad to take as points of references to understand Hinduism.
11. There isn’t any prophet in Hinduism
- It’s not because of the single historical incident that Hinduism was born. The religion goes beyond the boundaries of recorded history.
- It’s called “Mother of all religion” because it compasses other religions too, while also influenced directly or indirectly by other religion.
12. Your guests are gods in Hindu
- They say “Atithi Devo bhava” in Hinduism. It means “Guests are gods”. If you are a guest in any Hindus house, you will be treated with respect and love.