How does Hinduism work?
Before voicing my thoughts, a word about myself. I'm Hindu, I'm a Garhwali Brahmin from Uttarakhand, and I have been an unwavering atheist since the age of 19.
I gave up on God when I was in St. Stephen's College. The reason was that I was always begging God for something.
God, get me better pocket money from home. God, get me better marks in the coming exam. God, help me get a girl-friend.
I got fed up with my own begging. Not just fed up, I felt humiliated.
In my eyes, God had given me one similarity with Field-Marshall Sam Maneckshaw. He was India's Commander-in-Chief. I was India's Beggar-in-Chief.
I was always begging God for this and that.
One day I decided enough is enough, I stopped praying, and I have been an unwavering atheist since.
So much so that I won't seek God's help even if I am surrounded by wailing ghosts in a graveyard on a moonless night.
My experience with praying mirrors what my close buddies tell me. They also admit that any time they pray, they ask God for this and that.
My firm belief in God's non-existence qualifies me for my random thoughts on God, religion, and people's relationship with the two.
My situation is this. Though I gave up on God and prayer, if somebody was to ask me which religion I like most, I'll say Hinduism straightaway.
Not for a religious or spiritual reason. But for a visual reason. I like Hinduism because it evokes sensations that are quixotic.
I like the chaos of Hinduism. Everything about Hinduism is surreal. Laxmi with her four arms. Lord Ganesh with the trunk of an elephant. Sitting on a mouse.
Lord Shiva with a cobra around his neck. Our Monkey-God Hanuman. All our Gods come in blazing colours.
Pink, yellow, purple, blue, magenta, maroon, you name a colour, it's there on the image of a Hindu God.
Contrast our colourful Gods with the fixed image of Jesus Christ that Christians see worldwide.
Jesus Christ has Hollywood good looks but he's always shown crucified on a cross, his head fallen forward.
His body looks somewhat starved. A Jesus Christ image evokes a sense of melancholy.
In contrast Hindu Gods are always smiling and they look well-fed. Not just well-fed, they often have a big paunch. Like the Smiling Buddha.
I'm subject to correction, but unlike Hinduism and Christianity, other religions don't allow any depiction of God.
In Hinduism, anything goes. There are no do's and don'ts. Want to pray to a stone? To a tree, sky, a river, snake? Go ahead.
Hindu Gods are not ten, twenty, hundred, or ten thousand. Our Gods number in millions.
Normally you would think that humans who follow a religion wouldn't have a God who sends them to their grave.
But Hindus even have a God of Death, Yumdoot. But they express disapproval of his work by giving him bad transport. Yumdoot rides a buffalo.
Hinduism not only has millions of Gods, it is the only major religion which has seen the birth of a new God. Or Godess, I should say.
This happened some 20 years ago when a silly Hindi movie gave birth to a new Godess - Santoshi Ma. The movie had the same name.
The movie became such a hit that lakhs of Hindu women deserted old Hindu Godesseses to flock to Santoshi Ma temples which sprang up.
Unimaginable! An old established religion giving birth to a new Godess! This has been the essence of Hinduism over the 3,000 years of its existence.
Live and let live. Do what you want. You want to stand on your head? Go ahead. Sit on a tree. Roam around naked. It's all fine.
Hinduism for millenniums was the world's only hippie religion. Modi's regime alas, has changed our Hinduism into a sinister and intolerant creed.
I am not sure of what you want to know. If you want to know about Hinduism then go through the answer posted below.