A Practicing Hindu is a person with at least one Hindu parent, or, being born in another religion, has accepted Hinduism. Furthermore it is a person who:
1. Is familiar with the names of: (a) Rama; (b) Krishna; (c) Brahma; (d) Shiva; (c) Vishnu; (d) Sarasvati; (e) Uma; (f) Lakshmi; (g) Ganesha.
2. Enjoys and/or participates in one or more of the following Hindu festivals:
(a) Divali; (b) Shiv Ratri; (c) Janmashtami; (d) Ganesh Chaturti; (e) …
3. Can recite at least one Sanskrit or Tamil Shloka.
4. Knows about the caste system and recognizes his/her ancestral caste with which he/she may or may not identify.
5. Can name at least one language spoken in India.
6. Has heard of (a) The Ramayana; (b) The Mahabharata; and (c) the Bhagavad Gita, and knows its context.
7. Understands that there are many religions in the world which should all, in principle, be respected.
8. Accepts the idea that one can attain spiritual experience (or whatever kind) by following any path that seems to be fulfilling. (Tenet of polyodosism or bahumarga).
9. Has visited at least one Hindu Temple in his life.
10. Knows the meaning of prasad, and has had it at least once.
A practicing Hindu can openly criticize any aspect of the traditional religion, or even renounce his affiliation to Hinduism any time without fear of being maimed, mutilated, or murdered by any religious authority of the tradition.
May 20, 2014