In today's world, the word "Hinduism" spells religion. It is even considered to be the oldest religion in the world. When you compare ancient Egypt, the Mayan civilization, or the Norse culture, they no longer exist, or rather they have become extinct. Hinduism is perhaps the only exception. However, Hinduism is not a religion. I know this may sound a bit controversial but this is my own interpretation based on my personal experience.
Perception is to be able to grasp what's there the way it is. If reality enters you without distortion, that's proper perception. Rest is distortion.
Hinduism is a Geographic Identity, Not a Religious Identity.
The word Hindu is derived from the word Indu or Sindhu (referring to the Indus river). You must have heard of the Indus Valley civilization and how it became the basis of what we know today as the Indian culture. The word Indu became Hindu when the land was invaded by the Mughal empire. It was used to describe the land between the Himalayas and the Indu Sagara (Indian Ocean). In fact, India was known as Hindustan (land of the Hindus) during the reign of the Mughal empire. It was a geographic and cultural identity, not a religious identity. Anyone who was born in this land, regardless of their religion or race was a Hindu. For instance, an elephant born in Hindustan is a Hindu elephant. Today, this history has been completely blown out of proportion simply because of belief systems. To define Hinduism as a culture or an inheritance is more accurate but to call it a religion is a limitation.
Bharatavarsha or the Indian Subcontinent is a nation which has faced so many invasions by foreign powers in the past. From the Mughal empire to the Greeks and the British empire, all these conquering forces have tried to invade this land in their pursuit for territorial expansion. You must have heard of Alexander the Great or the Mughal emperor Akbar, Aurangzeb, Mahmud of Ghazni or Emperor Shah Jahan (the one who built the Taj Mahal). All these rulers have tried to gain possession of Bharatavarsha and they did succeed to some extent. Some people think you conquer the world by giving it up. Some people believe in conquering the world. Unfortunately, Indian history as it is taught today in the Indian education system only mentions about the greatness of the invaders. That's mainly because the invaders were the one who wrote history and all they did was write about their legacy. Today, you can earn a PhD in History in England without learning a single line about colonisation.
It is better to expand by embrace, rather than by conquest. It is more sustainable and joyful to grow that way.
Some tried to overwrite history by erasing the past while others tried by shaming the culture. However, they still could not destroy the ethos of the culture, whichever way they tried. Even today, you cannot kill it and it remains a strong and vibrant culture. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a yogi, mystic and philanthropist, and founder of Isha Foundation. I have included his quotes throughout this blog because this is a man who has changed my whole perception of life. He once described India as a "Conscious Chaos."
When you look at all the so-called religions of the world, there has always been some kind of restriction of what a person should or should not do. This kind of a moralistic view puts order in society. It gives people some sense of comfort and 'peace'. But there is no growth in comfort, only stagnation, and this only works until it clashes with another belief system. First, it will start with words and when it goes beyond a certain point, psychological violence will turn into physical violence. So, it's better to be in a state of confusion rather than making stupid conclusions. In confusion, there is still a possibility. In stupid conclusions, there is no possibility.
An atheist and a theist are not different. One believes there is God, another believes there is no God. Both of them are believing something that they do not know.
German philosopher and economist Karl Mark once said, "Religion is the opium of the masses." This is the difference between a believer and a seeker. A belief means you have made an assumption about something that's not yet in your experience. Belief offers temporary solace until we find the strength to seek the truth for ourself. Belief in this culture was seen as a psychological process, but never a substitute for knowing. A seeker is someone who is not ready to settle for any beliefs unless it becomes a living reality within himself. Doubt is good. It means you are searching for truth. Suspicion is sickness. As Sadhguru usually says, moving from religion to responsibility, the time has come!