Yesterday my son out of the blue asked me a question- ” What does Hindu mean?”. My son is now almost 6 years and being in India and not knowing what Hindu means is quite an achievement I think. He is truly a global citizen- though born to Indian parents in India, he has hardly been in India for most of his life. He has been globe trotting ever since his birth. For him his mother tongue is English and he is a human being- that’s all he knows and this knowledge has been enough for him till now.

So I was quite surprised with the query and I asked him why did he need to know this. His prompt answer was – “My friend downstairs said she is a Hindu and she wanted to know what I was”. His query set me thinking- what really was being Hindu all about. Is it because I visit temples or fold my hands while praying? Or is it because we follow Bhagwat Geeta? I was not sure what exactly being an Hindu entailed except for differences in the ways we worship to God. And not to forget different names for what we call God in itself.

When I think about it God created man and its man who for his selfish interest created a divide and created religion. Is religion anything more than few practices and rituals we follow to worship the divine power?  God would definitely not create a divide among humans because they express themselves differently. And if he is so fickle will he really be the divine power.

Yet here we are fighting over “Gods” and so called religion. The religious divide is such a big reality globally that even a 6 year needs to know what they are. My son doesn’t know and that knowledge has helped him being a better human being I think.

Maybe its about time we re-examine these man made fickle boundaries and create a world that’s safer and more tolerant for future generations to live.



One thought on “What does Hindu mean?

  1. A very beautiful thought indeed
    Even my daughter is six and she also so far doesn’t know anything about religion.thankfully for me..she still has not felt the need to know her religion or caste .but I amso sure that in near future this topic will be introduced to her in their school syllabus and then there would be no escape for me too.I think it has to do with our upbringing and education.people like us do know our religion well but we are tolerant to others and live in harmony.Its good if this kind of separation can be wiped out but it’s more important to imbibe the correct values in our kids so that they realize that they have to know about their religion only to answer such queries or to fill in the official documents.

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