In article <email@example.com> kmanoj@po.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Manoj Khiani) writes:
> Well, as you may or may not know, Hinduism is polytheistic. Many gods,
> I think, personify similar attributes.
I prefer to avoid the term Hinduism precisely for this reason.
I don't know what you mean by it. Certain people who are considered
Hindus are polytheistic; others are not. Others are atheists, others
are animists, others perform ancestor worship.
Let's deal with a real religion -- say the religion of Bhakti, or
better yet, take Vaishnavism, a religion that exists all across
India. People who call themselves Vaishnavas are very clearly
monotheists. Same for strict Saivas. What's more, it is much easier
to identify the beliefs, practices, and religious texts of Vaishnavas
than it is of "Hindus". Why have we succumbed to adopting a vague term
foisted upon our people (who are exceedingly diverse) by outsiders?
I believe this topic merits discussion. In essence, what I am trying
to say in a non-inflammatory manner is that the term "Hindu" means
very little compared to "Christian", "Jew", or "Muslim". On the other
hand, the terms "Animist", "Vaishnava", "Saiva", "Advaitin", mean
a heck of a lot more. In many cases, a Vaishnava and Saiva have as
much in common as a Christian and a Muslim living in Lebanon, i.e.,
the overall culture and language may be similar, but the religious
beliefs and practices are starkly different.
[Moderator, please inform me if you have rejected this article
as being anti-Hindu. Thank you.]