|That we might
have to revise our ideas of Hinduism from colonial, missionary or Marxist perceptions is
without doubt. Yet even those who have embraced Indic
spiritual traditions like Yoga generally find the appellation of being a Hindu to be
unappealing. Being a Buddhist, a Christian or a Muslim seems more universal, even
recognizing that these traditions may lack the diversity and richness of Hinduism.
The term Hinduism has become quite tainted and seldom connotes
anything high or noble to the mass mind. In addition many enlightened thinkers,
particularly from India, believe that we should go beyond all outer identities whether
cultural, national or religious. After all, our true nature is not Hindu, Christian,
American, Russian, or anything else.
We are all human beings with the same basic urges and
inclinations. So why have any religious identity at all? The age of religions is over and
we should be entering an age of spiritual search without boundaries. Such thinking misses
the point that Hinduism is not a credal religion based upon a person, institution or
dogma. Hindu dharma welcomes the spiritual search without boundaries. In fact, its great
variety of teachings and methods provides a good foundation for a free individual search,
which otherwise as an isolated effort may not go far, just as free inquiry in science
benefits from a broad and open tradition of science to draw from.