By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Jan 10, 2014
One fundamental thing that must be cleared up about the Hindu way of life is that with the word Hindu there is no “ism”. Today, the word Hindu has taken on a different meaning because of the so-called Hindutva and certain “saffron” organisations. The word Hindu essentially comes from the word Sindhu. Anybody who is born in the land of Indus is a Hindu — it is a cultural and geographic identity. It is like saying “I am an Indian,” though it is a more ancient identity than being an Indian. “Indian” is only about 60 years old. Hindu is an identity that we have always lived with, that is why we call this land Hindustan and whatever you did in this culture was Hindu. Being a Hindu does not mean having a particular belief system; there is no particular God or ideology which you can call as the Hindu way of life. You can be a Hindu irrespective of whether you worship a man-God or a woman-God, whether you worship a cow or a tree. Even if you don’t worship anything you can be a Hindu. So you are a Hindu irrespective of what you believe or don’t believe.
At the same time, there was a common line running through all these — in this culture, the only goal in human life is liberation or Mukti; liberation from the very process of life, from everything that you know as limitations and to go beyond that. God is seen as one of the stepping stones; God is not held as the ultimate thing. This is the only culture on the planet which is a godless culture in the sense that there is no concrete idea of God in this culture. You can worship a rock, a cow, your mother — you can worship whatever you feel like because this is a culture where we have always known that God is our making. Everywhere else people believe God created us. Here we know we created God so we take total freedom in creating whatever kind of God we can relate to. If you like the tree in your garden, you can worship it and nobody would think it is absurd. You can worship a stone on the golf course and nobody would think it absurd in this culture. If you can relate to that, that’s what you worship because what you are reverential towards is not important; being reverential is what is important. There is a lot of misunderstanding about these things because there is a certain dialectical ethos to the culture where we want to express everything in a story or in a song. But this is, in a way, a science of how to take a human being to his ultimate potential.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, an internationally renowned spiritual leader, is a visionary, humanitarian, author, poet and speaker.