To call Hinduism a set of cultural norms is to misunderstand it- The New Indian Express

To call Hinduism a set of cultural norms is to misunderstand it- The New Indian Express

Imagine life as swimming through a vast ocean of joy, love and fear. We live together in its beautiful but frightening depths, trying to survive its many powerful and constantly changing currents. There is love, connection and immense happiness in the ocean. But there is also fear. Fear of death, hunger, loss, as well as fear of pain, insignificance, and failure. Life is our collective journey through this beautiful ocean. We are all swimming together. It is beautiful, but it is also frightening because nobody has ever survived this vast ocean we call life. And nobody ever will.
A person who has the courage to overcome her own fear so that she may observe the ocean truthfully is a Hindu. To call Hinduism a set of cultural norms is to misunderstand it. To bind it to a particular nation or geography is to limit it. Hinduism is how we mitigate and understand our relationship with our fears. It is a path towards the realisation of truth and though it belongs to no one, it is open to anyone who chooses to walk on it. 
A Hindu looks at herself and everyone in this ocean of life with love, compassion and respect because she understands we are all swimming and drowning in exactly the same waters. She reaches out and protects all the beings around her who are struggling to swim. She is alert to even the most quiet anxiety, the most silent scream. This action and duty to defend others, especially the weak is what a Hindu calls her Dharma. Listening for and acting on behalf of the world’s invisible worries through the prisms of truth and non-violence.
A Hindu has the courage to look deeply into her own fear and to embrace it. She learns to turn her fear from an enemy into an intimate friend that guides and accompanies her through life. She is not a victim. And never ever allows her fear to capture her and turn her into a vehicle for anger, hatred or violence. 

A Hindu knows that whatever knowledge exists, springs from the collective will of the ocean. It is not her property alone. She knows things are constantly evolving in the currents and that nothing ever stands still. She is bestowed with a deep sense of curiosity, one that ensures she never closes her mind to understanding. A Hindu is humble and is always ready to listen and learn from any being that swims in the great ocean.
She loves all living beings and accepts that each one of them has the right to choose their own path to navigate and understand the ocean. She loves, respects and accepts all paths as if they are her own.

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