Hinduism – A Culture More than a Religion!
Hinduism does not have any one founder, and it does not have a Bible or a Koran to which controversies can be referred for resolution. Consequently, it does not require its adherents to accept any one idea. It is thus cultural, not creedal (meaning dogmatic!), with a history contemporaneous with the peoples (society) with which it is associated.
The word ‘contemporaneous’ means – the flexibility to accomodate the growing or changing needs of the society. Unlike ‘fundamentalism’ that is rigid, Hinduism does not impose anything compulsorily on its followers! In fact, even in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains every aspect that needed to be explained to Arjuna – but, the choice was given to the no longer ‘disillusioned’ warrior Arjuna to accept or not the teachings of Lord Krishna. That is the essence of Hinduism – it is contemporaneous!
Writings we now categorise as Hindu scriptures include not just books relating to spirituality but also secular pursuits like science, medicine and engineering. This is another reason why it defies classification as a religion per se. Further, it cannot be claimed to be essentially a school of metaphysics. Nor can it be described as ‘other worldly’. In fact, one can almost identify Hinduism with a civilization that is flourishing even now.
This aspect – Why Hinduism is referred to as a Way of Life – is well explained by Swamiji in this video attached.