Who is a Hindu? What does he believe or can he be an unbeliever and still be a Hindu? Why is Hinduism so open to everything and yet driven the same goal to adapt and accommodate everything? What does a Hindu seek? While addressing these questions Hindol Sengupta explores the modern Hindus and the societies they are living in.
In this episode of Being Hindu, my friend Sanjeev Sanyal, economist, historian and the author of books like Land of Seven Rivers and most recently The Ocean of Churn, and I talk about what Sanjeev calls the architecture of Hinduism and what I call Hinduism, the open source faith.
What are we essentially saying? We are arguing that Hinduism is unique because while it sees ‘The Truth’ as absolute and immutable but simultaneously acknowledges that there could be an infinite number of variations and permutations and combinations to approach that Truth.
So Hinduism, says Sanjeev, is like an operating system which provides the basic framework to structure the search and different thinkers, sages, monks, philosophers have built ‘apps’ on top of that architecture, on top of that operating system, building thoughts and ideas that assist people on the faith to knowing the Truth.
In a sense, I argue, Hinduism is an open source faith allowing many ideas to flow in and provides nuances and directions of thought that assimilate and accommodate constantly and consistently.
In this sense, everyone from Ramakrishna Paramhansa to Vivekananda to Osho to Ramana Maharishi was an ‘app builder’ who influenced and built within and on top of the open source architecture of Hinduism.
In this episode, Sanjeev and I argue that Hinduism’s resilience and formidable intellectual prowess comes from this open source nature of its architecture.
About the Author
Hindol Sengupta is an Indian journalist and entrepreneur, who is the author of six books. His latest book ‘Being Hindu: Old Faith, New World and You’ was released by Penguin Random House in November 2015.