Religion is a very fascinating subject, way beyond the gamut of space our mortal thoughts can think of. Just like music, religion is an endless subject, especially Hinduism. Why i emphasize Hinduism is because it is not a man made religion unlike the newer contemporary religions like Buddhism, Jainism, zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam and finally Christianity.
The peculiar characteristic of Hinduism is that it does not easily lend itself to be fitted into any rigid pattern or framework. Unlike other religions of the world, it does not have one founder, one scripture, or even one way of life. It is precisely due to this reason that it is sometimes dubbed, not as a religion, but only as a way of life or just a culture!
The Truth, however, is otherwise. To know it, to understand it, and to appreciate it, one has to turn to the appellation by which it designates itself viz. **Sanatana Dharma**. Dharma in the primary sense means the Godhead that supports the entire creation. In the secondary sense it signifies any path that leads to it. Santana means what is eternal, infinite and ancient – hence, Sanatana Dharma simply means the path of spiritual discipline that is very ancient and which when sincerely followed will invariably lead to that Godhead!
An unbiased, if not reverent study of the Hindu gods can convince anyone of the rich symbology they represent. Contemplating on them with a proper understanding of their symbolical significance will help us to be raised to more profound levels of spiritual experience.
It is fascinating as it is difficult. It is fascinating because of its exciting variety. It is difficult since it is symbolic. A superficial student of Hinduism sees in our religion and religious literature much chaos and irrational practices which border on superstition.
And there lies our dilemma! Since the Hindu religion, unlike other religions, does not advocate stringent measures of learning and provides freedom for debate, the spiritual essence is often lost in between, its values and guidance is often considered as a hindrance than a guidance, its morals are often considered as impractical than pragmatic and it’s leniency often misconstrued as neglect.
Unless a change in practices and routines occur, Hinduism will not inculcate the required initiation in the younger generation and if left as it is, will perish in this century! A humongous loss!