What is the difference between Christianity, Islam and Hinduism?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fundamentalist. Far from it actually! I truly believe that religion is just a mode to reach god. Much like the different languages we speak to be understood. The goal being “to be understood”. The language just a means.
So the question is largely philosophical.
What is the difference?
When my Five year old asked me this a couple of days back. A lot of the obvious differences struck me – The festivals, The names by which we call our respective gods, The formalities we observe.
But on deeper thought the one major difference between Hinduism and the other religions I know (I admit I don’t know many).
While Jesus and Allah are regarded as epitomes of perfection. In Hinduism even gods have their frailties. Each one of them have their own unique powers and expertise in their areas of skill but they also have their own weaknesses – Their Achilles heels so to say. For Ganesha – The elephant God, it is food. For Krishna – The god with the flute, it is Gopis and butter. Lors Shiv, is easily angered and a bit naive where giving boons is concerned. Indra is a bit paranoid about his throne, and a conspiracy hatcher. These are just a few someone who knows Hindu mythology well would be able to point out many more.
My knowledge of mythology and religion is abysmal but even from the little that I know it seems to me that though our gods have the power to move mountains and drink oceans. They have their weaknesses. They make mistakes. They are given to anger, pride, jealousy, desires. And this endears them to us.
In effect in Hinduism we acknowledge that no one is perfect. Mistakes are made, even by celestial beings.
Why do we then expect the people around us to be perfect? Our spouses? our kids? our parents? our siblings? our in laws? employees? bosses? friends?
Maybe one needs a few flaws to be perfect.
Within the small imperfections lies perfection!