Hinduism is one of the most adaptable religions worldwide. It involves the belief that no single religion can teach one and exclusive way to salvation above others. Instead, it promotes the idea that all genuine paths deserve understanding and tolerance because they are aspects of God’s light. A basic premise in the religion is that it is impossible to confine the eternal wisdom of divinity and the ages to one single book. Rather than looking to the heavens to find God, Hinduism teaches its followers to look within themselves. In effect, Hinduism is more of a way of life than a religion because it lacks compulsory dogmas or obligatory principles or creed for its followers.
An important implication of such adaptability of a religious system is its capacity to accumulate and accommodate the ideologies of individuals from other religions. Therefore, this religious system is open to the memberships of adherents of other religions. Hinduism features no compulsory dogmas or obligatory principles for its adherents (Tharoor para.3). This lack of particular dogmas implies that the adherents of such a system of faith have hugely varying outlooks, principles, beliefs, and values. The advantage of such a system of religion is its capacity to promote tolerance and diversity among its adherents, which is an important strength owing to the diversity of values, perspectives, and outlooks among people at the individual level. The religion influences its adherents not to judge others or to be prejudiced, thereby promoting tolerance among adherents. The disadvantage of such a religious system is that there are no clear values and belief structures that unify its adherents, such that it is difficult to assign an identity to its members as a group. This is a major disadvantage because of the risk of the religious system losing its core identity over time, such that confusion and a lack of direction may develop among its followers.
This discussion illustrates that as a highly adaptable religious system, Hinduism is open to the memberships of adherents of other religions. The lack of compulsory dogmas in the religion promotes tolerance and diversity among its adherents, but it also promotes the risk of a loss of the religion’s core identity over time.
Tharoor, Shashi. The Incredible Flexibility of Hinduism. Jewish Journal, January 18, 2019.