Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Hinduism is not a religion; it is just a way of life. When thousands of seers, prophets were there and they all said something based on the Vedas - The first scripture in the world. And then people had particular norms and they followed the way of life. Our past president of India, Dr. Radha Krishna was asked who a Hindu is. He described a Hindu as 'He who does not put any sort of label on oneself, of being Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Parsi or Hindu is a Hindu, because Hinduism is just a way of life'. I think it was Dr. Radha Krishna who defined it that way. But I would say Hinduism means liberalism. Many ways to worship one truth, one reality. Hinduism has three characteristics. First is the freedom to worship the way you want, any form, any name. Second, the whole world is one family. And third, there is one divinity which expresses Himself in many forms. Only one God but many names and many forms and acknowledge this. God and its creations are not two different things. Like body and mind are not different – One is manifest and other is not manifest. You cannot see the mind, and body does not do anything without the mind. If mind is not there, body is a corpse. So, the spirit and the matter – Prakriti and Purusha - this is what the whole concept is. The whole world is the body of the Divinity. The Divine is in the water, in the mountain, in trees, in rivers, in you, in me, and in everybody. God is not sitting somewhere up in the heaven, but God is the substratum in which everything exists. God is like the space in which all the other elements exist. So, everything is made up of God and is God. This is the basic concept of Hinduism. And good and bad – right and wrong are only relative, they are not absolute. Liberalism – Liberalism means freedom. Freedom, equality are the main precepts of Hinduism.