Strengths and Weaknesses of Hinduism


All religions have some strengths and weakness.

What are the strengths and weakness of the Hindu religion?

According to my opinion, the strengths are its adaptability, recognition of the potential divinity of the human race, freedom of thought, universal outlook, non-violence, freedom from religious dictatorship and dogma, and reliance on reason to support its beliefs and practices.

—jayantkumar dhruv, india


Dear Jayantkumar Dhruv,

It would be simplistic for me to try to be definitive about the strengths and weaknesses of Hinduism, given the many different approaches to that religion: dualism, non-dualism, Vaishnava, Shaivite, Shaktism, etc. Even among followers of those many approaches, each individual has his or her own version of the approach. Of course, the same can be said of any religion.

And as you noted, all religions have pitfalls as well as strengths, since they are merely routes to Truth; they are not Truth itself. Religions can inspire and instruct, but the individual must do the work of getting back to God, in cooperation with divine grace. Religion is a starting point for many people, but it is certainly not a finishing point. As Swami Vivekananda said, “It is no doubt a blessing to be born into a religion, but it is a misfortune to die in one.”

The important thing for every person is to transcend religion in favor of spirituality, the measure of which is personal experience. Belief, outward practices, reason, intellectual freedom, etc. can be helpful, but they cannot take a person out of the ego, into union with God. Experience alone can do that, and such experience comes only to those who do inner work—devotional surrender to God, and deep meditation—that goes far beyond any particular religion.