What is Hinduism?
Hinduism, one is tempted to say, can be anything to anyone. Hindus themselves
are fond of describing Hinduism as a way of life rather than as a religion.
No one has any idea whether Hinduism accepts converts to its religion. Hare
Krishnas, the most visible sign of Hinduism’s spread to the West, emphatically
declare that they do not view themselves as Hindus. The word “Hindu” itself is
not of Indian origin, and Hindus did not describe themselves as such until the
18th century. Yet, Hinduism’s adherents characterize it as the world’s oldest