A RELIGION OF FREEDOM
Hinduism, unlike other religions, does not dogmatically assert that the final emancipation is
possible only through its means and not through any other. It is only a means to an end and all means
which will ultimately lead to the end are equally approved.
Hinduism allows absolute freedom to the rational mind of man. Hinduism never demands
any undue restraint upon the freedom of human reason, the freedom of thought, feeling and will of
man. It allows the widest freedom in matters of faith and worship. Hinduism is a religion of
freedom. It allows absolute freedom to the human reason and heart with regard to questions such as
nature of God, soul, creation, form of worship and the goal of life. Hinduism does not lie in the
acceptance of any particular doctrine, nor in the observance of some particular rituals or form of
worship. It does not force anybody to accept particular dogmas or forms of worship. It allows
everybody to reflect, investigate, enquire and cogitate. Hence, all sorts of religious faiths, various
forms of worship or Sadhana, and diverse kinds of rituals and customs, have found their honourable
places side by side within Hinduism and are cultured and developed in harmonious relationship
with one another.
Hinduism does not condemn those who deny God as the creator and ruler of the world, who
do not accept the existence of an eternal soul and the state of Moksha or state of liberation.
Hinduism does not render the upholders of such views unfit to be recognised as pious and
honourable members of the Hindu religious society.
The religious hospitality of Hinduism is proverbial. Hinduism is extremely catholic and
liberal. This is the fundamental feature of Hinduism. Hinduism pays respects to all religions. It does
not revile any other religion. It accepts and honours truth—wherever it may come from and
whatever garb it may put on.
There are considerable numbers of the followers of other religions in India. And yet, the
Hindus live in perfect harmony, peace and friendship with all of them. Their tolerance and
fellow-feeling towards the followers of other religions is remarkable.
Despite all the differences of metaphysical doctrines, modes of religious discipline and
forms of ritualistic practices and social habits prevalent in the Hindu society, there is an essential
uniformity in the conception of religion and in the outlook on life and the world, among all sections
A RELIGION OF FREEDOM