Religious / Spiritual Identity
Hinduism is a flexible and adaptable religion which does not impose rigid prescriptions upon its followers. However, there are certain key beliefs that define a person as being a Hindu: A dharmic lifestyle is a spiritual and selfless rather than materialistic or ego-centred lifestyle. The acceptance of Pluralism, recognising that the path he or she has chosen is just one of the many pathways for making spiritual progress, would mean that the individual is open to the idea of others following different pathways including non-religious ones. Commitment can be recognised in the way these ideals become visible in the way they lead their lives. Leading a disciplined family life and showing care for the elderly; are some of the visible signs of commitment being put into practice. Codes of conduct are not set in stone in Hinduism, they continue to evolve with society so on issues like abortion, euthanasia or genetic engineering, Hinduism is open to a more evolved religious view.
Faiths promote spiritual teachings, the process requires set prescriptions. However these prescriptions must evolve to reflect the changing need of society, bearing in mind the central philosophic tenets of Hinduism. Even though the moral codes evolve they are recognised as valid instruments for infusing spirituality in society.
There are a variety of ways in which a person can express his personal allegiance or views on religious matters. This can be through outward signs of wearing a mark, or visiting a temple, gurus or swamis. The life-style they pursue reflects the status of their personal spiritual journey.