(Note: The article is a summary of debate on Devdutt Patnaik’s article on the same subject)
The definition of God In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity , Islam), there is the concept of ‘false gods’ and ‘one true God’.
To follow the faith is to reject the false and embrace the true. This doctrine has expanded itself into left liberal, rational atheistic, thought where ‘no God’ has become the one true God.
Hinduism never had the concept of ‘false gods’.
Every god is valid, which is why even Shitala, the goddess of smallpox, and not treated as a demon. It’s also why Hindus have no problem praying in a church, or mosque. God is seen as limitless, ever expanding, inclusive of diversity . Hence God can be rock, plant, animal, male, female, neuter and even formless. Hence the words used to describe God are bhagavan, one who includes all portions (bhaga) and brahman, one who has infinitely expanded (brah-) the mind (manas).
Unfortunately the philosphy is well understood by Hindus but not followed. That needs education! Not just math & science but also spiritual…
There is another catch there. Our people mistake godmen & babas for spiritual leaders.
Which seems to be quite the trend these days. Belief in persons (who preach about God) rather than idols or books.