Child : Mom, you have given me a broad description of Hinduism. Can you please tell me briefly who is a Hindu and what a Hindu does?
Mother : Yes. I have told you various aspects of the Hindu way of life. Now I'll repeat the major points and add a few more important facts. First of all, I emphasize that Hinduism is a religion of freedom. In the recommendations for Hindu way of living, there is absolute freedom for understanding the nature of God, forms of god and worship and the goal of life. Those who accept the teachings of the Vedas as the basis of dharma, follow the rule of conduct as instructed therein, believe in one Supreme God Brahma, consider life to be sacred, practice non-violence (Ahimsa), and believe in the rebirth of a soul (reincarnation), are Hindus.
Also, those who see godliness in mother, father,teacher, and all guests and believe in the holiness of the river Ganges which is considered to be Lord Brahma's blessing to the world, are Hindus. Those who believe in the holiness of cows which are considered as Lord Krishna's loving companions and the providers of mother-like nourishing milk for infants, are Hindus. And those who believe in the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Gayatri Mantra, the supreme and powerfully divine chant, are Hindus.
Besides visiting deities in temples, a Hindu maintains a shrine in the home for regular worship. Home worship is common on a social basis and also when family and friends worship together. Hindus also respect all elders and believe in giving to charities. Above all, Hindus love all religions of the world. Living as a member of the "world family" and praying for the welfare of the entire human race are the ways of Hindu life.
OM -- SHANTIH (PEACE)! SHANTIH (PEACE)! SHANTIH (PEACE)! -- OM