I am reading Shashi Tharoor's take on Hinduism, the following is written:

There are simply no binding requirements to being a Hindu, not even a belief in God.

Could the truth or falsity of this statement be justified with reference to scriptures?

I am surprised this voted as dupe because the answer here itself puts belief in God as disjoint property to being Hindu...


1 Answer 1


No, belief in God is not a requirement. The Samkhya darsana has a branch that is atheistic.

Vijnan Bhiksu, the great expounder of Samkhya, says in many places of his work Vijnanamrta Bhasya that Samkhya was originally theistic, and that the atheistic Samkhya is only a praudhivada (an exaggerated attempt to show that no supposition of Isvara is necessary to explain the world process) though the Mahabharata points out that the difference between Samkhya and Yoga is this, that the former is atheistic, while the latter is theistic.

A History of India Philosophy, Volume 1, Chapter VII, An Early School of Samkhya by Surendranath Dasgupta

  • modern day Hindus are theistic. The Samkhya school you reference is a relic of history. Aug 24, 2022 at 9:03
  • Who are modern day hindus? And is shashi tharooor not a part of jt @Swami Aug 24, 2022 at 9:54
  • The fact that the ancient Samkhya school was atheistic suggests that there is no bar to a Hindu being an atheist. Aug 25, 2022 at 4:38

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