Who can be a Hindu?
Anyone who follows the Hindu way of life can be a Hindu. However it is advisable to find a teacher or Guru for initiation, but is not compulsory.
What will be my caste?
A caste is redundant in today’s society. It is not necessary for performing any religious ceremonies. A caste is currently used as a marker for administrative purposes. Caste denotes a person’s occupation from which he earns his livelihood. A child therefore has no caste till he grows up and takes up an occupation.
What will be my Gowtra?
In ancient times, a student lived and studied under one sage till he finished his education. He was therefore affiliated to the sage and got his Gowtra (the cowshed that he serviced). A Gothra in today’s parlance would be the name of a teacher who has had the most influence in your life. When asked for a Gothra, tell the first name of that teacher.
Why do we have many Gods?
As all the rivers merge into the ocean, prayers to the different Gods go to the one supreme God.
It is your choice to pick the one that you like to follow and build their qualities in you. For example if you are a soldier and you are in the battlefield charging at your enemy.
If everybody chants Harharmahadev! And goes to the battle, you are inculcating the qualities of Shiva the destroyer in you. If you are starting a business enterprise, you start by praying to Lord Ganesha to remove any doubts in your mind because Lord Ganesh removes obstacles from your path.
If you are a businessman and you want money to flow in, you will pray to Lakshmi devi. If she smiles on you, she rains wealth and prosperity on you. If you are a student and are joining a school or preparing for an exam, you pray to Saraswati to bestow Vidya (Correct Knowledge and clarity) on you etc.
Who is the original God?
Adi-Shakti or also known as Parashakti is the original creator of the universe according to Devi Purana. She is the supreme God.
To manage this universe, she split herself into Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. Then she again split herself to Saraswati to be the consort for Brahma, Lakshmi to be the consort for Vishnu and Parvati to be their consort of Shiva.
Brahma is entrusted to play the architects role to design and create the world. He created the earth, The entity Time, The 4 yugas and all the creations in the world
Vishnu was entrusted with the role to manage the world.
He took different reincarnations such as Matsya (Fish), Kurma (Turtle), Varaha (Boar), Narasingha (half lion-half man), Vamana, Parasurama, Ram, Krishna, Budha, Kalki (yet to come) .
Shiva is entrusted to destroy creation to make way for pro-creation.