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Who is a Hindu?

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Can anyone give me a legal definition of 'Hindu'?

I am asking this because I see that what we understand as Hindus comprise of a very heterogeneous sects of multitude of doctrines, philosophy, way of living (and way of dieing too). Some of these are even diagonally opposite. For example Adi Sankara's Advaita contradicts Ramanuja's philosophy. Ramayana even mentions a Rishi who showed an atheist,existentialist and hedonist views.I heard there are some Hindu sects that bury their dead and not cremate. Their co existence is a more a due to their tolerance to anther's viewpoint rather than sharing a faith. Putting them together and calling them Hindus and meaning that they all have a common religion is due to the typical uninformed half-backed (rather unbaked) perception of the western eye. It is like uninformed north Indians thinking that every one beyond Nagpur is a Madaraasi, unmindful of the huge difference between the four southern states.

It is this false perception that makes one to count all these differing groups together and put a 'majority' tag around their neck when we can hardly come together to defend ourselves.
Tough question. I have heard the following analogy for its vastness. If you took the religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, lumped them together, and called this new amalgamated religion Jerusalemism, then that would be comparable to Hinduism, but even still less variation. But I see this as a beauty, not a problem. Its great to have so many languages, traditions, temple styles. I t adds spice to life within Sanatana Dharma.

Aum Namasivaya
Hinduism is not a religion and it is only a way of life. Unlike other religions, there is no origin date for Hinduism. I hope there will not be any end also.

Whoever follows the way of life prescribed in our scriptures has to be called a Hindu. It need not be because of birth. Lord Krishna lists dos and don't in Baghavat Geetha. I think who ever believes his words and follows the path shown by him is a Hindu

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
Hinduism or more appropriately, Sanatana Dharma is the Truth about all life's connection to the Paramatman.

That is why it reflects the diversity that is the norm in this world. There is not a single philosophical idea under the sun that was left unanalyzed within this way of life. It accommodates everything, with the understanding that both good and evil spring from the same source.

We should never forget that the diversity it allows is it's strength, not a weakness.

I believe that " Being born a Hindu and practising hinduism " gives one a chance to explore and understand Life and its inner meaning !

You can have a Hindu who live's life by Logic or by the handed over rules/regulations by their forefathers without even reasoning behind what the rituals imply / why on the first place it should be performed ( More than 70 -80 % ).

On the other hand , you have a few of them who have their quests behind to understand the tatparyam behind rituals / practices , and to some extent attain satisfaction.... if not moksha ....

Who is a real hindu ? is he the one belonging to the first or second category ??
I think,hindu is from sindu.As invading arabs could not pronounce sindu river,they said as hindu.Then hindustan.Invading traders like french,british,portugese..etc copied arabs,and branded bharathians as hindus.

Actually we are Veda Dharmis.Our religion is Vedam.Practice of Vedam as our Dharmam is the original truth as it is.Rest all is a figment of imagination,which has now become a way of life.A untruth told million times suddenly becomes the truth,has happened in our Indians life.Thank you.

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