Hinduism allows you to question your religion and beliefs. In fact there are a variety of different answers to questions like “what is the nature of God”, and “how did the world originate” to which different Hindu lineages gives different answers. All are accepted as Hindu beliefs though.
This contrasts with the teachings of exclusivist faiths, where to question your belief is seen as endangering your soul, and anyone with a different answer to the official doctrine is a heretic. To the Christian or Muslim, questioning can lead to doubt, which leads to damnation.
I recently read a very interesting post by Myownashram, where she talks about being asked the question “what if you are being deceived?”. Needless to say this question came from an evangelical Christian who would not be prepared to answer it himself (after all if he started to doubt it could lead to hell-fire!). Even so, I found this an interesting question.
I will look at these questions from a purely logical point of view, without considering faith and spiritual insight.
Though I had not considered this before, I had considered a similar question “what if you are wrong?”. The answer to this is that being a Hindu adds a spiritual richness to my life, and encourages me to treat others better. Even if I am wrong then my religion is a benefit in this way. If God is good then he would not punish anyone making genuine efforts to seek the divine. If God is not good, or doesn’t exist, then nobody can be sure of any benefit whatever they do.
The question “what if I am being deceived?”. Again a good God would not allow anyone to be deceived and be lost forever. It is possible that there are “benign deceptions”, keeping things from us until we are ready for the full picture, but if we are deceived in this way then it is not a problem.
The only time that “being deceived” becomes a real possibility is if there is no ultimate God, either because there is no God or because there are equally powerful opposing “good” and “evil” Gods (such as the belief of Zoroastrianism). With equally powerful “good” and “evil” forces it is possible for someone to be deceived without the “good” God being able to do anything about it. However, this is not the same as the deception that Christians talk about, with eternal consequences. It would but more like taking a job with someone who tells you that they are offering a great career, but it turning out that they just want to exploit you.
So, from a purely logical point of view it is not possible that we are being deceived in the way that people from exclusivist religions imply. Of course from a spiritual view Hinduism allows us to feel the ultimate goodness of the paramatman, and know for certain that we are following truth.