Why I Left Hinduism

Unrestrained Practices

From idolatry to vedic culture, I found many restrictions and inflexibilities within Hinduism which led to me leaving it. Praying idol worship, in its most basic form, reflects the notion of polytheism that is the belief in more than one god. As part of Hinduism, worshipping idols of gods and goddesses was often encouraged and felt obligatory for me. This could make me feel oppressed, suppressed and unable to enjoy creative freedom. I was also stuck in a lifestyle of expected duties, which I was told were necessary in order to please certain gods or goddesses. Furthermore, although I was living within a large Hindu community, it was difficult for me to connect and relate to those around me due to how diverse each person’s interpretations were of the same practices and beliefs.

Lack of Gender Equality

The gender disparity prevalent throughout the religion is one of the most distinct and noteworthy reasons why I left the religion. Hinduism appears to favor males over females in a variety of ways. For example, women are traditionally denied access to religious activities and are more likely to be viewed as unequal to men when it comes to decision-making on religious matters. As well, through its experience of both widows and female pilgrims, Hinduism has demonstrated its disregard for the autonomy of the individual woman. Even in more modern times, chauvinistic attitudes still exist and remain deeply embedded in many Hindu communities. As a result, I felt I had no place and belonged nowhere in the Hindu culture, leading to my wanting to explore beyond the walls of the faith.

Lack of Transformation

Another factor that led to my leaving Hinduism is the lack of any real transformation or innovation in the religion. As Hinduism remains primarily an ancient religion, many of its practices and views are ingrained in tradition and heavily opposed to change. As a young person, I felt stuck in a rut of the same repetitive practices day-after-day, unable to progress and develop my spiritual identity. Furthermore, due to the inflexibility of the religion, it has been slow to keep up with modern society, leaving out many of the people practising it who, like me, also need a different route to connect with and experience their spirit.

Exploring Other Beliefs

My decision to leave Hinduism was ultimately a result of wanting to explore and experience other beliefs. Having lived in an environment of Hinduism my whole life, I wanted to explore the scope and breadth of different religions, cultures and teachings outside of the rigid framework of Hinduism. Similarly, I wanted to push my boundaries, try new things and create my own version of spiritualism.
Seeking out other alternatives made me realise that Hinduism was not the only option for me and that I could practice my spirituality in a more autonomous manner, allowing for self-expression, transformation and personal connections. By exploring beyond Hinduism, I was able to grow, learn and become a spiritual individual that was not bound by certain beliefs or practices.

Finding Balance

The practice of leaving Hinduism was not easy for me; it took me some time to find a balance between my spiritual identity and understanding of the world. During this journey, I cultivated an appreciation for Hinduism but also broadened my horizons and opened myself up to a plethora of new ideas and experiences. As I explored and experimented with different beliefs I began to make connections between them and develop my own set of rituals, practices and views. These experiences allowed me to shape my identity and thoughts in a way that has been far more rewarding than sticking with Hinduism would have been.

Acceptance of Opposites

When I left Hinduism, I developed an acceptance of that which is usually often seen as opposite or conflicting. I recognised that what I was experiencing only showed me different perspectives and that embracing these perspectives was the only way I could truly grow and progress as a spiritual individual. Understanding that the development of my identity was a complex process, I eventually stopped viewing myself as just Hindu and started encompassing other religions, beliefs and traditions in my life. This even includes the beliefs of non-religious individuals, as I believe the importance lies in understanding and accepting all points of view.

Exploring Hindu Rituals

Although I have moved away from Hinduism, I have not rejected the culture or its values completely. I still identify with many of the complex Hindu rituals and take part in some of them when I find them to be meaningful. I have also come to understand their importance in today’s day and age, recognising that many of these rituals are still practised in various different forms. While my spiritual practices no longer look the same as before I left Hinduism, I still acknowledge its role in my past and how it shaped my understanding of the spiritual world.

Exploring Nature

When I left Hinduism, I found spiritual solace in other places, for example nature. The serenity and peace I found when I would spend time in the outdoors was something I was unable to find in other places. By observing the grandiosity of mother nature, I developed an appreciation for all natural elements, finding insights and wisdom in their subtle movements and messages. Doing this taught me to embrace the impermanence of life, helping me reconcile with the changes going on within me and in the world.

Religious Coexistence

Leaving Hinduism has also allowed me to appreciate religious coexistence, recognizing that every religion, culture and belief system has its own place in the world. Instead of having an exclusively Hindu identity, I am now open and much more accepting of other faiths and denominations that can live alongside and learn from each other in order to create a peaceful environment for everyone. Further than this, I have become a part of a global spiritual community, one that is free from judgments and expectations, and one that is based on genuine acceptance and understanding.


The journey of leaving Hinduism and seeking an individual, autonomous spiritual identity also led me to a deeper understanding of myself. During my spiritual revolutions, I slowly uncovered the various layers of my being, understanding that my spiritual growth and development were not something to be restricted by a certain faith. Consequently, I was able to develop a newfound appreciation and respect for the individual forces within and outside me, helping me build a chaotic but balanced identity.

Appreciation of Wisdom

By leaving Hinduism, I created space and time for myself where I could explore, experiment and ask questions without any constraints. Taking this approach allowed me to appreciate the wisdom of Hinduism more, understanding that the relatively conservative faith also had teachings that encouraged introspection and self-inquisition. Through this, I have been able to bring together the values Hinduism taught me as a child with the new, more progressive outlook on life I adopted when I left the faith.

Respecting Differences

Overall, the decision I made to leave Hinduism was ultimately a personal one. It came from a need for deeper understanding and expression of my spiritual identity and was an attempt to explore and learn about various cultures and beliefs. I believe that if we are to break down barriers and achieve a world of peace and understanding, one needs to begin by respecting the differences in others and learning from them as ways of ultimately developing a stronger spiritual identity.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

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