If we were to bake a Hinduism cake what ingredients would we put into it? Clamour of bells at arati, the waving of burning camphor, pre-dawn chanting of 'asato ma, sat gamaya , yoga, the fully naked sage padding along a road with his water pot and staff, first feeding ceremony, Brahmins with thread over their ears drying off after a dip in the Ganges, the smell of the garlands in Bangalore City Market, Gita, Upanishads. I could go on but finally and ever and always – darshan, darshan of the murti, the teacher, your innermost self in meditation.
Now compare that to the alternative cake of Nyaya logic and disputations concerning the empirical foundation of the fruits of sacrifice offered by Jonardon Ganeri in his note on Hinduism in A Companion to Philosophy of Religion. Falls flat doesn't it? Not that its not an ingredient but it would take a scholar to spot it. It's the sort of hard tack that sustains but barely his lucubrations. The cause of this fallen cake is not hard to discover and its aetiology requires no acute investigation. There is an embarrassment about the relationship between Hinduism and religion, it seems more the province of mad mystics and not the detached logical explorations of the philosopher. How else will the study of Hinduism, if you accept that label, be moved from the Religious Studies Department to the more prestigious Department of Philosophy?