Then, we have guys like Sriram, who wants to be called Thiru Ram for he feels Sri is a North Indian word. One of my friends suggested "Thiru Dan" because Ram is also a North Indian name. Therefore ThiruRam isn't appropriate. I couldn't stop laughing.
Self-respect cannot be obtained externally. It is how you value yourself. You become a Buddhist, Jain, Christian, Muslim or remain a Hindu, nothing will change for you. Buddha's teaching is surely one way to reach the Ultimate Truth. But to enter into religious escapade to escape social discrimination is a grave mistake. So is to sell religion as a commodity.
Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti
Truth is unique. Learned people call it different names.
Hinduism is not the name of our religion. It was a name given by foreigners to the people who lived around the Indus - whose religious and philosophical derivations came from the Vedas. According to the Kanchi Paramacharya, His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekara Saraswati Swamigal, our religion has no name. His point was that only if there existed an alternative, you require a name to differentiate. However, the different derivations of the age-old Vedas, encompass all the philosophies known to the world. Just like many stream leading to a river, many paths can lead to God.
To think of God as a human-being is imagination. Tell that to the king of the forest, he will roar in rage. Tell that to a bird, and it will immediately point out that "no way God can't fly". It is required to imagine God. However, it is foolish to cling to the imagination like most Hindus do. To dismiss the image worship, like Buddha and Prophet Mohammad did, shows their spiritual status. But to preach it to ordinary people is highly irresponsible. It is like skipping a few steps in the spiritual ladder. The chances of you tripping and falling down is more than being able to directly climb to the top of the ladder. Foundation is important and image worship serves as a strong basis for the spiritual journey that every man undertakes.