Hello... I'm a college student in a world religions class, and I'm studying Hinduism right now for my final project. I've read up on a few things about it but part of our requirements is to interview a member of the Hindu faith. So if someone would answer the following questions as fully as they can, it would be a wonderfully huge help to me! Some of them I'm confused about, and some of them I just want to get a human perspective of (straight from the horse's mouth). You don't have to answer all of them, and if someone wants to answer a few and someone wants to answer a few others, that would work too... I'd just like to get an insider's opinion and thoughts and feelings on these things.
So here are the questions:
What exactly is Varna? Is it the same as the caste system in India, and what determines a person's Varna?
What is the Hindu view of people like Shankara and Ramajuna and others who challenged the way Hinduism had always been? Are they revered or thought of as radicals? or are Hindus indifferent to them?
How many Hindus do you think do a daily puja?
What do you think is the most popular "face" of Brahman and why?
How do you understand Brahman? How do you think one achieves liberation?
What is the role of the holy texts in your life?
What is your view (or optionally the Hindu view in general) of women and their role in society, and how they should be treated?
What defining rules or ethics do you think set Hinduism apart from other religions or cultures?
What do you think of other religions, from a Hindu standpoint?
What do you think are the most important things a Hindu can do in his/her life?