Who are Hindus and where did they come from?

Thank you to Chandru Acharya

Who are Hindus?

There are almost 1 billion Hindus in the world. Hinduism does not have a single historical founder or a single system of salvation. It is not built on a unified system of belief. It is in contrast to the western notions of religion. Hinduism can be considered to be an umbrella term for an inherently pluralistic civilizational framework that allows each Hindu absolute freedom to choose his religious orientation and belief system. Hinduism calls upon mankind to respectfully co-exist with others in humanity, who may or may not share their belief system or form of worship. A Hindu could choose to be monotheistic, polytheistic or even an atheist among other beliefs. The “Hinduness” of an adherent is not defined by his personal religious orientation but by his deeds (“Karma”) and pursuit of path of righteousness (“Dharma”).

Where did Hinduism originate?

According to historians, the origin of Hinduism dates back to 5,000 or more years. The word “Hindu” is derived from the name of a river Sindhu or Indus which flows through northern India and modern day Pakistan. The Hindu civilization is believed to have originated on the eastern banks of the river Sindhu.

Which scriptures do Hindus follow?

Hindus generally believe that spiritual laws were revealed to different persons in different times since the origin of mankind. The “Vedas” are considered to be  a collective  corpus of revealed knowledge .The Bhagvad Gita is a very important revealed scripture that most Hindus consider as a divine book of knowledge and guide to living a righteous life.