What is Hinduism?

Hinduism: Some Facts

One of the ancient living religions of Humanity (5500 – 2600 BCE).

It is the world’s third largest religion.

Every sixth person on earth is a Hindu or follows the Hindu Way of Life.

It does not have one particular founder or regulatory authority.

Originated in the Indian Subcontinent.

Sanskrit is the ancient spiritual language of Hindus. The sacred scriptures are written in Sanskrit.

Hindus believe that there is one god who is supreme and omnipresent.

Hindus believe that god manifests in many forms.

Origins of The Hindu Civilization.

It has its roots in the sacred Hindu Scriptures called the Vedas.

The Vedas are believed to be the compilation of collective divine revelations made to Saints and Sages in the Quest of Truth.

Archaeologists have discovered over 2500 sites in the Indian Subcontinent that indicate cultural continuity for over 5000 years.

What is the Hindu way of life?

The Hindu way of life synthesizes spirituality and materialism.

Hindus believe there are four important pillars in every person’s life:

1)      Dharma: Selflessly performing your duties and responsibilities.

2)      Artha: Prospering materially.

3)      Kama: Fulfilling desires as appropriate to various stages of life.

4)      Moksha: Liberation (Self Realization)

Ten Qualities that every Hindu should try to acquire.

Kshama:  Forgiveness or Ability to forgive.

Indrani Nigrah: Control over your senses.

Satya: Truthfulness (Always speak the truth).

Sauchya: Maintain Hygiene.

Asteya: Do not steal.

Akrodha: Control your anger

Ahimsa: Non-Violence

Dhi:  Use your intellect wisely

Dhriti: Acquire patience in personality

Vidya: Seek knowledge

Vasuda Kutumbakam (The entire universe is my family)

We have responsibilities not only towards fellow human beings, but also all living beings and non-living resources.

Every individual has to act in a way that sustains and preserves the Universe.

Human Beings are gifted with the most developed intellect in the living world and therefore need to bear primary responsibility towards other forms of life and resources.

Freedom of Worship

There is no compulsion to worship any particular manifestation of God. Prayer and worship is considered to be an individual’s own choice.

It is widely accepted by Hindus, that it is not who you pray to, but the state of mind and the devotion at the time of prayer that is important. All prayers when offered with devotion reach the supreme being.

Hindus believe god is one, but the paths are many.

Karma: Cause and Effect

Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will creating their own destiny. According to the Vedas, if one sows goodness, one will reap goodness; if one sows evil, one will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent and kind action and response.