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Hinduism is the world's third largest and oldest religion. Even though Hinduism has withstood the test of time from generation to generation and has such a large following, there are several misconceptions about his religion. The history of Hinduisms can be traced back to 5000-10,000 B.C. There are more than one billion people that consider themselves followers of the Hindu religion.
Most of the Hindus live in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. There is also a considerable presence in other parts of the world as well However, about 85% of HIndus do live in India, and this is why India is also called "Hindustan". The people that follow Hinduism are referred to as "Hindus".
Considering that Hinduism lacks a uniting belief system, there are several uniting elements that bind the followers of this religion. Hinduism has evolved over thousands of years and its' teachings are largely based on the teachings from Vedas. The Hindus believe in one God named as "Brahman" but view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations of Him. Because of this, in practice, Hindus worship more than one God. Most Hindus worship God in the form of an idol. For example, rivers, mountains, trees, and animals that are useful for human beings are revered in Hinduisms. It is important to note that cows are the most revered animal in the Hindu religion.
There are some specific cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated. For example, India is the home of four great religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The parents, teachers, and food in the culture are considered to be next to God and wasting food is considered to be a very bad habit. Another influencing factor is the policy on money. It is believed to be bad Karma to lend money on interest. Acupuncture and acupressure are also vital parts of the Hindu customs.
Hindus believe in the liberation of earthly existence for several reasons. There are four objectives to Hindu life. These are Dharma,(righteousness), Artha, (wealth), Kama,(desire), and Moksha, (salvation). According to Hindu beliefs, material possessions are not highly valued. Yoga, meditation, vegetarianism, and meditation are the best gifts of the Hinduism world.
Another reason that liberation from earthly existence is important is that Kama is a major factor in the Hinduism world. Karma means your deeds. Hindus believe that our faith depends upon our Karma. Simply put, you reap what you sow. If you do bad deeds than you will have to compensate for it in this or the next life. Related to this factor of Karma, is the concept of reincarnation. A soul dwells in every living thing. Body is mortal but the soul is immortal. When we die, our soul enters a new body and the cycle of life continues until we get salvation. The material objects and the ties to earth are not a consideration to the Hindu religion.
Hinduism is a collective term that is applied to many philosophical and religious traditions that are native to India. The traditions consider themselves to be timeless, meaning that they have always existed. The collection of scared texts, as a whole, are know as Sanatana Dharma, " The Eternal Teaching." The exact beginning point of Hinduisms is impossible to determine because it evolved as time and culture impacted the religious ideas of early India. Many Hindus do recognize a large diversity of Gods and Goddesses, as previously mentioned, and this is referred to as the Hindu, "Trinity.". It is important to note that many people believe that all Goads are actually manifestations of one.
There is much that can be learned by investigating the Hindu religion. The simple fact that this religion has withstood so many years of change and outside influences and has continued to be such as highly followed religion expresses the commitment of the people who follow this religion.
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