Hinduism- World’s oldest living religion
Did you know Hinduism was the world’s oldest living religion?
Hinduism, popularly known as the Hindu religion, is a very mystical religion originated in India. Not a single soul knows when and how did it start or who founded it. It is said to have been in existence since the beginning of the human race. It is considered to be the world’s oldest living religion with more than a billion followers.
What does Hinduism actually mean?
Hinduism means attaining freedom from the material world by purification of desires and finally achieving oneness with god. It is a very diverse and complex religion having millions of gods.
Have you ever wondered how did Hindu religion survived so long?
This is because Hinduism is not merely a religion; it is a shared faith. It is a combination of various beliefs and traditions. It is a culture, a lifestyle and a code of conduct. Hence, some scholars also refer to Hinduism as ‘Sanatana Dharma’ or the ‘eternal way’.
What are the major beliefs in Hinduism?
Hindus believe in many diverse things, but there are a few core concepts on which most Hindus agree. They are:
- All Hindus worship one Supreme Being whom they call by many names. They believe that the universe was created out of God and he is the one who creates, sustains and destroys the universe in endless cycles. Nothing in this world can stand against the will of God.
- They believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world’s most ancient scriptures. They consider the Vedas as God’s word and the base of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
- Hindus believe in the ‘four Purusharthas’. These are the proper goals or aims of human life. Namely,
- Dharma – ethics or duties
- Artha – prosperity or work
- Kama – desires or passions
- Moksha – liberation or freedom from the cycle of birth and death
- Hindus also believe in karma, by which each soul creates its own destiny by thoughts, words and deeds. They believe that the soul takes many births until all the karmas have been resolved and then attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
What does Hinduism stand on?
Hinduism stands on three pillars, which are temple worship, scriptures and the guru-disciple tradition.
Hindus believe in the existence of gods, and that temple worship, rituals and personal devotion bring closeness with Gods.
A Hindu temple is essentially a dwelling place for the gods, where the main god resides at the heart of the temple. Hindus visit temples and perform pujas to gain the blessings of gods and goddesses.
Hindus have many scriptures and holy books like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana. These scriptures contain hymns, incantations, philosophies, rituals, poems, and stories from which Hindus base their beliefs. However, Vedas are considered to be God’s words and given utmost importance.
Hindu scriptures lay importance on love, nonviolence, good conduct and hence define the Hindu path.
Hindus believe that a guru is essential in knowing god. Gurus through teaching personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation and surrender in God guides the disciple on his path of spirituality.
Is Hinduism divided into sects?
Yes, Hinduism comprises four main sects: Shaivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Smartism. They represent a broad range of beliefs, practices and mystic goals, but virtually all believe and accept the core concepts.
Hinduism being one of the oldest and largest religions of the world has no rigid beliefs and traditions to adhere to. It believes in questioning the core beliefs and accepting what one finds true. This makes Hindu religion an ever-changing religion that has changed considerably throughout the centuries and which is still changing in the creative direction.
At Secret Temples you will find information about Hindu temples with mysterious architecture and mind blowing history.