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A Primer on Hindu Religion and Beliefs

A Primer on Hindu Religion and Beliefs

Hindu Religion is the world's oldest faith. It was followed by the ancient civilization of the Indus valley, Ganges valley, Deccan and Cauveri delta, as well as other parts of India all over the Indian peninsula and surrounding areas of Asia . This Faith, known by many names, is followed and practiced in several ways and forms as it was practiced several thousand years back, with very little modifications, though it adjusted itself to the various times.

Hinduism is as much a "way of life" as a religion and affects every aspect of life for Hindus from birth throughout their life. The devout Hindu in every aspect of life and activity, and not just in a prayer follows it only.

Hinduism, unlike most religions, has no founder and no one scripture. Hindus do not have one "Holy Book" like many other religions, but many texts including the four Vedas along with their Upanishads, called the "Sruti", several Dharma Sasthras or Smrutis, Ithihasas and Puranas including the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The Bhagavad-Gita Gita, or "Song of God", comes as part of Mahabaratha, is an essence of the message of the Upanishads and Hindu Philosophy and is considered to be a guide on how we should live as told by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.

Hindus believe that as all streams and rivers lead to the same ocean, all genuine religious (spiritual) paths lead to the same goal; worship of every form of "GOD" and celestial forces leads to the same good. So they do not try to convert others to our religion. Each one is allowed to pray and worship to a form or a formless according to one's own knowledge, desire, need and spiritual elevation.

Hindus believe in One God, beyond form, space and time and beyond human comprehension. They believe that God is Transcendent and Immanent at the same time and will create itself according to everyone's desire and needs to protect the pious, to destroy the evil and establish the Divine Rule of Law and Justice. So, they believe that God will come to them in every form one desires and prays according to one's need and wish.

A goal of Hindus is to achieve Moksha, to be freed from the cycle of birth and death (when the "good" and the "bad" karmas balance.) or to reach Swarga, the abode of the Divine Soul or Paramatma [God] to serve at His feet.

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