Hinduism is originally referred to as Sanatana Dharma, meaning eternal truth. It is the world’s oldest and the third largest religion, with around 1.25 billion followers globally. Most of the world’s Hindus live in India. Hinduism has no specific founder; this makes it difficult for people to trace its origin and history. Hinduism comprises various traditions and philosophies hence also referred to as ‘the way of life.
Moksha, also known as Mukti, refers to freedom from (samsara) the cycle of death and rebirth. The four goals of an ideal Hindu are Moksha, Kama, Artha, and Dharma. Hindus aim at attaining salvation. Lord Shiva is the God who can give Moksha.
2. One god but different forms
Hindus believe in one god but choose which form they want to follow. Brahman is the Supreme Being with three representations; (Holy Trinity) Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Hindus worship idols to increase their concentration during prayers. They can gain spiritual energy and meditate without diverting their attention.
3. Circular concept of time
Hindus believe in a circular concept of time divided into four ages, namely;
The Satya Yuga- Golden age of innocence
Tretha Yuga- Silver
Dwapara Yuga – Bronze
Kali Yuga – Iron
4. Male and female gods/goddesses are worshipped with equal reverence
Hinduism considers God as both male, female, and even those who have both sexes. Hinduism’s religion treats men and women as equal halves.
5. Hindus do not consider the pursuit of wealth as a sin
Hinduism is among the few religions that do not consider the pursuit of wealth as a sin because the goddess of both material and spiritual wealth is a testament to that fact.
6. Oldest religion in the world
Hinduism tradition dates back over 4,000 years ago; it’s therefore considered the oldest known religion and the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam. Hinduism is a thousand years older than Christianity and Islam.
7. Beef and alcohol are avoided
Hindus avoid beef because they consider the cow as a holy animal. Although some eat dairy products. Most of the Hindus are Lacto- vegetarians, but some eat chicken, fish, or lamb. Alcohol is also avoided.
8. No clear founding event or origin
Hinduism came into being because of religious and cultural changes in India. Therefore, it is a fusion of different beliefs, and that’s why it’s also known as the way of life.
9. Many sacred writings. (No specific holy book)
Hinduism has no specific book. (One holy book) Hindus value many sacred texts. The main sacred writing is the Vedas, which comprises verses, hymns written in Sanskrit, and revelations received by ancient saints. The Vedas were preserved for many years without paper, just chanting, memorizing, then passed on to the next generation.
10. Both Sikhism and Buddhism are derived from Hinduism
Buddhism and Sikhism originated from Hinduism. Buddhism originated in India and then spread across Asia. Hinduism religion is closely related to both Sikhism and Buddhism and even Jainism. For instance, 108 is a holy number in both Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.