Hinduism is a modern reference to the many religious paths of India deriving from the Persian word for an Indian. Hindus themselves now use the term, though it is more traditional to refer to the Sanatana Dharma—the Eternal Law. The religion is centered on the Vedas (the 4 Hindu holy texts) and the caste system related in it. Outside that core is a vast and rich world of texts, teachings, stories, rituals, behaviors, experiences, etc. A pious Hindu will rise early, to meditate on the god or goddess, pray and ritually bathe before the morning meal. Hinduism has many gods/goddesses such as Vishnu, Krishna, Shiva, Rama, and Kali, to name a few.
4 important goals in Hinduism are kama (pleasure), artha (wealth), dharma (duty and obligation), and moksha (liberation from samsara, the endless cycle of reincarnation).
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Hinduism is a religion which originated in Ancient India, and holds the title of the oldest religion to date.

Hinduism is much more philosophically based than many monotheistic religions, and does not preach an eternal Hell or Heaven, salvation, redemption, nor does it promise eternal life on Earth. Hinduism does promise, however, a different form of "eternal bliss" and end to suffering. (explained below)

Hinduism has many holy texts, but the most sacred are the Vedas and Upinashads. The Bhagavad Gita, a section of the epic Mahabarata, is sometimes referred to as the "Hindu Bible" because in this text the Lord Krishna relays the major points of the Hindu faith to Arjuna, a warrior hero.

The major beliefs of Hindus include reincarnation, karma (the belief that actions in this life will contribute to the quality of the next life. good actions yield good results, bad yields bad), and ahimsa (nonviolence to all living things). Ahimsa will help one attain good karma, which in turn will help him/her achieve a higher quality next life. The ultimate goal of the Hindu is to achieve moksha, or union with the eternal soul, Brahman. (since the ultimate goal is a union with THE eternal soul, Hinduism is fundamentally "monotheistic," the visible manifestations of God such as Vishnu and Shiva are representations of Brahman, so that the human mind can comprehend it). Union with the eternal soul can be attained through meditation and yogic practices or dedication and devotion to one's duty. Because of this need for dedication to duty, the caste system was created by Krishna to keep people focusing on their jobs; HUMANS (not God) corrupted the system and discriminated against people of "lower" castes. Hinduism also urges people to be dispassionate because attachment to worldly objects is superficial and leads only to suffering.

Today, Hinduism is practiced mainly in India and Nepal, though it is spread throughout the world including the U.K., some countries in Africa, South America, and of course in the U.S.A.
Hinduism is one of the most tolerant religions in the world! It has complex philosophical concepts, is very widely practiced, is the oldest religion in the world, yet never tries to convert people!
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Nine beliefs of hinduism
Hindus believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion which has neither beginning nor end.

Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.

Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.

Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.

Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.

Hindus believe that a spiritually awakened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation. Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, "noninjury."

Hindus believe that no particular religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.

Five Obligations of all Hindus

Worship, upasana: Young Hindus are taught daily worship in the family shrine room--rituals, disciplines, chants, yogas and religious study. They learn to be secure through devotion in home and temple, wearing traditional dress, bringing forth love of the Divine and preparing the mind for serene meditation.

Holy days, utsava: Young Hindus are taught to participate in Hindu festivals and holy days in the home and temple. They learn to be happy through sweet communion with God at such auspicious celebrations. Utsava includes fasting and attending the temple on Monday or Friday and other holy days.

Virtuous living, dharma: Young Hindus are taught to live a life of duty and good conduct. They learn to be selfless by thinking of others first, being respectful of parents, elders and swamis, following divine law, especially ahimsa, mental, emotional and physical noninjury to all beings. Thus they resolve karmas.

Pilgrimage, tirthayatra: Young Hindus are taught the value of pilgrimage and are taken at least once a year for darnana of holy persons, temples and places, near or far. They learn to be detached by setting aside worldly affairs and making God, Gods and gurus life's singular focus during these journeys.

Rites of passage, samskara: Young Hindus are taught to observe the many sacraments which mark and sanctify their passages through life. They learn to be traditional by celebrating the rites of birth, name-giving, head-shaving, first feeding, ear-piercing, first learning, coming of age, marriage and death (and that my friends are the basic beliefs and obligations of hinduism)
Yo man hinduism is the BOMB
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The word Hindu first appeared in the Old Persian language and most likely was derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The usage of the word Hindu was further popularized by the Arabic term al-Hind referring to the land of the people who live across river Indus.

Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of South Asia. Hinduism is often referred to as Sanātana Dharma (a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law") by its adherents. Generic "types" of Hinduism that attempt to accommodate a variety of complex views span folk and Vedic Hinduism to bhakti tradition, as in Vaishnavism. Hinduism also includes yogic traditions and a wide spectrum of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma and societal norms such as Hindu marriage customs.

Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. Among its roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India, and as such Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major tradition".

Demographically, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam, with approximately one billion adherents, of whom approximately 828 million live in the Republic of India. Other significant populations are found in Nepal (23 million), Bangladesh (14 million) and the Indonesian island of Bali (3.3 million).
Hinduism is the oldest religious tradition.
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Hinduism is a religion based mainly in India. It's followers are part of a caste system. A caste system is like a hierarchy from which you cannot change. If you were born a peasant then you will stay a peasant.
According to Hinduism your life must be devoted to good. If, for some reason, you do not fulfill what is required to reach Nirvana (the state of peace after reincarnation) then you will be reincarnated into some other form of life, be it human or animal. This state of reincarnation goes on and on until in one of your lives you are deemed good enough for Nirvana.
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Oldest religion. Based on reincarnation based on karma. If you are bad, you will reincarnate as something bad. Same with being good. But if you are perfect, you go to the top of the universe.
Hinduism is still very popular today!
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Hinduism is a completely sensible religion.
by Sacred Cow September 27, 2010
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