Hinduism: origins and beliefs

Hinduism: origins and beliefs

Hinduism is among the major religions in the world, being the third most popular after Christianity and Islam. Nowadays, more than nine hundred million people are Hindus. The Hindus represent almost 15 percent of the global population.

Most of its followers live in India, while the others live in Nepal and Mauritius, Bali and Indonesia. Still, other Hindu devotees are scattered in other countries. The origin of this religion has created a controversy among scholars and researchers.

There is also a controversy concerning the beliefs and basic principles of Hinduism. This article has more on the origins and the beliefs within the Hindu religion.

The origins of Hinduism

Hinduism has caused conflicting ideas as far as it origins are concerned.

  • Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world.
  • It is impossible for scholars to identify when exactly the Hindu religion began.
  • It might have dated back to 3,500 B.C.
  • Hinduism was not founded by any specific spiritual leader
  • This religion was the fruit of various beliefs and culture

What are the fundamental beliefs in Hinduism?

Hindus believe in one God, that is named Brahman. However, the same god is embodied in different forms, which, in turn, create different deities.

What are the different deities in Hinduism?

The monotheist Hindus believe in one God, that is Brahman. Other Hindus believe in several kinds of deities or gods and goddesses, which are no other than representations of the same Brahman. Still, some others Hindus believe that three gods rule their lives, and these gods are Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva. They represent the Hindu trinity.

The majority of Hindus believe that their deities, gods, goddesses and other countless spiritual beings populate the cosmos. They wander in the cosmos and can interact with us. They are also in charge of some major decisions taken by people and by the leaders of this world.

Do Hindus have temples?

Hindus conduct their religious rituals in temples. In fact, there are 2 million Hindu temples all over the world. Most of the Hindu temples are found in India. Many temples can also be seen in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and in Sri Lanka.

Hindus dedicate their temples to the following main deities, who are Shiva, Vishnu Brahma, Shakti, Ganesh and Hanuman. Krishna and Rama are the incarnation of Vishnu, whereas Shakti is the mother goddess.

What are the sacred texts in Hinduism?

Hinduism is based on a collection of sacred texts, which are called "The Eternal Teaching" or Sanatana Dharm. The sacred texts, which constitute the fundamental principles of Hinduism, are characterized by:

  • Many sets of interrelated religious doctrines and practices;
  • The religious doctrines have some common attributes; however, they are practiced differently.

What are the Hinduism religious doctrines and practices?

Hinduism believes in three main doctrines, which are:

  • The doctrines of the cycle of rebirth or samsara
  • The doctrines of the universal law of cause and effect or karma
  • The doctrines of thoughts and life, which maintain that one's thoughts determine one's life, and one's current life will determine one's future lives through the reincarnations.

Hindus believe that we have important goals in their lives. For example, they believe that we are endowed with a path to inner peace, which is meditation and yoga. They also believe in the importance of the compassion.

Likewise, the peace ambassador Prem Rawat shares the same belief and he shares his messages of peace through his website to promote universal peace. His foundation, which is named the Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) serves as a tool for him to carry out humanitarian actions to help the deprived people. This implies that he believes in the doctrines of thoughts and life and the other ones.