16 Basic Facts About Hinduism You Probably Don’t Know (But Should)
From our perspective in the west, Hinduism can seem strange and obscure; after all, many of its practices have been practiced since the dawn of music itself. That’s a long time to say the least!
Not to mention there’s an ocean between us and India.
But not to fear. This list will give you the basics you need to know, and show you some of the intricacies of this great religion.
SEE ALSO: The Meaning Of Om Mani Padme Hum
Hinduism is the world’s oldest known religion, with roots going back 10,000 years and Hindu Literature dating back to 7000 BCE.
Approximately 1 Billion people follow Hinduism, which is 14% of the World’s Population.
Many people mistakenly believe Hinduism is polytheistic (ie belief in many gods). But the truth is much more nuanced! They believe the ‘one’ became many, and there are infinite manifestations of Spirit. Gods like Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu are all part of the same origin; including us.
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four goals of an ideal Hindu.
The word ‘Karma’ is derived from the Hindu concept of ‘good and bad deeds’
There is no known founder or governing body for Hinduism.
’Hinduism’ is not the real word for the religion. The real name for Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma. This means “eternal dharma”, or eternal truth.
‘Kumbhamela’, a Hindu Festival which occurs once every 12 years, is the largest gathering of humans in the world.
Hinduism strongly encourages a vegetarian diet- something that many Hindus follow. However, many practitioners in India simply omit beef and pork from their diet, and follow vegetarian guidelines on auspicious days.
Theists and Atheists were known to coexist peacefully since time immemorial in Hinduism.
Rig Veda is the oldest known book in the world with its contents dating back to 7000 B.C.
All the books related to Hinduism are written in one common language: Sanskrit. This is one of the oldest known languages in the world, from which most of the Indian Languages are derived.
The Vedas and many other teachings of Hinduism were preserved for thousands of years without paper.
They were Chanted, memorized and passed on to the next generations.
‘Mahabharata’, one of the most revered books of India, is 10 times larger than the Iliad and Odyssey combined together.
Yoga, the World’s most practiced form of spiritual and physical fitness routines, originated from Hinduism in the Indus- Saraswati civilization 5000 years ago.
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