Hinduism is an ancient religion. Although there is no exact date or time to which its origin can be set, several scholars and studies point out its roots being around 4000-5000 years ago in the Indus-Saraswati civilization, of modern-day India. It is the third-largest religion in the world, with over a billion followers across the world. The teachings of this religion are originally written in Sanskrit, a language that is barely spoken outside religious and theological academic circles. There are a lot of misconceptions prevalent regarding this ancient oriental religion. We are here to debunk some myths about Hinduism for you.
Myth#1: 330 Million Gods
Hinduism believes that the relationship between God and humans is very special and unique. Thus, there is no one way to understand God. It encourages people to build a deep personal relationship with their god, which has led to several deities and incarnations being worshipped by followers. While Hinduism is definitely polytheistic in its nature of worship, the number is definitely not 330 million. It believes that all paths lead to one aim, and that is salvation.
Myth#2: Hinduism Forbids Meat
There is no rule in Hinduism that forbids its followers from consuming meat, fish, or any other animal protein or product. Ancient saints recommend consuming a balanced diet, which is said to help in balancing your temperament. There are some sects of Hindus, who voluntarily give up meat, as a part of their personal faith. But one can practice Hinduism without incorporating any dietary changes into their life.
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Myth#3: Hinduism Is Restrictive
There is a common misconception that followers of the Hindu faith live, dress and eat a certain way. However, that has more to do with the cultural way of life, than any religious restrictions imposed upon them. There is no specific restriction upon the way one dresses or lives their life. While it is recommended to dress modestly, choose more organic fibers, eat lighter, etc. It is mostly owing to the specific climate-based healthy choices.
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Myth#4: You Have To Give Up Things You Love
Hinduism does believe in the concept of Tyaga or sacrifice, and the feeling of joy after being released from the shackles of wants, on the path to salvation. But that is a voluntary choice of the follower. It is absolutely not mandatory to give up and sacrifice anything that you love in order to prove your faith. You can absolutely love your material possessions or fun hobbies and still be a good Hindu.
Myth#5: Women Are Subservient To Men
This is the most irrelevant myth about Hinduism. The only thing that affects women is systemic patriarchy and not their religion, and that is true of the entire world. But Hinduism has always given men and women equal respect and authority in life. Ancient Vedic scholars like Gayatri, Apala, and other illustrious ladies have contributed to the religion and enriched it just as much as the men have. Even in today’s world, there are numerous highly respected Hindu gurus who are women. In several forms of Hinduism, a divine deity is a feminine form – Shakti.
Conclusion: Hinduism is a path of life that guides people, and their actions towards the goal of salvation, or moksha. The teachings of this religion are based on kindness and love, and it is constantly evolving itself to be more relevant and inclusive. If you find some interesting myths like this about Hinduism or any other religion; then please let us know by your valuable comments.