Human beings have taken the path of faith since times immemorial. Right from the ancient civilizations to the modern-day, human beings have always been curious about the deeper questions, on the creation of mankind, life after death, purpose of life, and more. This has brought them to the belief in a divine entity, which gave rise to organized religion. Among all religions, Hinduism is considered the oldest. The third-largest religion in the world – Hinduism has over 1.2 billion followers. Its followers are commonly known as Hindus. Here are some interesting facts about Hinduism.
1. Hinduism Is Old
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions. While there is no specific date or prophet to mark a beginning, it can be traced back to the ancient Indus-Saraswati civilization, in modern-day India and Pakistan. The first sacred text of this religion, the Rig Veda dates back to almost 4000 years ago, and it is one of the oldest books that have been written. According to scholars, that puts Hinduism at a minimum of 5000 years old.
2. There Is No One True Path
Monotheism is not one of the things that Hinduism is. It does not believe that there is one form of deity or one path that everyone must take. Every person is encouraged to follow their own way, as long as it is filled with kindness, goodness, and righteousness. Dharma is a deeply personal concept with Hindus. Thus, there are several forms and reincarnations of gods that Hindus worship.
3. Feminine Deities
There is a huge emphasis on feminine energy and worship in the Hindu religion. There are three primary divine feminine deities, Saraswati, who is associated with Brahma, Lakshmi, associated with Vishnu, and Parvati, associated with Shiva. They represent knowledge, prosperity, and strength respectively. There are several forms of feminine Shakti or strength in the Hindu pantheon of goddesses.
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4. Hinduism Believes In Rebirth
According to Hinduism, the soul is eternal, while the body is perishable. Thus, when a person dies, it’s only the physical body that passes away. The soul is then reborn in a different body. However, rebirth is determined by the karma or acts that the person had engaged in, in their previous life. It is not a fatalistic religion, but its followers have it in their hands to determine their next birth through their own actions.
5. Salvation Is The Goal
The ultimate goal for a Hindu is to reach moksha, or salvation, which is when one achieves freedom from samsara, or worldly attachments, and thus, breaks free from the cycle of rebirth and reincarnation. One can achieve moksha by following the path of righteous conduct, or dharma. Hinduism believes that one must achieve the worldly goals they want, in order to be truly able to give these up and be free from desire.
6. Pleasure Is Not Forbidden
Hinduism believes that kama, which in Sanskrit means pleasure, is one of the stepping stones in the path of salvation. Pleasures can be of various kinds and depend on the person. However, the word is rooted in sexual pleasure, which is not forbidden, but encouraged in the religion. In fact, a conjugal relationship between a couple is held in high regard and is considered incredibly sacred. It is through carnal pleasure that one achieves the climax of wants.
Hinduism is a pluralistic religion, which promotes deep respect for every path that leads to truth. We know this list is not enough. As there are many more interesting facts about Hinduism. If you know some, then please share your thoughts in our comment section.