Hinduism is the oldest religion of Indian people
and Nepalese people. It refers to the cultural activity
and daily morality base on karma, dharma and social
norms of those people. It includes Shaivism,
Vaishnavism and Shaktism among numerous other
Hinduism is considered a major world religion
because of its approximately 700 million believers and
it has influence on many other religions during its long
Beliefs of Hindu people
Hindu people believe in many different things. But
there are a few fact concepts on which most Hindu act
together. The following nine beliefs, though not exhaustive,
offer a simple summary of Hindu spirituality.
1. Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being
who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and
2. Hindus believe in the divinity of the four 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.
3. Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of
creation, preservation and dissolution.
4. Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which
each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and
5. Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many
births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation
from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be
deprived of this destiny.
6. Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that
temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create
a communion with these devas and Gods.
7. Hindus believe that an enlightened master, or guru, is
essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal
discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry,
meditation and surrender in God.
8. Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and
revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, non-injury, in thought,
word and deed.
9. Hindus believe that no religion teaches the only way to
salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets
of God's Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.
Hindu people also believe that there is a part of
Brahman in everyone and this is called the Atman and
There Three Yogas in the context of monotheistic
Hinduism are three religious paths for the human spirit to
achieve union with Ishvara or Supreme Being.Thoes yogas
Karma Yoga or the Path of Action.
Bhakti Yoga or the Path of Devotion.
Jnana Yoga or the Path of Knowledge.
These concepts are introduced in the Bhagavad Gita and
become extremely popular in the course of the Bhakti
movement. They are elaborated upon in the Vaishna
The sound, “Om” or “Aum” shown above, is the
most sacred syllable for Hindus. It often is used in prayers.
Om - Aum is the standard sign of Hinduism, and is
prefixed and sometimes suffixed to all Hindu mantras and
prayers. It contains an enormous and diverse amount of
symbolism; Hindus consider its sound and vibration to be
the divine representation of existence, encompassing all of
manifold nature into the One eternal truth. Thus it
represents the supreme energy or Brahman.
The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of
examination papers and so on. May Hindus, as an expression of spiritual
perfection, wear the sign of Om as a pendant. This symbol is enshrined in
every Hindu temple premise or in some form or another on family shrines.
But according to the Mandukya Upanishad, “Om is the one eternal syllable
of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and
the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the
three forms of time is also implied in it.
Sects of Hinduism
Saivite Hindus worship the Supreme God as Siva, the Compassionate One.
Shaktas worship the Supreme as the Divine Mother, Shakti or Devi. She has
Vaishnavites worship the Supreme as Lord Vishnu and His incarnations,
especially Krishna and Rama.
Smartas worship the Supreme in one of six forms: Ganesha, Siva, Sakti,
Vishnu, Surya and Skanda. Because they accept all the major Hindu Gods,
they are known as liberal or nonsectarian.
And there are another two sects
1. Devotional sects: which are categorized based on their deity of worship,
scriptures that are given importance, philosophy followed
2. Philosophical sects: which are categorized based on their beliefs on god,
liberation and ways to attain liberation.
Clergy of Hinduism
There is no real clergy in Hinduism, but there are groups of
Hindu teachers and priest who perform different roles:
Brahmans are the offer spiritual help and the way to the local
community. They have duties to explain the scriptures to the people, and
help them preform the rituals and important ceremonies such as the
festival of Holy and the birth rites.
Pandit or Pujari is a priest who has responsibility of religious
duties and ceremonies in Hindu Temples.
Gurus are the teachers of the Hindu people and can offer
advice and guidance them.
Swamis are very learned men who have studied the scriptures
and developed their spiritual practice. They have duties to teach the
student in philosophy and meditation.
Sannyasins are the wandering holy men who have no
responsibilities in the world. They seek spiritual enlightenment, but may
offer some words of wisdom to those who support them in their
Prophets and founders
Actually, there is no single founder of
Hinduism as Hinduism was not founded as a
Hinduism cannot be called an organized
religion. Rather, it is a federation of loosely
banded religions and cultures. Whereas the
majority of other religions are based on a person
or prophet, Hinduism has no main prophet or
person that founded the religion. Many people of
Hindu faith do not consider Buddhism, Sikhism,
& Jainism to be separate from them.
Shruti is oldest authoritative:
There are four Vedas as below:
1. The Rigveda, containing hymns to be recited by the hotar, or
2. The Yajurveda, containing formulas to be recited by the
adhvaryu or officiating priest.
3. The Samaveda, containing formulas to be sung by the udgatar
or priest that chants.
3. The Atharvaveda, a collection of spells and incantations,
apotropaic charms and speculative hymns.
Upanishads is metaphysical speculation and Plus other texts.
Smriti is the Great Indian Epics:
Ramayana, Mahabharata (includes Bhagavad-Gita) and Plus
Funeral practices and rituals
Most Hindus people are cremated as it is believed that
this will help their soul to escape quickly from the body.
Hindu people, they believe that when the people die,
they are going to bring dead body to Gangga river for soaring
the dead body on by flow.
Various rituals may take place around the dead body
A lamp is placed by the head of the body
- Prayers and hymns are sung
- Pindas (rice balls) are placed in the coffin
- Water is sprinkled on the body
- A mala (necklace of wooden beads) may be put around the
dead person‟s neck as may garlands of flowers
Holidays and Ceremonies
Hindu festivals are largely linked with the movements of the sun and moon and with
seasonal changes, but they also incorporate the myths of the Ramayana, and Krishna
Diwali/Dipawali(October/November, lasting several days)
A festival of lights which celebrates the New Year. It is celebrated between late
October and mid-November.
Ten days of celebration in honour of Durga or Kali. It is held between late September
and mid-October and lasts nine days to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
Holi (February/March, 2–5 days)
The spring festival associated with Krishna when people throw coloured powder and
water at each other. Holi also celebrates creation and renewal.
Makar Sankrant (January)
Makar Sankrant is the first Hindu festival of the solar calendar year.
Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival dedicated to Shiva, one of the deities of the Hindu
Ram Navmi (March/April)
Rama Navami celebrates the birth of of Lord Rama, son of King Dasharatha of
Ganesh Chaturthi (August/September)
The last week in August sees Hindus all over the world celebrating the birthday of
Lord Ganesh (Ganesh Chaturthi).
An April harvest or New Year's festival depending on area, Vaisakhi is also celebrated
by Sikhs .
Raksha Bandhan (July/August)
The Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love.
The festival marks the birth of Krishna , the most highly venerated God in the Hindu
Holy places in Hinduism
Holy places are very important sites for Hindus people to worship of their daily
life, there are many places but we are going to present the most import places only
Ganga is the river for Hindus connecting with the death ceremonies of ancestors
for which they visit the place. After the rituals are performed at Gaya the soul of
the dead is supposed to attain salvation.
Mathura is on the banks of Jamuna, near Agra, is the birth place of Krishna. The
atmosphere of Mathura is in direct contrast to that of Benares. Mathura represents
the religion of the living, while Benaras emphasizes the permanence of death.
Dwaraka,in Gujarat, is another important shrine. It was the capital of Krishna‟s
kingdom and has some very important temples devoted to hit. The city is located
on the Western coast of India.
Puri,in Orissa ,has the Jagannath temple which attracts pilgrims from all over
India. It has an idol considered to be a manifestation of Krishna. The temple,
containing idols of Balarama and Subhadra (sister of Krishna), is on the Eastern
corner of India.
Rameswaram, from where Rama is said to have launched his attack
on Lanka is in the extreme south of India. Rama is said to have
installed a Shiva lingam here; hence the place is sacred to both
Shaivas and Vaishnavas.
Ujjain, it is called the navel of earth. It has the famous temples of
Ganesha and Kal-Bhairav. During the time of Vikramaditya it used to
be the capital of India. Two parts of the Skanda-Purana were said to
have been written here.
Haridwar, it is another very important holy city of India. It is at the
foothills of the Himalayas and is the place where the Ganga enters the
plains. It is also called the „gateway of the Ganga‟.
In conclusion, Hinduism is a very broad religion. Even
Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are, in a sense,
different Facets of Hinduism. Even though, Hinduism
has been viewed as a polytheistic religion in the west,
we believe Hinduism is a religion which recognizes a
single Deity, but which recognizes other gods and
goddesses as aspects of that supreme God. It is more of
a way of life than a religion.