Shiva (photo: Alice Popkorn).Hinduism is thought to be the oldest religion in the world. It is a major world religion with over a billion followers and the third largest religion. Hinduism is the major religion in the countries of India and Nepal.

Photo: One of the Hindu gods – Shiva (Creative Commons: Alice Popkorn).

Hinduism Today

The religion is thought to be a blend of many Indian cultures. The beginning of Hinduism can be traced back to 2000 BC. The religion can take on many forms. Some Hindus have no gods, while others may have many gods. There is no single holy book like a Bible and no single governing church.

Some of the main ideas of Hinduism are described below. These are considered the four proper goals of human life.

Dharma: refers to the proper way of living and includes duties, rights, laws and virtues.

Artha: is the virtuous pursuit of wealth for life and one’s obligations. It is the ‘means of life’ which includes wealth, career and financial security.

Kama: refers to sensual pleasure which includes desire, love, and enjoyment of life.

Moksha: refers to the goal of release from suffering and the cycle of life and death (reincarnation). It is considered the highest goal in Hinduism.

The Caste System

Hindu society is divided into four varnas (social classes). These are the Brahmins (teachers and priests), the Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), Vaishyas (merchants and farmers) and Shudras (laborers and servants).

Everyone is born into a specific caste. In life, people have the duty to perform their role according to their caste. There is little or no mobility from one caste to another.

Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills

Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.

 

How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.

Bibliography

Hinduism Origins, Pantheos Library.

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4 comments on "Hinduism"

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Webster Gabiana
Member

Ang Hindu ay nahahati sa apat na bahagi.

Webster Gabiana
Member

I learned that Hindu is the older religion ant is in before 500bc.I learned that Hindu can survive in 50Obc.Now I learned about the story.

Ronand Abella
Member

The Hindu is the oldest religion and it in before 500bc.
In the Hindu religion there are billions of people is in that religion.
The Hindu religion is major in the India and Nepal.
The Hindu is divided into four parts.
social classes teachers and priests kings and warriors merchants and farmer , laborers and servants.

Ronand Abella
Member

Ang mga hindi ay nag bubuhay dati pa.
At sila ay nanguna sa kristyanismo.
Namamatay tosila lahat at naghihirap ng mahina at malakas parin.