Hinduism is the predominate religion in India and recognizes many gods (estimated 33 million). The origin of the Hinduism is unknown but believed to have come from the Indus Valley near modern day Pakistan. Hinduism is thought of as a “way of life”, embracing many religious ideas with no known founder. Here is an overview of some key aspects of the Hindu faith.
- 3rd largest world religion behind Christianity and Islam
- 95% of Hindus live in India
- 81 % of Indians are Hindu (over 1 billion people)
- There is no specific founder of Hinduism
- Religious books called Puranas
- Belief in the soul, or “atman”
Hindu worship is more individual than communal and often involves pilgrimages to temples and shrines to false gods. Char Dham are the names of four pilgrimage sites (Puri, Ramaswarem, Dwarka, Badrinath) in India and are widely revered by Hindus.
- Karma – the universal law of cause and effect
- Dharma – code of living, emphasizing good conduct and moral living
- Samsara – the continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation
- Moksha – salvation that ends the cycle of rebirth
Hinduism teaches there are many gods in direct opposition to the bible. God says in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.”. Hindu gods are mythical, the bible describes these false gods in Psalm 115:5, “They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.”.
Hinduism is thought of as a way of life and involves good conduct and moral living – continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation to achieve salvation. In John 14:6, Jesus tells us of the only way to eternal life, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”.
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