Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world. Yet it is confined mostly to Indian Subcontinent and is also considered as one of the most tolerant religions in the world. Perhaps this is the reason that it is still confined to a limited geographical area yet has survived the most barbaric foreign invasions. These are some of the very interesting Hinduism facts or facts about Hinduism that the world should know about.
HINDUISM IS NOT A RELIGION BUT A WAY OF LIFE
Even the ruling by Indian Supreme court of India in its judgment acknowledges Hinduism, not as a religion but a way of life. There is no known founder or organized governing body of Hinduism.
Religion is a recent phenomenon and Hinduism actually predates the concept of religion. The word that Hinduism uses for religion or the Sanskrit and Hindi word for religion is Dharma. Dharma actually means your duties as a human being. Hinduism is actually called a Sanatan Dharma. The term Sanatan refers to something that is Anadi (beginningless) and Ananta (endless), meaning that it is beyond time and is eternal. The term Dharma comes from the root word ‘Dhri’ that means to sustain or to hold together. Sanatan Dharma is, in fact, the Natural Law or the principle of reality that is at the basis of the design of the universe and in this sense, it is natural, ancient and eternal.
THERE IS NO CONCEPT OF BLASPHEMY IN HINDUISM
Hinduism is perhaps the only religion in the world that does not have a concept of blasphemy. This actually makes Hinduism one of the most tolerant religions in the world. Interestingly there is no word for blasphemy in Sanskrit. This has to do with the fact that Hinduism believes that there can be several ways to find the truth and attain salvation (Moksha). No way is right or wrong.
YOU CAN BE AN ATHEIST OR AGNOSTIC, YET BE A HINDU
Hinduism is the only religion where you can be an atheist or agnostic and still remain Hindu. Hinduism talks about self-discovery of truth, god, consciousness and meaning or purpose of one’s existence
HINDUISM IS ONE OF THE, IF NOT THE OLDEST RELIGION OF THE WORLD
Vedas are the central texts of Sanatan Dharm or Hinduism, which is said to write between 8000BC to 1500BC. This makes Hinduism, the oldest existing religion of the world. However the long range of date when Vedas were compiled need to be ascertained for this to be finally established.
THE GOAL IN LIFE IS TO ATTAIN MOKSHA OR SALVATION IN HINDUISM
While other religions have the purpose of life identified as spreading the awareness and conquest of their religion. Hinduism talks about the concept of Moksha or salvation as the purpose of life. Self-realization and freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth is the final goal.
HINDUISM BELIEVES IN ONE GOD WITH NO PHYSICAL FORM
People who are not acquainted with Hinduism and in fact many Hindu don’t know this fact that Hinduism actually talks about a formless, shapeless, timeless supreme entity. There is the core of the concept of god in Hinduism. The various gods that you hear about are related to various means of self-discovery.
BUDDHISM, SIKHISM, AND JAINISM, THE THREE MAJOR RELIGIONS THAT DERIVED FROM HINDUISM
Three major religions with millions of followers in India and across the globe have their roots in Hinduism. They have many rituals and cultural aspects that are very similar and celebrate many festivals together.
HINDUISM IS THE ONLY RELIGION THAT WORSHIPS BOTH MALE AND FEMALE DEITIES WITH EQUAL RESPECT
Major deities and goddesses like Shakti, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Kali are revered equally in Hinduism. Even though Hinduism is among the oldest religion in the world when you can just imagine how patriarchal the society was, yet Hindus have many goddesses and deities that are worshipped with the same respect as the male gods.
HINDUISM IS ONE OF THE FEW RELIGIONS WHERE PURSUIT OF WEALTH IS NOT A SIN
Hinduism is one of the few religions that consider pursuing wealth a just act. It does, however, talk about contribution to the society and treating all fairly.