Hinduism – A World Religion
Hinduism is a religious tradition that emphasizes Oneness or “atman,” which many people think is a meaning of life after death. However, the followers of Hinduism believe in rebirth as a soul in the body of a new human body. This is called ” dharma ” or the path of ” righteousness.” Hinduism is the oldest surviving organized religion in the world, and its teachings are transmitted through oral tradition from teacher to student over hundreds of years.
Unlike most organized religions, Hinduism has evolved through time without the need of a centralized clergy or leading priests. All who participate in the ceremonies are known as ” Gurus.” One of the most revered Gurus, Lord Sri Guru Nanak was born in Rishikesh, India, and is considered the founder of the Gurus’ teachings. Other Gurus include Sri Chinmoy, Gautama Buddha, and Tipu Sultan. All are respected for their wisdom and profound understanding of sacred texts.
The Hindu pantheon includes many gods and goddesses, all worshiped collectively as “Bhasma” or “God.” The major Hindu gods and goddesses are associated with important events in Hinduism such as planting, growth, harvest, fertility, and rain. There are also some Hindu deities and icons used in worship, which are known as “Rakta” or “Mantra.” The sacred texts include the Vedas (the oldest of the Hindu books); the Upanishads (Books of Yoga); the Puranas (books of erotic sex) and the Kathas (proselytizing books). Although these books and rituals have been adapted for various other civilizations over the centuries, hinduism has been the most influential religion in the modern world.