Hinduism is the oldest surviving major religion in the world, and has its roots in India, now known as India and Pakistan. Hinduism is also the third largest religion in the world, with more than 1.2billion followers, or around 15 percent of the global population, considered as Hindus. It has been adapted to many different cultures and is practiced widely throughout the world. Hinduism combines many different religious traditions, philosophies, and rituals, but the three most important aspects are:
The most prominent element of Hinduism, outside of the three main components of hinduism, is the Hindu religion itself. There are about sixteen different gods that are worshiped, including: Brahma the father of all the gods, Lakshmi the Mother Nature, Durga the Goddess of prosperity, Kalidasa the Lord of Healing, Shiva the son of Shiva and Parvati, Jiva the God of Knowledge, Kalkashuna the God of War, Maha-Manjishthadi the God of Medicine, Shakti the God of arts and letters, and finally Shatkhanda the God of righteousness. Another important aspect of Hinduism is karma, or the cycle of birth and death. Everyone’s actions in their present lifetime will affect their next life, and thus they are told to try to make the best of their lives and pass on to the next realm. Many Hindus believe that the present moment is a siddhi, a pre-requisite to the next life.
Hinduism also includes various castes of deities, all of which are worshiped for different reasons, some of which are believed to increase health, prosperity, and knowledge, while others are said to protect the mortal world from evil and bring happiness. Some of the most important Hindu gods are Shiva, Balabhadra,lord Vishnu, Ganesha,and Laxman. These are believed to be the most powerful as well as the most loved gods in the Hindu religious traditions. There are other gods and goddesses such as; Ardhanarishtram, Sarvangasat, Shiva, Durga, Hanuman, Kalkashmin, and finally the cherub, Jesus. The other castes are known as Devadasis, Parasvanath, Anahata, Charaka, and eventually Bhallatantra.