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Hindu Beliefs

Updated on March 31, 2008

Hindu Goddess

Hinduism Facts

Approximately 900 million people practice Hinduism throughout the world. It is the main religion of India, and a major world religion. The word Hindu is a Sanskrit word referring to the Indus River. There are several different sects.

There are universal themes throughout Hinduism. Some of the most prominent are the beliefs in karma and reincarnation.

Hindu Beliefs - Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the belief that life is cyclical. Indeed, believers in Hinduism believe that the entire universe is cyclical. Another term for reincarnation is the transmigration of souls. This is the belief that humans are born again and again. After death, we are born into another body. Each lifetime teaches us important lessons. During each life, a person should grow more spiritual until finally reaching the highest level and transcending the human form. Then a person lives as a spiritual being.

Hindu Beliefs - Karma

Karma is also an important component of the Hindu religion. This is the belief that your actions in this lifetime will affect your subsequent lifetimes. This explains how some people's lives seem blessed and others appear cursed. Hindus don't believe that you will necessarily return as a human in the next lifetime. If you are a really bad person, you may return as a mosquito or something else just as bad.

This is one reason why many Hindus practice vegetarianism. Because they believe that people can return as animals as well as humans, they do not want to eat any animals. It could be a relative or loved one.

Cow Wandering in India - Hindus Do Not Eat Beef

Hindu Beliefs About Cows

It is taboo in Hinduism to kill a cow or to eat beef. This is because cows are honored as a symbol of life. The Rigveda, an important Hindu text, refers to the cow as a deity. Cow's milk, curds, butter, cow urine and dung are all used in important religious Hindu rituals. Once a year, cows are honored by being bathed and dressed up in the temple.

Hindu Beliefs Comments

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    • profile image

      krishna singh. 

      5 years ago

      when I am a hindu and I respect everyone so why. Can't u. It. Is .it

      . Battle. Field. Or. What. And. Our. Hinduism. Is to support. People's not

      To. Kill innocent. People's. And. Animals. Like. Islamic. Culture. Do the name. Of. Jehad. And. I am. Hindu. That's. Why. I also respect. Quran. But I. Hate. Muslims. Because. They. Use. Terror. To promote. There Islam. And. I. Had. Lost. One. Of. My. Uncle. In. Attacks. On. Mumbai. On 26 december. 2011 don't. And India is a great. Country. Having great people's. Helpful. People's. And. Land. Of. God s. Jay hind jay shiv sambhu.

      T

    • profile image

      Amit Adhikary 

      5 years ago

      Jesus was not hare Krishna Because He is the Prince of Peace not the Prince of War. Another reason is He is Holy never taken others garments for to see her nakedness.

    • profile image

      Leah and Jonathan. 

      6 years ago

      religion is very interest and great to learn about.

    • profile image

      Leah and Jonathan. 

      6 years ago

      religions is very interest and great to learn about.

    • profile image

      Leah and Jonathan. 

      6 years ago

      I could not be hindu :D

    • profile image

      riddhi 

      6 years ago

      hi guys...whatever religion u follow its ur personal choice but no body has the right to insult any religion...and i am proud to be a hindu...

    • profile image

      Ericka 

      6 years ago

      Vamshi have some shame religion are religion every one has their own belive i am a christian and prowed to be soo please stop insulting my religion atleast i don't have 6 billion gods and worship cows what else could be stuppieder

    • profile image

      loving the differences. 

      6 years ago

      I do not know much about HInduism, BUt i have studied it for a project, I belive that Hinduism is a way of life for some people. There is several different religion and if you actually loook up the information you will see that. And some hindus may belive in more than one God. There i snothing wrong with that if that's what one chooses to belive in or worship in. Its one rights to there own religion and it takes devotion to complety transform your life to follow what you belive in....

    • profile image

      keyshia 

      6 years ago

      its a religion

    • profile image

      animesh haldar 

      6 years ago

      i,m hindu.thanks GOD.everything is GOD he is lord of krishna in the world.please belive me ?krishna is my heart.

    • profile image

      no religion 

      6 years ago

      isn't dressing up cows and praying before statues idols?

    • profile image

      no religion 

      6 years ago

      isn't dressing up cows and praying before statues idols?

    • profile image

      शाश्वत कुमार 

      7 years ago

      idol worship is the madhyam[medium] of worship.we don't worship idols.we concentrare[meditate] on the god.that makes the meditation easy for our materialistic mind.however if u cud meditate without idols,then its better.

    • profile image

      Sharankay 

      7 years ago

      Hi Angela,

      There are many misconceptions around the world regarding hinduism and you are spreading more. First of all Hinduism is not a religion! all the customs, practices and rituals that were existent in India (a geographical location) were bundled up together and called hinduism by the Muslims and later by British, when they Invaded the land. when the Constitution makers of modern India were confronted with this fact that there is no definition for 'Hinduism' they simply wrote in the constitution that 'Whoever is not a Christian, not a muslim & not a farsi will be known as Hindu'. This amendment means even Jains, Buddhists & Sikhs are part of Hinduism! Apart from this, the bundling up have taken away the essence of the various sects like Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Mimamsa, Vedanta, Vainava, Shaiva (Dvaitha - Advaitha) Sarvaka (Atheism) and many other beliefs & have come to be known as one 'Hiduism', posing a great problem for understanding by the West.

      Trying to understand Hinduism as a religion is atrocious strictly in a western religious sense of view. Its a broader way of looking at life cosmic beingness and there are many ways to interpret it. please don't spread wrong information. If you need to know the real Hinduism you have to travel the length and breadth of the whole india all your life and probably you will get a glimpse of what it is. You may also be astonished by the fact that many hindus in Kerala, Tamilnadu & North east eat Beaf :-)

      regards,

      Sharankay

    • profile image

      Biswa Raj Rai  

      7 years ago

      It is really great to read such kind of articles in the web, every body has to read and should understand what we are believing, is is wrong or right. We must know and we must follow the right path, since we are living in this world.

      Bishwa Raj Rai

    • Angela Harris profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Harris 

      7 years ago from Around the USA

      carter13estes, Thank you for the compliment. I, too, respect Hinduism and all religions.

    • carter13estes profile image

      carter13estes 

      7 years ago

      I really respect the Hindu religion after reading this article.. thanks for this important massage..i think people will understand the Hindu religion..

    • profile image

      FRED 

      7 years ago

      HINDUISM IS OUR WAY OF LIFE -- LOVING GOD IS CONSIDERED ALL THE SAME. ALL BECAUSE EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD DIFFERS IN OPINIONS- WE ARE ALL THE SAME. WE DON'T JUDGE ANYONE. ITS FUNNY WHY OUR EGOS GO FAR---SO WHY PREACH THAT - THAT IS NOT PRACTICE. EVERYONE STICKS BY THEIR GUNS. YET 0UR FEAR OVER WEIGHS JUDGEMENT OF SOCIETY. FOR ME I JUST LAUGH SOON WE ALL WILL KNOW THE TRUTH OF ALL OUR LIVES.. DON'T WORRY ITS GOING TO HAPPEN......SO CHEERS

    • profile image

      Kerisa 

      8 years ago

      Let me help you out

      1. READ A BIBLE then go look at a history book. It all coresponds

      2. No one is denying that hinduism is the worlds oldest culture and religion, but, again, if you read a bible you would know that "religions" came about because God cast man out of the garden of eden and so man, left to do as he pleased started perverting the "word of God"

      3. Jesus may have been mentioned in the vedas as He was world renowned.

      4. I was a hindu and am now a christian so im not criticizing unecessarily, ive walked both roads and know which i prefer. I know that NAV will probably post a nasty response but its no skin off my back cos i know that the truth is hard for unbelievers to hear.

    • profile image

      Nav 

      8 years ago

      Hinduism is the mother of every religion on earth yes chrisianity as well. Jesus Christ was in India for 17 years learning from the Hindus... the Vedas the holy book of the Hindus and by the way the most ancient scriptures written in man kind speak of Jesus known as Isha Putri... and that he will be born from a virgin women. Jesus is a re incarnation of Hare Krishna... same goes for Buddha and Allah. Hinduism is the oldest living culture dating back millions of years.. and this is proved by the number a Yugus and we are on the 4th... they found a bridge in South India which a Hindu God Built and a western scientist from New York dated it as beign 1.7 million years old and this bridge is mentions in Ramayana a great epic battle between good and evil. Hindu Gods always destroy evil they have saved humanity time and time again. Peace and Love.

    • profile image

      vamshi 

      8 years ago

      it is oldest religion n honest to follow up thank god im not a christian

    • profile image

      margaret_bieber 

      8 years ago

      thanks. this helped. (:

    • profile image

      shuned 

      8 years ago

      pretty good what about where they practice their beliefs?

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Great Hub Angela! You have summed it all up nicely.

    • profile image

      mary 

      9 years ago

      Hindu religion is very interest and great to learn about.

    • usmanali81 profile image

      usmanali81 

      9 years ago

      Hinduism also talks about worshiping only ONE God, take for instance the following

      Ekam evaditiyam

      “He is One only without a second” - Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1

      Na casya kasuj janita na cadhipah

      “Of Him there are neither parents nor Lord” - Svetasavatara Upanishad 6,9 part II page 263

      Na tasya pratima asti

      “There is no image of Him - Yajurved 32:3

      Ma chidanyadvi shansata

      “O friends, do not worship any body but Him, the Divine One. - Rigveda Book 8:1:1

      But the irony is that no Hindu on the face of this earth follow the above mentioned verses their scriptures

    • profile image

      megun 

      9 years ago

      That's cool facts.Lol

    • DEBASIS profile image

      DEBASIS 

      10 years ago from bhubaneswar

      yes there are several beliefs the educated beliefs that human is evolving so if a boy fails in std5 he remains in std5 so there is no possibility of getting a beast life after a human life but there is uncertainity

    • Angela Harris profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Harris 

      10 years ago from Around the USA

      That could be a problem, Bonnie. ;)

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 

      10 years ago from United States

      Very interesting, Angela! I am so glad I am not Hindu. No telling how many of my family and friends I have served up for dinner LOL.

      Bonnie

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