Hinduism – One of the Oldest of all Living Religions

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It originated almost four thousand years ago (1500 BC). Hinduism got its name from Aryans, who lived on the eastern bank of river Indus. They introduced the first elaborative concept.

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Hinduism does not have one single, historical founder or a particular date of origin. As mentioned in ‘The World’s Wisdom’ by Philip Novak, they believe that Vedas, the most authoritative primary sacred texts of this religion, are the oldest in the world and are a revelation from god. Later came the Upanishads. They are chronologically the last portion and spiritually the highest teachings of Vedas and are also known as Vedanta. The Upanishadic period is believed to be the most creative period of Indian philosophy, because it gave us new concepts regarding karma and reincarnation. Hinduism, being one of the oldest religion of time discusses about major aspects of this religion, it focuses on worshipping many deities, ideology and they also have rich holy scriptures which has a great influence on the world.

Hindus worship different deities for different purposes. Like they worship Kuber for wealth, Goddess Sarasvati for Knowledge, Vishnu for prosperity and so on. They also believe in one supreme god which is the Atman, stated by Philip Novak. He is supreme, one, eternal, omnipotent which has all power and all doer, omniscient. He is full of divine virtues and devoid of Maya. He also takes birth in a human and other forms on earth to liberate souls and destroy evil, and he is worshipped in many manifestations like Rama, Krishna, Shiva and others. There is also a belief that he is formless. They also worship the life supporting elements of nature like the sun, earth, fire, and moon. The Purans mentions that there are 330 million devas. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the supreme gods. This triumvirate is believed for, Brahma as the creator, Vishnu as the preserver and Shiva as the destroyer in order to create it again. Shiva is also known as a form of OM, which is a sound of the real, mentioned by Philip Novak.

Hinduism consists of very rich scriptures, namely Vedas, Upanishads, The Bhagwat Gita, The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. The Mahabharata is considered as one of the longest epic in the world which is in form of poems. It consists of 1.8 million words, which makes it half as compared to the Ramayana. Mahabharata is based on the Kurukshetra war between Kauravas and Pandava. In this war, Arjuna, one of the Pandava was reluctant to fight as he was fighting against his cousins, grandfather and many relatives. He gets overwhelmed with grief and decides not to fight against them. His chariot was driven by Lord Krishna. When Krishna came to know that Arjuna does not want to fight he comes in his divine form to tell Arjuna that in the battle ground you have to do your duty,

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