Today's oldest living religion is Hinduism. Hinduism is a religion that originated in India and is still practiced by most of the Natives as well as the people who have migrated from India to other parts of the world. Statistically there are over seven hundred million Hindus, mainly in India. Eighty percent of the population in India is Hindu. The word Hindu comes from an ancient Sanskrit term meaning 'dwellers by the Indus River.' There is not much organization and hierarchy is nonexistent. The religion suggests commitment to or respect for an ideal way of life known as Dharma. Throughout the ages, harmony amid diversity, and tolerance toward other faiths have characterized Hinduism. India is known as the sacred center of cosmos and the conduit if transforming power. Located in India is the Ganges River, also known as, "mother ganga." According to Hindu mythology, the Ganges was once a river of heaven that flowed across the sky. The Ganges River is the holiest of rivers as it cleanses the sins of self and seven generations of ancestors. Because Hindu's find the Ganges River so holy many of them travel thousands of miles in order to scatter loved ones ashes in it. Most (though not all) believe in monism, the doctrine that all reality is ultimately one. Monists believe that similarly all forms of reality gods and goddesses, plants and animals, the material universe, and humans share a common essence. Hindus call this essence Brahman. Infinite and eternal, Brahman is the ground of existence and the source of the universe. Many Hindus are devoted followers of Shiva or Vishnu, whom they regard as the only true God, while others look inward to the divine Self, Atman. But most recognize the existence of Brahman, the unifying principle and Supreme Reality behind all that is. The divine is thought ultimately to be one essence. Any yet Hindus subscribe to polytheism, believing in many gods and goddesses (traditionally 330 million!). Hinduism generally...
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