October 21, 2012
Hinduism began in India and is one of the oldest religions known to man and as such does not have a prominent founder that anyone can remember. In India, the land lying on the southern side of the Hindu-Kush Mountains was considered the land of the Hindus or Hindustan and the religion followed by the people there was known as Hinduism. It is a religion that is based upon Aryan settlers. The Hindu people believe that their religion has no beginning and no end. It consists of "thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE." Because of the wide variety of Hindu traditions, freedom of belief and practice are notable features of Hinduism. In Hinduism, Buddha is the last avatar of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The word Buddha was not used to describe the last avatar of Vishnu, the description, time and place of his arrival is well chronicled in scriptures prior to the advent of the Buddha. Buddhism and Jainism are outside the Hindu tradition but are regarded as related religions. Hinduism is different than Christianity and other monotheistic religions in that it doesn’t have a single holy text that the people follow or a single system of morality and or a central religious authority. This individual freedom to meditate and act according to one’s own conscious seems to give the followers more personal responsibility in their own actions. By this I mean they are not consciously breaking rules set down by doctrine; when they feel they have done wrong, it is because their conscious is telling them they have done wrong. Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 950 million followers -- about 14% of the world's population. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Hinduism provides a freedom of belief system based in meditation and peaceful resolution to one’s...