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Main Characteristics of Hinduism

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Main Characteristics of Hinduism

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  • July 2011
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"Main Characteristics of Hinduism"

Hinduism is the third, largest religion in the world and considered the oldest. It has roughly 837 million believers totaling to be about 13% of the globes population. It is the leading organized religion in Nepal, India in Sri Lanka. The United States alone has about 1 million followers. The characteristics of the Hinduism long history, way of life, symbolic meaning and the popular yoga practice makes this religion very unique.

Hinduism history is built on a theological system of morality. It consists of “thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE” (B.A. Robinson, par.1). The majority of Hinduism is henotheistic- worship of one God while acknowledging the existence of other Gods. Hinduism concepts teach a cycle of life. From birth to rebirth can happen 84 million times because there are 84 million species. All living beings are created by God and has a soul known as Hindus. It identifies one deity and acknowledges the remaining Gods and Goddesses as part of the supreme God. Henotheistic religions are known to be very tolerant and diverse. B. G. Tilak (1995, July 2) at the Supreme Court in India quoted, the true definition of Hinduism:

“Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are diverse; and the realization of the truth that the number of gods to be worshipped is large, that indeed is the distinguishing feature of the Hindu religion.”

Hinduism is not regulated by a central institution. It welcomes other religions as one of the many paths to redemption and is not in favor of organized effort to convert someone to a religious faith. Throughout its history, scholars, kings and emperors, seers and sages have contributed to modifying and molding aspects to suit the social and intellectual requirements or the times.

Many Hindus believe Hinduism is not a religion but more so a way of life. Religion is imbedded in the life...