Hinduism is one of the oldest world religions and is said to have as many gods as there are devotees. The diverse traditions and practices of Hinduism hold common beliefs, which are valid, indisputable, and eternal. Hinduism caters to a rage of people with various spiritual needs. In this paper I will discuss the origins, definition, rituals, and practices of Hinduism. Hinduism is a set of traditions and beliefs not a religion, which has evolved over time. The common practices, principles, and beliefs constitute Hinduism’s core philosophy. According to Jayaram (2010) foreigners use Hinduism to describe Indians, who live in the region of the Indus River, which runs partly in Pakistan and partly in India. Hinduism does not follow a holy book nor does it have an original founder. According to Jayaram (2010) Hindu is originally a Persian word describing the Indian race living east of the Indus River. A cow plays an important part of Hinduism because the body of the cow is a divinity. Hindus worship the cow so killing a cow and eating the meat is a serious taboo. According to Jayaram (2010) animals are vehicles of Gods such as the mouse, swan, bull, elephant, and owl. The three most important Gods are Brahma creator of reality, Vishnu or Krisha preserver of all creations, and Shiva, the destroyer. According to Religion Facts (2010) the center of Hindu practices are to fulfill one’s stages of life and one’s social position. The Hindus will pass four stages throughout one’s lifetime, which are brahmacharga, grastha, venaprastha, and sanngasu. The common practices are Ayurvenda, which is the system of healing and medicine. The Sadhu is known as the Holy Man, which means one will devote one’s life to spiritual disciplines. According to World Almanac & Book of Facts (2008) the most common Hindu practice is known as Puja, which is done at home in front of a shrine or in a temple. Puja is of public rites and is a ceremonial dinner for the Gods....
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