Known as one of the most antique religion on the world and originated during the classical period (500 BCE 500 CE) in India, Hinduism is predominant and one of the largest religious group on India counting with around 1.2billion followers. This religion is so old that there is no knowledge about who its founder was. Hinduism is identified by the Om which for them symbolizes the reality of the universe and it is the sound the universe makes, and it is also associated with the Swastika that is an ancient Indian word meaning “sign of good fortune” to Hindus this symbol suggests the universal presence of the world soul.
This religious group does not have a single concept of deities, in fact, Hinduism is the most polytheistic religion. They have gods with peculiar characteristics as four heads and eight hands; they even have animals, mountains and rivers that they see as gods. The three main male gods are Brahma, who creates the universe, Vishnu, who is in charge of preserve the universe, and Shiva, who destroys the universe. The goal of Hinduism is to find self-realization. This religion among many other things teaches and believe in karma, reincarnation, and enlightenment.
To Hinduism people cows are sacred they do not eat them because they see cows as a gift. Their preference in question of food is vegetarianism. For Hindus is wrong to kill animals for food. Moreover, they believe that vegetarianism benefit the body, the mind and the soul. It is important for them to have food high in protein. They cook their vegetables in spices and fried their foods in butter. In the family the males traditionally eat first and separately from the women and then females eat what remains. All food in Hindu sacrifice is first offered to the goddess and then received back by the worshiper. This custom is still maintained in traditional India today, but it is not common among Hindus living in the Western World.
For the believers of Hinduism sin might be intentional or unintentional and there is no original sin as in other religions. Sin arises from people’s bad actions and it can be forgiven through some transformative practices, confession, ritual, sacrifices, and yoga. Supplications for restoration and healing, offerings to gods, and expiatory in nature are some ways to be forgiven by the gods for a sin. Yoga helps them to transform the point of view of the individual by a deep introspection of their acts and thoughts. Through yoga, these religious groups try to control their breath, their mind and try to have a better comprehension about their life and their actions.
The holy books of Hinduism are called Vedas. Vedas were written in transcript about 1500 years ago there is many of them. The subjects are stories of their gods, worship, creation, battle, duties, how to make sacrifices, and rules for ascetics. The most known is called the Upanishads It talks about how to be enlightened, how to breathe, karma, reincarnation, and self-realization. They have a second category of books called Smiriti. The Ramanaya tells stories with teachings, Puranas which have 36 collections about gods, the Mahabharata is the most read people even memorize it, the Vedagas teach about the marriage laws and caste, the Darshanas talks about philosophical writings for scholars and many other books that they consider as a guide for their style of life.
Hinduism has a big diversity of festivals they last 3-5 days. Their holidays tend to be based on the cycle of nature. Some festivals promote the fertility of women, animal and crops, some indicate the change of seasons, celebrations, and others are dedicated to goddess. The most important festival goes to the Hindu god Shiva. This festival is celebrated the 14th day of the dark half each lunar it is a day of rejoicing. The following day they give presents to their guru that is a personal spiritual guide, and they celebrate with feasting, festival fairs.