The practices of Hindu Religion
Hinduism is considered to be the third largest religion after Christianity and Islam with about
1 billion estimated Hindus worldwide. A huge population of Indians (about 80%) practices
Hinduism, while over 30 million or more Hindus live outside India.
Hinduism is highly concentrated in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka which have been a hot spot for
its culture since the immemorial. The major belief is that there is only one almighty being who
exists in everything and he is credited with the creation of reality. In Hinduism, Brahman is
regarded as the highest principle and the Ultimate Reality in the universe.
There are no exact dates or details about the origin of Hinduism. The Vedas is the oldest text
pertaining to Hindu which has an estimated timing around 1500 BCE. Aside from that, most of
the authors and dates of its sacred texts are unknown. The Shastras is a collection of Hindu
scriptures. It entails spiritual laws that were discovered by sages and saints in the course of
its history. These sacred writings are divided into two (2) major parts which are the Shruti
(heard) and Smriti (memorized). Before these sacred texts were provided in plain forms, they
were orally passed from one generation to the other mostly in the Sanskrit language. The
Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, and the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are the most
popular of the Hindu texts.
Hinduism is a broad term based on its wide variety of related traditions that share common
themes even when they do not entail the same practices or beliefs. Despite the fact that most
Hindus recognize the existence of Brahman as the unifying principle, a fraction of the Hindus
are devoted to Shiva or Vinshu (whom they regard as the only true God) while others look
inward to atman (divine self).
A core aspect of Hinduism is the four Purusarthas (goals of human life) which are Dharma
(ethics and duties), Artha (work and prosperity), Kama (passion and desires), and Moksha
(liberation from the cycle of samsara). Amongst these beliefs, Dharma is considered to be the
most important as it leads to fulfilling all principles to the end (Moksha). If a Hindus fail to
fulfill Dharma, it would be impossible to go through other philosophies and attain Moksha at
Hindu festivals are based on the cycles of the sun and moon. The Hindu calendar has 12 months
just like the Gregorian calendar which marks certain dates for its festivals. Most Hindu festive
periods are for the celebration of the Hindu deities. Others are meant for celebrating various
aspects of life that are important to Hindus. Raksha Bandhan, for instance, is a festive season
for family bonding. It’s a festive period for the celebration of siblings where siblings.