An Introduction to Hinduism
First Online: September 12, 2001
Hinduism is one the oldest religions in the world (the word Hinduism itself is of later origin, evolved from Sindhu. The correct word used from earliest times for followers of Vedic religion is Sanatana Dharma), dealing with the relation between Atman (soul) and God (supreme soul).
The realization of God is the ultimate aim of human life according to the Hindu philosophy. Different schools of thought and philosophy have evolved around this essence of Hinduism. Unlike most other religions, there is no one sacred book or one Prophet in Hinduism, and right and wrong are not clearly defined, allowing the practitioner to derive from one's own conscience to act upon one's duty.
During the course of its long history (see Timeline of Hinduism), the Hinduism has undergone tremendous review, critique, reforms and change, and yet the original principles whose roots can be traced back to the Vedas have remained strong. Great philosophers such as Shankaracharya, Vivekananda and more recently, Gandhi have enriched mankind's spirituality by exploring the intricacies of Hinduism and, the different schools of Hindu thought has given us great works of art, poetry, and devotion.
It is difficult for a non-Hindu to comprehend some of the practices of complex Hindu society, because it becomes impossible to distinguish a social custom from what the custom signifies today. The caste system, the red dot the Hindu women wear, the concepts of animal and plant worship are some of the examples. The enormous flexibility allowed in Hindu faith is both surprising and shocking to a non-Hindu.
In this section at Kamat's Potpourri, you will find random lessons about Hinduism, which might be the best way to explore Hinduism.
Explore Hinduism at Kamat's Potpourri
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