Posts Tagged ‘reincarnation’

Hinduism in a nutshell


Hinduism came into existence in India around 1500B.C.


Hinduism has over 800 million followers worldwide.


90% of Hindus live in India.


Hinduism comes from the Aryan peoples who conquered the Indus Valley in north west India around 1500B.C.


The oldest and most revered holy writings in Hinduism are the Vedas. These consist of four collections of writings including chants, hymns explanations etc.


Numerous other “Holy Books” have been added to the Vedas over the years.


Hindus worship numerous gods.


Temples and shrines are very important in Hinduism with most families having personal shrines in their own homes where they worship their own personal collection of gods.


Communal forms of worship are not the norm within Hinduism.


Each Hindu village will often have a place of worship within it, often a natural feature such as a tree, a hill, or a boulder.


The Gods

There are many thousands of gods in Hinduism. Here are some of the more important or well-known ones

  • Brahma – the creator.
  • Vishnu – the preserver who sustains life.
  • Shiva – the destroyer.
  • Agni – the god of fire.
  • Surya – the sun god.
  • Indra – the powerful god of thunder and lightning.
  • Ganesha – the elphant-headed god, son of Shiva and Parvati.
  • Nandi – the white bull on which Shiva rides.
  • Garuda – the white bird-man which Vishnu rides.
  • Hanuman – the monkey god who helped Rama rescue Sita.

The four main belief systems of Hinduism

Karma – Actions and their subsequent reactions

Caste – the place you have in society

Dharma – the moral law combined with spiritual discipline that guides one’s life

Samsara – the continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth


Hindus believe that there are many ways to God – there is no one true religion.


Hinduism and Jesus


Hinduism does not refer to Jesus in its scriptures.


Some Hindu thinkers, however, include Jesus in their religion in one of two ways. Some believe Jesus was another incarnation of God. Others believe that Jesus spent the years between him being 12 and 30 (where nothing is recorded about him in the Bible) in India being instructed by Hindu teachers. It was then this teaching that he taught during his years of ministry.


Why I’m not a Hindu


For most Hinduism is a hope-less religion. Unless your good outweighs your bad (and most Hindus accept that they are more bad than good) you are onto a downward spiral. Take life one, if the bad you do outweighs your good you do then, not only do you move down a caste, but start the next live with negative karma, making it almost impossible to move up again!!


Hinduism has no end or beginning. Hinduism gives no coherent answer to where we came from or where we are going. There is the possibility of getting out of the caste system and circle of constant reincarnation but it is not know how or where you go to. There are many answers but no cohesion.


Hinduism has a real sense of vagueness about it. Most things are permissible and you only do wrong against yourself – not against god. One web-site I found estimated that although Hindus claim to recognise only one god there are 300 million gods worshipped.


Hinduism is a religion that has been added to here and there and tries to encompass all things into the religion.


Hinduism is a religion of works and not of grace and mercy.


There are major questions that I would need to have answered.


If everyone is reincarnated where did the first people come from?


If everyone is reincarnated why is the world population growing and not shrinking?


If the idea is for people to purify their lives over these different reincarnations why is the world not becoming a better place over time?


If you base your thinking on Karma (i.e. if you do good things good things will happen to you), why are so many of the countries where Hinduism is most prevalent the countries that have experienced a great deal of misery and suffering?