Hinduism, the most predominant religion of South Asia, is the world’s third largest religions and one of the oldest. Hinduism is a mix of of religious, philosophical and cultural beliefs and practices that originated in India. The main beliefs of this religion are the focus on reincarnation, the law of cause and effect, the followers of Hinduism must follow a path of righteousness and finally believers’ desire liberation from cyclical births and deaths.
Hinduism is viewed by its followers as a way of life, versus a religion. Hinduism uses Dharma, defined as the law that governs all action(s), as it’s primary practice. This is the code of ethics that all Hindus adhere to. If you practice Dharma, and are successful, you will likely experience Samsara, or rebirth. Also, good Dharma can lead to Karma, which means a rightly reward for a rightly action performed.
Ways to practice Dharma include:
- Telling the truth
- Practicing non-violent interactions with others
- Honesty in all parts of one’s life
- Living a life full of cleanliness
- Having a sense of contentment with one’s life
- Remembering to say prayers often
- Being austere and grateful to those around them
- Persevering through difficult times
- Giving penance when needed
- Being pious and only letting those that practice piety into your lifeThe scriptures used by Hindus are known as the “Shastras,” they are essentially a collection of spiritual laws that have been created by Hindu sages. The scriptures include the Shruti (which are scriptures that were heard by others) and the Smriti (those that have been memorized over the years). The most popular Hindu texts are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of the Upanishads and Ramayana.