photo by Jon Styer
Hinduism started from Indus Valley as early as 2500 to 1500 B.C.E., a civilization that may have stretched from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. It is the third largest religion in the world with over 900 million followers. Hindus practice their religion in various forms, but they all believe in Brahman as the supreme force. According to Hindu scriptures, humans are trapped in the cycle of endless death and reincarnation “samsara” and their ultimate goal is to liberate “moksha” themselves from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Hindus believe that Shiva is the creator, maintainer, and destroyer of life and everything is a constant interaction between male and female, light and dark, and hot and cold. Hinduism is a way of life that includes family, politics, art, society, and health. The practice of yoga (literally, "discipline") is a well-known aspect of Hinduism.
Hindus belief that karma (the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his/her thoughts, words and deeds) determines who that person is going to be in the next life. Hindus are divided into four socioeconomic groups based on their occupations: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (nobles & warriors), Vaishyas (commoners) and Sudras (servants). Veda (knowledge) is Hindus’ holy book. There are four main denominations in Hinduism: Saivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Smartism.