The world’s oldest organized religion, existing for 4500 years. Based
on the ancient Vedic literature, it is a belief system in constant
transition. Populated by an almost infinite number of gods, the faith
is open to adopting any or all of the gods created by younger religions.
Reincarnation, and being held accountable for one’s deeds (karma),
are fundamental components of Hinduism. It is the third largest category
Hinduism is also known as “Sanatana Dharma” to Hindus. In
Sanskrit, the original language of India, ‘Sanatana’ means Everlasting
and ‘Dharma’, by a crude translation, means Religion. The Everlasting
Religion, Hinduism was founded, exists and flourishes in India.
What is Hinduism?
Is it a religion or is it a culture? The truth is - it is both a religion
and a way of life. India gave to the world the original, oldest and most
profound philosophy of life. The brilliant ancestors of present-day indians
explored the Truth behind our existence and gave several philosophies
and theories to define the Truth. At the same time, they created a set
of rules for “good living” on this earth. The philosophical concepts that
Indians gave to mankind are eternal and constitute no religion by themselves.
However, the rules for good or “Dharmic” living that they laid
down constitute the Hindu religion. This article will refer to “Hinduism”
for both the philosophy and the religion, for purposes of simplicity.
Sanatana Dharma does not
have a starting point in history, does not have a founder, and has no
Church. The sages who shaped the Hindu religion merely reiterated the
teachings of the Vedas, the Hindu scriptures (most of which is
unwritten). The Vedas are believed to have no origin. In ancient
India, the Vedas formed the educational system and broadly comprised
all the different spheres of life, such as spiritual, scientific, medical
and so on.
The purpose of this web site is not to “sell” Hinduism or to seek conversions.
As a matter of fact, Hinduism does not believe in conversions. The purpose
of this explanation is to simply try and give a high-level overview of
the religion and the culture that continues to fascinate a lot of people
in the West and in the USA.
The Mother of All Alphabets
The symbol at the top is an Alphabet in the Sanskrit language and is the
most important symbol in the Hindu religion. In a sense, it could be equated
to the Cross of the Christians and the Crescent of the Moslems. It is
pronounced - OM - and signifies God Almighty. Om means “That
which hath No Beginning nor End”. The chanting of Om and meditation
on the symbol are believed to bring health, prosperity, and longevity
to the spiritual aspirant.