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Hinduism I am a native of India I was born in a Hindu family The word Hindu is derived from the river Sindhu or Indus Hinduism is a religious tradition of Indian origin comprising the beliefs and practices of Hindus Hinduism is believed to be one of the world s oldest religions in existence It ranks as the third largest religion after Christianity and Islam The place of worship for Hindus is called Mandir Hindus believe God appears on earth at different times in several forms to serve justice Hinduism is viewed in many different ways around the world but I view it as a Trinity of three Gods Brahma Vishnu and Shiva They are 3 different aspects of the one supreme God known as Ishwara or Trimurti The Trinity is engaged in the processes of creation sustenance and dissolution of the universe Brahma is the creator and architect of the universe He has four head each representing the 4 Vedas that are the scriptures of Hinduism Pushkar is the only temple of Brahma in Rajasthan India Brahma s one day equals 4320 million earth years Vishnu is the force of sustenance protection and maintenance of the universe There are 10 incarnations of Vishnu one of them is also the famous Buddha Vishnu worshippers are called Vaishnavas Shiva is the God of disintegration and destruction He is the lord of Yoga and master of spiritual sciences He is also known as Trilochan or three eyed God His third eye on the forehead remains closed and it represents anger He opens his third eye only to destruct evil Shiva resides in the Himalayas and his worshippers are called Shaivas Long ago each follower of Hinduism belonged to one of the thousands of Jats or communities that existed in India These communities were grouped into 4 Varna or social castes Brahmins comprising of the Priests and academics Kshatriyas comprising of the rulers and military Vaishyas comprising of farmers landlords merchants Sudras comprising of peasants servants There was also a fifth group called the Untouchables A person s community determined the range of jobs or professions from which they could choose Marriages normally took place within the same community There were rules that prohibited persons of different groups from eating drinking or even smoking with each other Although practicing untouchability or discriminating against a person because of their caste is now illegal it still prevails in some rural districts Hindus also believe in the Transmigration of the soul This is the transfer of one s soul after death into another body Since the soul is immortal the dead body is cremated Hindus believe in Samasara the theory of birth death rebirth Karma is ones performance during life It states that ones present life is the result of ones past actions and ones future life will be the result of ones present actions Through good deeds thoughts acts one can be reborn at a higher level Bad deeds can cause a person to be reborn at a lower level or even as an animal In conclusion Hinduism is a very broad religion Even Jainism Buddhism and Sikhism are in a sense different Facets of Hinduism Even though Hinduism has been viewed as a polytheistic religion in the west I believe Hinduism is a religion which recognizes a single Deity but which recognizes other gods and goddesses as aspects of that supreme God It is more of a way of life than a religion

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