Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam. Roughly 95 percent of the world’s Hindus live in India. Because the religion has no specific founder, it’s difficult to trace its origins and history. Hinduism is unique in that it’s not a single religion but a compilation of many traditions and philosophies.
Hinduism embraces many religious ideas. For this reason, it’s sometimes referred to as a “way of life” or a “family of religions,” as opposed to a single, organized religion.
Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic, which means they worship a single deity, known as “Brahman,” but still recognize other gods and goddesses. Followers believe there are multiple paths to reaching their god.
Hindus believe in the doctrines of samsara (the continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation) and karma (the universal law of cause and effect).
One of the key thoughts of Hinduism is “atman,” or the belief in soul. This philosophy holds that living creatures have a soul, and they’re all part of the supreme soul. The goal is to achieve “moksha,” or salvation, which ends the cycle of rebirths to become part of the absolute soul.
One fundamental principle of the religion is the idea that people’s actions and thoughts directly determine their current life and future lives.
Hindus strive to achieve dharma, which is a code of living that emphasizes good conduct and morality.
Hindus revere all living creatures and consider the cow a sacred animal.
Food is an important part of life for Hindus. Most don’t eat beef or pork, and many are vegetarians.
Hinduism is closely related to other Indian religions, including Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.
There are two primary symbols associated with Hinduism, the om and the swastika. The word swastika means "good fortune" or "being happy" in Sanskrit, and the symbol represents good luck. (A diagonal version of the swastika later became associated with Germany’s Nazi Party when they made it their symbol in 1920.)
The om symbol is composed of three Sanskrit letters and represents three sounds (a, u and m), which when combined are considered a sacred sound. The om symbol is often found at family shrines and in Hindu temples.
Hinduism Holy Books
Hindus value many sacred writings as opposed to one holy book.
The primary sacred texts, known as the Vedas, were composed around 1500 B.C. This collection of verses and hymns was written in Sanskrit and contains revelations received by ancient saints and sages.
The Vedas are made up of:
The Rig Veda
1. Place of worship
2. Place of origin,
Meditation, yoga, contemplation, yagna (communal worship), offerings in the temple.
4. Life after death
A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached.
5. Means of Salvation
Reaching enlightenment by the Path of Knowledge, the Path of devotion, or the Path of Good Deeds.
6. Belief of God
. Many gods, but realize that they all come from Atman.
7. Use of statues and pictures
Not credited to a particular founder.
No official clergy. Gurus, Yogis, Rishis, Brahmins, Pundits, priests, priestesses, monks, and nuns.
10. Goal of religion
To break the cycle of birth, death and reincarnation, and attain salvation.
11. Human Nature
Depends on sects.
13. Original Language(s)
14. Day of worship
Orthodox schools prescribe three prayer times a day: at dawn, noon and dusk.
Diverse beliefs depending on sects.
WRONG TIME: 1500 B.C.
WRONG PLACE: India
WRONG FOUNDER: Not known
1. Church building, , personal dwellings, outside, tent, etc.(Acts 2:42)
2. Jerusalem The Christian holiday of Pentecost, which is celebrated the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31).
3.. Prayer, worship in church of Christ, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, weekly communion. Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ , Give as we prosper to the Lord. I Corinthians 2:8-9. II Corinthians 16:1-2
4. Eternity in Heaven or Hell, depending on whether you obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mathew 25: 46
5.Through Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:1-4)
6. One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The godhead
7. Christ built His church (Matthew 1816) The churches of Christ ....Romans 16:16 / Acts 20:28
8. Jesus Christ is the ONLY founder of the church
I Corinthians 3:11-15
9: Gospel preachers, Elders, Deacons and Christians going out into the world to preach the gospel
Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 9: 14-23
10. To love God and obey his commandments while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel so that others may also be saved. Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:31-32
11. Humans are born into the world innocent and over time they are corrupted by sin. No baby is ever born "in sin". .(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might) Romans 9:11
12. Followers or Disciples of Jesus Christ (Christians). Never known as Catholics, Baptist, Mormons, Methodist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, etc.
13. . Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.
14. . Christians only came together on the first day of the week to worship God. (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1-2
15. Christians believe in the Bible "rightly divided"
2 Timothy 2:15.. They learn from the Old Testament (Romans 15:4) but they follow the New Testament (Hebrews 9:15-17).