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Hindu Beliefs

Hinduism embraces a diversity of beliefs, a fact that can be initially confusing to Westerners accustomed to creeds, confessions, and carefully-worded belief statements. One can believe a variety of things about God, the universe and the path to liberation and still be considered a Hindu. Perhaps the most well-known Hindu saying about religion is: "Truth is one; sages call it by different names."

Still, there are some beliefs common to nearly all forms of Hinduism that can be identified, and these basic beliefs are generally regarded as boundaries outside of which lies either heresy or non-Hindu religion. These fundamental Hindu beliefs include: the authority of the Vedas (the oldest Indian sacred texts) and the Brahmans (priests); the existence of an enduring soul that transmigrates from one body to another at death (reincarnation); and the law of karma that determines one's destiny both in this life and the next.

Note that a specific belief about God or gods is not considered one of the essentials in Hinduism, which is a major difference between it and monotheistic religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism. Most Hindus are devoted followers of one of the principal gods Shiva, Vishnu or Shakti, and often others besides, yet all these are regarded as manifestations of a single Reality.

  • Brahman

    In Hinduism, most adherents venerate one or more deities, but regard these as manifestations of Ultimate Reality. The Ultimate Reality that is behind the universe and all the gods is called by different names, but most commonly Brahman (not to be confused with the creator god Brahma or the priestly class of Brahmans)... full article →
  • Gods

    Hinduism is a decidedly theistic religion; the difficulty lies in determining whether it is a polytheistic, pantheistic, or perhaps even monotheistic religion... full article →
  • karma (Hinduism)

    The Sanskrit word karma means "actions" or "deeds." As a religious term, karma refers to intentional (usually moral) actions that affect one's fortunes in this life and the next... full article →
  • Meaning of Life

    In Hinduism, there is not just one goal of human life, but four: - Dharma - fulfilling one's purpose - Artha - prosperity - Kama - desire, sexuality, enjoyment - Moksha - enlightenment ## Dharma The Sanskrit word dharma means many things, including "law," "teaching" and "religion... full article →
  • Religious Authority

    In Hinduism, a fundamental defining characteristic of belief is the recognition of the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu scriptures, as an absolute religious authority... full article →

Article Info

Title Hindu Beliefs
Last UpdatedNovember 18, 2016
URL www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/beliefs
Short URLrlft.co/727
MLA Citation “Hindu Beliefs.” ReligionFacts.com. 18 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017. <www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/beliefs>

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