Man is a gregarious animal and cannot life by himself. When he lives in a society and interacts with other human beings, there is a certain protocol that he or she must follow.
This protocol is what tells him what's right from wrong. When our ancestors started settling down from their nomadic selves to a more civilized self, there was a need for having these protocols for code of conduct to be drafted into a more structured form.
That is when 'religion' came into picture. As people settled down in different parts of the globe, the roots of a number of different religions were sown. Some of them are today known as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism among others.
With Hinduism being the largest religion in the country, most of us have met at least one Hindu person in our lifetime. Having its origin in India, it is fair to say that Hinduism is more than just a religion.
It is in fact a way of life. The primary essence of this religion lays in the fact that Hindus belief that as humans, we are all born in debt to the Gods. There is only one supreme power and 33 million forms of his existence. It is ones duty to pay off this debt we owe to the Gods (and other human beings like our parents and teachers who acted as the Almighty's messenger).
This very interesting concept has been acting as a guiding star in the life of Hindus for thousands of years now. Other than this, there are so many other notable things about this wonderful religion.
This article highlights 15 such prominent and interesting facts on Hindu faith which not many people are aware of.
Followers Did Not Use The Word 'Hinduism'
1.The very first fact about Hinduism
The very first fact about Hinduism is that the word ‘Hinduism' was not used by the followers of this religion. They in fact called their religion as ‘Sanatana Dharma', which when literally translated into English means eternal truth. The word ‘Hinduism' was coined much later by fellow Arabs and Greeks and was used to refer to people who had their settlements along the banks of the Sindhu River.
2.Oldest Written Text
Hinduism, as we all know, has four Vedas (viz. Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda). Historical evidence shows that the Rig Veda was penned over 3800 years ago. This makes the Rig Veda one of the oldest sacred texts in the world, thereby confirming the fact that Hinduism is indeed one of the oldest, if not the oldest, religion in the world.
3.Multiple Scriptures, No Founder
The Hindu belief is such that there is no single founder of this religion. This ensures that the religion is dynamic in nature. It also does not have a single sacred text. The Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharatha and many other books speak about the Hindu way of life. That is why, even today, this way of life is left open to interpretation. Thus, Hinduism is one of the most flexible religions in the world and has the provision of catering to the changing times.
4.Circular Concept Of Time
What sets Hinduism apart from all other religions is its belief in the circular concept of time. Most other religions go for a linear concept. According to Hinduism, the four ages are the Satya Yuga (Golden age), Tretha Yuga (Silver age), Dwapara Yuga (Bronze age) and the Kali Yuga (Iron Age). The ages go about in order and, as per beliefs, after the Kali Yuga, there is the dawn of the Satya Yuga again.
5.3rd Largest Religion In The World
It is noteworthy for a religion whose 90% followers reside in a single country to become the 3rd largest religion in the world. This fact is all the way more important, considering that Hinduism is a religion that does not insist on getting people converted to their way of life. Hindus are people who are born into this religion or the ones who have adopted the same on their own free will.
6.Popularity In Pakistan
All of us are well aware that Pakistan is an Islamic state, whereas the United States is a more cosmopolitan one. On that note, it is interesting to note that the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan is greater than that in the USA. The figures are 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively.
7.The Different Sects
Shaiva, Shakti and Vaishnava are the three sects of Hinduism. An interesting fact about the Hindu belief is the fact that the religion is not very strict in the division of the sects. In many ways, these ways of life of all these sects are similar and a person can follow multiple paths if he so desires.
8.Popularity Outside The Country
The largest Hindu temple is not in India. It is in Cambodia (Angkor). In fact, this temple is the largest religious monument of the world and is the major attractive force that contributes to over 50% of the international tourist's travel agenda to the country.
9.The Huge Kumbhamela
The largest spiritual gathering in the world is all about the Hindu belief. It is called the Kumbhamela and takes place every three years. Here, Hindu pilgrims gather in masses to bathe in a sacred river. This festival finds mention in the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and is held in India.
10.The Divinity Of All Souls
An interesting fact about the Hindu belief is that it believes that the soul is always immortal. It merely takes on the form of different bodies before it attains enlightenment. This emphasizes the concept of equality. Thus, all souls are divine and none is more superior to the other.
11.The Path To Salvation
One of the most accommodating religions in the world, the Hindu belief states that if any individual belonging to any particular religion puts in due perseverance and has the required devotion, he or she can attain salvation. It is to be noted that Hindus do not feel that people following the same religion as themselves will be the only one to attain salvation.
12.The Birth Of Other Religions
The Hindu way of life fostered the birth of Buddhism and Sikhism, both of which are major religions of the world today. The founders of both these religions were Hindus by birth and their ideologies is also greatly influenced by that of Hinduism.
13.Equality Of The Sexes
Hinduism believes in equality in all forms and gives the same amount of reverence to both male and female deities. According to the Hindu belief, God is the one who either has no sex or has both. This belief in equality is what sets Hinduism on a different level as compared to the other religions.
14.Ayurveda – The Boon Of Hindu Belief
The Hindu belief is more than what meets the eye. Ayurveda, the highly effective, plant-based process of medically treating a number of ailments owes its origin to this sacred religion. Today, the potential of Ayurveda is realized and it is one of the most researched domains of medicine.
15.Respect For All
An interesting fact about the Hindu belief is that here the parents, teachers, cattle as well as the whole ecosystem and the environment are treated as Gods. This not just makes the religion eco-friendly but also ensures that the food chain is not hampered. Because of the deep-rooted eco-balance, the religion has stood every test of time for thousands of years now.