FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Hinduism
Last Updated on February 1, 2023
Summary: This article answers the FAQs or most frequently answered questions about Hinduism that you ever wanted to know.
If you’ve ever been curious about Hinduism, you are not alone. This ancient religion is one of the most commonly misunderstood religions in the world today.
Many people know that there are Hindus somewhere in India and that they eat funny foods like chickpeas and lentils.
Some might even know that many Hindus worship cows because there are so many of them roaming around freely. However, for the most part, most people don’t know much about this fascinating religion.
This article will answer some common questions about Hinduism such as What are the key beliefs of Hindus? How does it differ from other religions? and much more. Keep reading to discover everything you ever wanted to know about Hinduism but were afraid to ask.
Why Do Hindus Worship Cows?
Mammals, fish, birds, and anything else that has the capacity to feel and experience life are all held in the highest regard by Hindus. For Hindus, the cow is a metaphor for all other forms of life.
The cow represents Mother Nature, the source of all life, the provider who never asks for anything in return. The cow is a symbol of life and the provision that keeps life going. Non-violence, or ahimsa, is considered to be the most important value in Hinduism, and the gentle and forgiving nature of cows serves as a prime example of this value.
Aside from these qualities, the cow is also a symbol of power, endurance, motherhood, and altruism. Cows are a symbol of prosperity and contentment with one’s Earthly existence in the Vedic literature.
Additionally, worshipping cows is only one aspect of Hinduism. Elephants, monkeys, and cobras are all revered in the same way as they are seen as manifestations of the infinitely divine. To sum up, Hindus adore the cow since doing so is equivalent to worshiping every deity in Hinduism.
Does Hinduism Have a Founder And A Founding Date?
Hinduism, unlike other religions, has no one founder or creator. Hinduism, unlike Christianity, “Muhammadanism,” Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, does not include the name of its creator.
There is also no definitive date for its “creation.” Even the phrase “Hinduism” as a religion’s name is a very recent development, appearing perhaps in the 17th or 18th century, according to some researchers.
In other words, it comes straight from the heart of God (Brahman). Because of this, it is regarded to be an everlasting religion (Sanatana dharma).
Who Created the Term Hinduism and What Does “Hindu” Mean?
The word “Hindu” does not have an ancient Indian origin. Greeks and Persians coined the term to describe the area and its inhabitants beyond the Indus (or Sindhu) River. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that the word “Hinduism” was widely used. The original term of this eternal religion is Sanatan Dharma,
Sanatan Dharma is another name for the Vedic spiritual path that emphasises the soul’s unbreakable bond to the Supreme Being.
What Does Hinduism Say About Other Religions
All other religions and spiritual practises are welcomed and respected by Hinduism. As it turns out, the ancient Vedas state that there is only one God or Truth, but that it goes by numerous names among the knowledgeable. The teachings of Hindu Sanatan Dharma emphasise not just religious toleration but also religious reverence.
A person’s religious beliefs are none of anyone else’s business, and they should not be ridiculed for being what they are.
What Does Hinduism Say About Atheism?
It is a sin, according to some Hindu scriptures, to be an atheist. However, it is claimed that time has tampered with those books, and the truth is that Hinduism does not care whose God or religion a person follows, or even if he follows any God at all.
To paraphrase something Swami Vivekananda once said: “Blind faith corrupts the soul.” You can pretend to be an atheist if you want, but you shouldn’t ever just accept things on faith. Hinduism instructs its adherents to question everything until they arrive at the truth.
Do Hindus Believe in Reincarnation?
There is a belief in Hinduism that the soul is eternal and reincarnates. According to a fundamental tenet of Hinduism, the soul is eternal and does not perish but instead moves between bodies on Earth.
Now even the scientific community is coming to terms with the concept of past lives. Numerous people have reported recalling prior lives. Science, psychiatry, and parapsychology have all studied these phenomena over the past few decades, and their findings have been documented.
Does Hinduism Have Any Official Books Like the Bible?
The Bhagavad Gita, which has over 700 verses and is divided into 18 chapters, is considered by many to be the most important religious text in the Hindu religion. There are many different yogas and ways to achieve enlightenment, and the Bhagavad Gita details them all.
Many of the issues that people deal with on a regular basis are also addressed in the Gita. As a result, the Bhagavad Gita might be thought of as the “Bible Equivalent” in Hinduism.
Why Are There so Many Gods in Hinduism?
Although Brahman is the term for the Supreme Being that Hindus worship, there are many more deities that Hindus also worship. This is due to the fact that India’s multilingual and multicultural population has developed its own unique perspective on God.
The millions of deities worshipped by Hindus all reflect different facets of the Supreme Absolute, or Brahman, who is believed to possess infinite divine capabilities.
Since Hinduism does not demand uniformity of belief but rather celebrates a variety of ways to God, each individual is free to find his or her own.
Do Hindus Worship Idols?
Hindus worship Gods, not idols. Instead, the statues and images serve as representations of God, allowing devotees to better concentrate on a particular aspect of their worship during times of prayer or meditation. It is believed that having an idol in the home serves as a constant reminder of the divinity.
Why Don’t Hindus Convert People of Other Faiths Into Hinduism?
Most world faiths, in the eyes of Hindus, are simply alternative routes to the same goal—God consciousness and this is the reason why Hindus never went to war in order to convert other religions.
Is Hinduism Polytheistic?
Hinduism’s colourful temples, roadside shrines, and homes are filled with various images and idols of gods and goddesses. It is for this reason that Hinduism has been criticised as being polytheistic and full of idols.
However, this is not polytheism in the usual sense; instead, it is a specific form of monotheistic known as “polymorphic” monotheism, in which one Deity is the basis for multiple manifestations.
What Hinduism Say About Eating Meat?
Vegetarianism is a Hindu method of living without harming others. Not many Hindus are vegetarians today. To the contrary, Hinduism does not prescribe hard and fast rules. There are no rules to follow.
Hinduism teaches us to trust our own judgement when it comes to food, since this body is all we have (for the time being). Only approximately 20% of Hindus today practise vegetarianism.
Is It True that Hindus Worship Millions of Gods and Goddesses?
There’s a common belief that Hindus worship more than 300 million deities. Though no one knows for sure, there must be hundreds or thousands of them that have been worshipped by humans over the centuries. They all reflect pure Brahman.
Thus, worshippers should only worship the ultimate God in whichever way they see fit, according to their nature.
Why Do Hindus Cremate The Dead And Not Bury Them?
Hindus cremate their dead because they think that after so much time spent in a physical body, the spirit becomes attached to the physical form and does not want to go.
Therefore, if the corpse is not cremated after death, the soul will continue to stay in the area where it was most recently seen and will not move on. Also Hinduism believes that the body serves no purpose and hence it must be cremated.
Does Doing Yoga Make You a Hindu?
For Hindus, yoga has long been an essential element of their faith and culture because it is based on scripture and Hindu belief. As a Hindu philosophical tradition, Yoga is open to all people without the need to force them to abandon their religious beliefs or practises.
Though Yoga has its root in Hindusim, practising it does not makes you a hindu.
Is There a Concept of Heaven and Hell in Hinduism?
There are other intelligent beings in the universe, according to Hindu doctrine. Beings from other worlds exist both above and below ours. Gods and celestials reside in the above worlds, while darkness and demons populate the lower ones. People’s afterlife destinations in these dimensions are determined by the quality of their deeds in life.
Even while some people hold the view that there is a heaven and a hell, ancient Hindus did not share this view and so did not pray for a guaranteed position in the afterlife. This is because, according to the principles of Karma, every living thing experiences the consequences of its actions, both in this life and the next.
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