Want to know more about Hinduism? Here are 25 interesting facts about Hinduism
that you probably didn’t know before reading this!
1. The Rig Veda is the oldest known book in the world
The Rig Veda is an ancient text written in Sanskrit. The date is uncertain, but most experts date it back to 1500 years B.C. It’s the oldest book known in the world, and therefore, Hinduism is also sometimes referred to as the oldest religion.
2. 108 is considered a sacred number
So-called Malas or Garlands of prayer beads come as a string of 108 beads. Mathematicians of Vedic culture saw this number as a wholeness of existence, and that it connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth. 108 has long been a sacred number for Hindus.
3. It’s the third largest religion in the world
Only Christianity and Islam have more followers than Hinduism, which makes it the third largest religion in the world.
4. Hindu belief says that gods can take many forms
There is only one eternal energy, but it can take form as many gods and goddesses. It is also believed that a part of the Brahman lives in every single being in the Universe.
One of the many interesting facts about Hinduism since the other major religions are monotheistic.
5. Sanskrit is the most commonly used language in Hindu texts
Sanskrit is the ancient language of which most of the sacred text is written in and the language’s history goes back to at least 3500 years in time.
6. Hinduism believes in a circular concept of time
The Western world follows a linear concept of time, but Hindus rather believe that time is a manifestation of God, and that it is never-ending.They see life in cycles that begin to end and ends to begin. God is timeless and the past, the present and the future coexist simultaneously.
7. There is no single founder of Hinduism
Most religions and belief systems in the world have a founder, such as Jesus for Christianity, Muhammad for Islam, or Buddha for Buddhism and so on.
Hinduism, however, has no such founder and there is no exact date when it originated. This is because it grew out of cultural and religious changes in India.
8. The real name is Sanātana Dharma
The original name in Sanskrit for Hinduism is Sanātana Dharma. The word Hindu or Indu was used by Greeks to describe the people living around the Indus River. By the 13th century, Hindustan became a popular alternative name for India. And in the 19th century, it is believed that English writers added ism to Hindu and that it was later adopted by the Hindus themselves.
9. Hinduism encourages a vegetarian diet
Ahimsa (non-violence) is a moral principle which can be found in the Hindu faith as well as Buddhism and Jainism. It is a Sanskrit word which means “not to injure” and compassion. That is why many Hindus eat a vegetarian diet because if you eat meat on purpose it is believed that you cause harm to the animals. However, some Hindus just refrain from eating pork and beef.
10. Hindus believe in Karma
A person who does good in life is believed to receive good karma. For every good or bad action in life, the karma will be affected, and if you have good karma at the end of this life, Hindus believe that your next life will be better.
11. There are 4 life goals for Hindus
These are Dharma (righteousness), Artha (means of money), Kama (right desire), and Moksha (salvation). This is another one of the interesting Hinduism facts, and especially since the goal isn’t to please God in order to be allowed into heaven or sent to hell. Hinduism has totally different goals and the ultimate goal is to become one with the Brahman and leave the cycle of reincarnation.
12. Om represents the sound of the universe
Om, also Aum is the most sacred syllable, symbol or mantra in Hinduism. It is often chanted before a mantra or independently. It is thought to be the sound of the Universe or Brahman as sound. It is also used in Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
It’s a spiritual sound that you will hear frequently while practicing yoga or visiting a temple. It is also used for meditation.
13. Yoga is a vital part of Hinduism
The original meaning of Yoga was “Union with God” but in recent years it has moved closer to Western society. But the term yoga is also quite loose as the original term actually refers to various Hindu practices. There are various forms of yoga, although the most common one today is Hatha yoga, but it is thought as one of the lesser paths of yoga… I will write about all the paths of yoga soon!
14. Anyone can attain salvation
There is no saying that people from other religions can’t attain salvation or enlightenment.
15. The Kumbh Mela is the largest spiritual gathering in the world
The Kumbh Mela festival has been awarded the status as a cultural heritage by UNESCO, and on 10 February in 2013, more than 30 million people participated in just one single day.
16. Million of Hindus worship cows
( I will write about why this is so in my next blog!)
17. There are three major sects in Hinduism: Shaiva, Shakti, and Vaishnava
18. There are more than 1 billion Hindus in the world, but most of them are from India
19. Ayurveda is a science of medicine which is part of the sacred Vedas
20. Diwali, Gudhipadawa, Vijayadashami,Ganesh festival, Navratri are some of the important Hindu festivals!