Hindu’s believe in many texts and we know this dating back from the history of Hinduism. Hindu scriptures were initially passed on orally from generation to generation until finally ancient scholars wrote them down; mainly in the Sanskrit language that was the prevailing language of the time. Some of the Hindu scriptures are the Shruti and Smritis. The Shruti primarily refers to the Vedas which represent eternal truths revealed to ancient sages but some other Hindu individuals associated the Vedas with a God or a powerful person. The Smritis are all of the other text different than the Shruti. The most know of the Smritis are the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Although the Hindus worship a large pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, they believe in the one Supreme Power that manifests itself in various forms. This highest and absolute God is called Brahman, “who is without beginning and end, who is beyond the mind and the sense, whose nature is bliss and oneness, who exists in all beings and whom exists all.” Thousands and thousands of years ago, India was a land of diverse cultures, religions, and races. Hinduism was the unifying umbrella that brought peace to the land. May cultures and invaders of India were influenced the development of Hinduism over the centuries. Hinduism was spread all over the region, even way outside of India. Although Hinduism is now practiced all over the world and not just in India like it was thousands of years ago, over 80% of Indians still practice Hinduism today. Hindu society is by and large vegetarian and the practice of vegetarianism is also a direct influence of the preaching of non-violence towards all life. In any society, the body of beliefs and values learnt through the socialization process forms the basis of the culture of that society. The cultural identity and social ethos of the region has shaped Hinduism into what it is today.
My personal favorite aspect of Hinduism is their belief in reincarnation and their ultimate salvation. A Hindu’s ultimate salvation is the