Hinduism

Includes Brahman, 3 hindu deities, dharma, karma, & samsara

Hinduism

Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma ("eternal spiritual path") began about 4000 years ago in India. It was the religion of an ancient people known as the Aryans ("noble people") whose philosophy, religion, and customs are recorded in their sacred texts known as the Vedas. These texts were initially handed down by word of mouth from teacher to student. It was not until much later that they were actually written down. Archeological evidence from the Indus Valley civilization of northwestern India helps to establish Hinduism as the world's oldest living religion. Today, worldwide, there are almost one billion people professing some aspect of Hinduism. The fundamental teachings of Hinduism, which form the foundation of all its different sects, are contained in the concluding portion of the Vedas, and are therefore known as the Vedanta (the "end or concluding portion of the Vedas"). This part of the Vedas is also known as the Upanishads.

I added Dharma in this first paragraph.

Brahman

Most Hindus venerate one or more deities (see Is Hinduism Polytheistic?), 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).

In the Rig Veda, Ultimate Reality is referred to as "the One." In the Purushasukta, it is "Purusha," and in theUpanishads it is called "Brahman," "the One," and several other names. Most modern Hindus refer to the Ultimate Reality as Brahman.

The Upanishads describe Brahman as "the eternal, conscious, irreducible, infinite, omnipresent, spiritual source of the universe of finiteness and change." {2} Brahman is the source of all things and is in all things; it is the Self (atman) of all living beings.

I mentioned the 3 hindu deities in this paragraph above.

3 Hindu Deities

The three main Hindu gods are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The other Hindu gods are Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Ganesha and the Shakti. These Hindu gods often have a central character with several different incarnations, each with its own distinct characteristics.


Karma

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. Karma (or kamma in Pali) is a concept common to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, but interpreted in different ways. This article focuses specifically on Hindu beliefs about karma.

Sasmara

Samsara is the continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation envisioned in Hinduism and other Indian religions. In Hindu and Buddhist practice, samsara is the endless cycle of life and death from which adherents seek liberation. In Hinduism, the prominent belief is that samsara is a feature of a life based on illusion (maya). Illusion enables a person to think s/he is an autonomous being instead of recognizing the connection between one's self and the rest of reality. Believing in the illusion of separateness that persists throughout samsara leads one to act in ways that generate karma and thus perpetuate the cycle of action and rebirth. By fully grasping the unity or oneness of all things, the believer has the potential to break the illusion upon which samsara is based and achieve moksha—liberation from samsara.

Whereas moksha (liberation) acts as the positive motivation for Hindu religious practice, samsara is the negative motivation from which Hindus seek liberation. The undesirable nature of samsara comes from its unpredictability—people are unaware of how the actions or karma in their present life will affect their future. Because past lives affect future ones, a person is never sure about their reincarnation and the suffering that might accompany it because of past actions. As the Indian conception of human existence (prior to one’s enlightenment), samsara is a central component of all religions originating in India. Buddhists and Sikhs view samsara in much the same way as Hindus, and Buddhists particularly stress the concept that life is a form of suffering that is encountered and perpetuated through samsara. Jainism sees samsara as a base and mundane form of existence that one ought to renounce.

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