Things you don't know about Hinduism

Awesome facts on world’s third largest religion – Hinduism.

Even though Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, not all Americans are familiar with it. Here are 8 facts surrounding the religion that dominates South Asia.

Facts on: HINDUISM

1. Moksha

The end-all, final and ultimate goal of Hinduism is to achieve salvation, which is called moksha. It’s basically a combination of freeing oneself from the continuous cycle of death, resulting in rebirth and self-realization.

2. Circular Time Line

Hinduism thinks of time in a circular sense rather than a linear one. There are four ages, or yugas, in this timeline. Satya Yuga, which is the age of innocence or the Golden Age. It lasts for 1,728,000 years. These eras directly follow one another, with the Satya Yuga leading to the Treta Yuga which glides into the Dwapara Yuga and finally ending at the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as a time of wickedness. After this cycle, there is a divine being who is birthed, leading to a new Satya Yuga.

3. Lord Jagannath

The word ‘Juggernaut’ is derived from the Lord of the Universe, or Jagannath. Jagannath is depicted as a “carved and decorated wooden stump with large round eyes and stumps as hands.” He doesn’t have legs. He was pulled on giant chariots during Rath Yatra, which is the festival of chariots. These chariots are the etymological origin for the phrase Juggernaut. The chariots were so large that they crushed worshippers beneath the wheels.

4. Wealth

Hinduism is among the very few religions that don’t care if devotees seek out wealth. There is even Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Wealth is considered both spiritual and material. The goddess means good luck, and is typically preferred by women. She is depicted as a golden-skinned woman with 4 hands. She is usually standing or seated in a full-bloomed lotus with a lot bud in her hand. Each hand represents an end to human life: dharma (righteousness), kama (desire), artha (wealth) and moksha (circle of life).

5. One God

I think just about everyone believes that Hinduism teaches about several gods, however this isn’t the case. There is but one God, however this God comes in many different forms. Devotees pick the god or goddess they would rather follow. Each deity, god and goddess is merely a manifestation of Brahman, the Supreme God.

6. No Single Origin/Founder

Hinduism has a number of different, unique traditions. However, there isn’t a specific founder or moment that it was originated. Hinduism is understood as timeless, and always existing. In fact, there isn’t even a single sacred text. Instead, a compilation of texts, called the Sanatana Dharma or ‘The Eternal Teaching’, represents a complex and old tradition.

7. Om Isn’t Just Any Noise

Om is considered the sound of consciousness. The sound is made up of syllables (A, U, M) to represent several trios, including Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu; dreamless, waking and dreaming states; heaven, underworld, Earth.

8. Rig Veda

Yogis and scholars have placed the Rig Veda as written before 4000 BC, potentially around 12000. More modern scholars believe it is dated around 1500 BC, however it is likely to have been written even earlier than that based on recent finds in India. This book is the Mantra book, containing the oldest of all Sanskrit mantras and built surrounding sound.

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