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  • Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, with more than 1 billion adherents

  • globally. It ranks just below Christianity and Islam, and is considered to be one of

  • the world’s oldest active religions. So, where did it all start? What’s the history

  • of Hinduism?

  • Well, first and foremost, Hinduism doesn’t have one specific set of teachings, nor a

  • specific holy doctrine or founder. Though, it may have originated as far back as 3000

  • BCE, with the Indus Valley Civilization, near the current border of Pakistan and India.

  • Although Hinduism is commonly classified as a religion, it is also considered a philosophy

  • and a culture. Because the belief system has no standard method of practice, it’s considered

  • to be one of the most tolerant religions in the world.

  • Hinduism is closely associated with other Eastern religions. In fact, Hinduism incorporated

  • concepts like karma and reincarnation, around the same time that similar concepts emerged

  • in Buddhism and Jainism. These ideas deal with the cycle of life and rebirth, as well

  • as the consequences of a person’s actions.

  • Another major distinguishing feature of Hinduism, compared to most other active religions, is

  • its belief in multiple deities. The primary three are Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, but there

  • are many others. However, some Hindus consider these deities to be manifestations of a single

  • cosmic spirit, called brahman, who is genderless and omnipotent.

  • Many Hindus also consider the ancient Vedic texts to be sacred. The scripture was written

  • in Sanskrit around 1000 BCE, as a hymn to the gods. Within the Veda, multiple major

  • and minor deities are described, including Indra, the king of the gods, and Vishnu, a

  • protector god. Today, Hindus still recite verses from this text ritualistically, during

  • weddings and funerals.

  • Currently, about 15% of the world’s population subscribes to Hinduism, with roughly 99% of

  • Hindus residing in India and Nepal. In nations like Mauritius, Fiji and Guyana, Hindus also

  • constitute a large minority. In America, there are also about 2 million Hindus, and make

  • up about a half of a percent of the population.

  • Hinduism started in South Asia, and continues to thrive there. India’s relationship with

  • Hinduism is deep, with the Hindu-nationalistIndian People’s Partycurrently wielding

  • power. India’s Prime Minister is also the latest in a long line of predominantly Hindu

  • leaders.

  • By 2050, Hinduism is expected to grow by 34%, with about 1.4 billion adherents globally.

  • However, as its influence is limited outside Asia, the religion will most likely stay in

  • the number-three-spot, behind Christianity and Islam, for a long time to come.

  • For a look at one extreme, ancient Hindu practice, checking out this video from This Happened

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Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, with more than 1 billion adherents

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What Is The History of Hinduism?

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    BH posted on 2016/10/20
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