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Hinduism in India

Havan, A Hindu Ritual
Being the oldest religion in the world, Hinduism is the universal religion. It is the blend of ancient legends, beliefs and customs. Hinduism was born in India. It is the world's third largest religion. Its history can be traced back to more than 4000 years back. It has no human founder. Hinduism is based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life.

Hinduism is monotheistic, it believes in one God. It holds the belief that there is an immense unifying force that governs all existence but that cannot be completely known by the humanity. Hindusm is based on the concept that spirits of all living creatures, come back to earth to live many times in different forms. Rig- veda is the oldest sacred books in India. Hinduism has a number of Holy books, Bhagavad-Gita, The Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Puranas. There are four main castes in Hinduism namely – Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and the Sudras.

God and Goddesses :

Brahma : Supreme eternal deity, Brahma – is considered as the creator of the universe. Brahma has five heads, so that he could watch shatarupa all the time. Brahma grew in a lotus out of the navel of the sleeping Vishnu. He is also the creator of the Vedas.

Vishnu : Regarded as the major God in Hinduism, Vishnu upholds the universal laws. Vishnu is the God of Heaven and creation. He is popularly known through his avatars (incarnations), particularly Rama, Krishna and Buddha. Vishnu descends to earth in order to protect the truth and destroy all evils.

Shiva : Shiva is the destroyer of the world. He is the God of the Yogis. His main attributes are the tridents that represents the three guna and the snakes that show he is beyond the power of death and poison. He is Nataraja (Lord of dance, and he is the lord of wandering spirits and souls.

Festivals :

Diwali : Celebrated in the month of October/November, Diwali, is the most glamorous festival celebrated in India. This festival commemorates Lord Rama's return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile. It is the festival of lights. On this day homes are decorated with the array of lamps and sweets are distributed to everyone.

Holi : Holi is the most colourful festival of the Hindus. It celebrates the arrival of spring and death of demoness- Holika. It occurs around March and is celebrated for two days. On the first day bonfires are lit and on the second day people smear gulal on each other face.

Pongal : Pongal is one of the most important festival celebrated in south India. It is the celebration of the harvest which is observed for three days in January. On this day people pay homage to the Sun God and the Rain God.

Ganesh Chathurthi : Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated on the birthday of the Lord Ganesha. It falls on the forth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. It is the biggest festival in Maharashtra.

Places associated with the Hinduism : Varanasi, Haridwar, Ayodhya, Mathura, Dwaraka, Kanchipuram and Ujjain are the most famous and sacred holy places of India. Ayodhya is the birth place of Lord Rama. Varanasi and Haridwar are the important sites wher Ganga flows. Mathura. Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram and Dwaraka are traditionally called the four corners of the holy India.

Hindu Temples


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