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HINDUISM

Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions and the main religious tradition of India. More a way of life than a set of beliefs, it has no individual founder. It developed slowly over a long period of time out of a variety of local religions.

WHAT IS BRAHMAN?

Many Hindus believe that beneath this variety there is one unchanging reality known as Brahman, the eternal creative force that made the Universe and to which all things return. Hindus believe that human souls are reborn in cycles of REINCARNATION.

DO HINDU GODS LIVE IN STATUES?

Images are powerful symbols of the presence of a god and offerings are often made before them. The most popular gods include the elephant-headed Ganesh, symbol of wealth and success, and the monkey god Hanuman, symbol of heroism and loyalty.

REINCARNATION

Hindus believe that living things do not have just one life but are trapped in a cycle of death and rebirth, known as samsara. People are reborn into higher or lower social positions depending on their actions in their current life.

DID BUDDHISM LEARN FROM HINDUISM?

Buddhism is not interested in whether God exists, or how and why the world was created. Instead, it focuses on the Hindu idea of the cycle of rebirth and how to achieve nirvana, or release from this cycle, by freeing its followers from greed, hatred, and ignorance.

FIND OUT MORE

Buddhism
Southern Asia

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

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