Hindu gods bless non-Hindus

Hinduism: Origin, 8 Key Statements & 8 Gods

Hinduism is a world religion that is particularly widespread in India. It has a long history and many gods. We have put together everything you need to know about Hinduism and its most important key messages for you.

Hinduism is one of the oldest world religions that exist. Over time, various influences have led to the development of a wide variety of gods, which are still worshiped today.

With us you will find out what Hinduism iswhen it was written and what you should know about the scriptures of the Vedas. We will also inform you about the Origin and history of Hinduism, you Caste system (Varna) and your Gods.

Hinduism - the world religion of India

The world religion of India: Hinduism

Hinduism is mostly used in India, but also to a large extent in Nepal and up Bali practiced. There are also larger minorities Sri Lanka, in Bangladesh and Great Britain. More than 90,000 Hindus live in Germany.

In the following we will tell you what Hinduism is and when it came about. You can also find out what the holy scriptures of the Hindus is and how that Hinduism symbol looks like.

What is Hinduism

Hinduism is used in Sanskrit too "Santana Dharma" called. Sanskrit is a very old Indian language and translated "Santana Dharma" means "eternal law". Hinduism is with about a billion followers the third largest religion in the world. Only Islam and Christianity stand before him.

Hinduism originated in India. His followers are mostly called "Hindus" or, more rarely, "Hinduists". In contrast to Buddhism, for example, in the Hindu faith there is no personality from which the religion proceeds. She has Developed into its own system for over 3,500 years.

When did Hinduism originate
The beginnings of Hinduism go back to that Indus culture of the Bronze Age back (approx. 2500–1500 BC). Thus it is one of the oldest or even the oldest religions in the world. Unfortunately, almost nothing is known from the Stone Age. The belief of the peoples around the Indian river "Indus" already had many elements that are found in today's Hinduism.

The Vedas

The scriptures of the Vedas

The "Vedas" (also the "Veda") translated means "knowledge". This scripture is the oldest Text collection of Indian religious textsthat is preserved today. It used to be learned by heart and passed on very accurately orally. From the 5th century, there were probably isolated written records.

The Vedas are in four books divided, all of which are dedicated to the gods. The "Rigveda" contains Praises and -talk. The "Samaveda" consists of Melodies and chants. The "Yajurveda" is the book of Supplications, which was summarized from the "Rigveda". In the "Atharvaveda" there are spells and magic formulas for everyday life (such as for weddings or against illness).

In the 19th century, the Vedas were translated into various languages ​​and thus gained wider coverage among the Hindus. Many of them believe that the Texts of the Vedas one are of natural origin and have always existed.

The Hinduism symbol

The Om sign as a Hinduism symbol

The so-called Om sign titled. The syllable "Om" is considered sacred by Hindus and Buddhists. The Sound of "Om" represents the Hindu faith according to the Primal sound, through whose vibration the universe came into being.

In western cultures today the sound is mainly used with the meditationconnected. In Hinduism it stands for the formless God Brahmanwho created the world and represents the world soul. The Hinduism symbol also depicts a triad of the gods Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma.

Important festivals in Hinduism

The festivals of Hinduism are mostly based on the Seasons. The most famous festival is "Holi", at which the beginning of spring is celebrated and the participants join in colored flour or other powder. There are now so-called Holi festivals in many other countries.

Other festivals are on the birthdays of the main godscelebrated. For example, there is "Ganesha Chaturthi" for the birthday of the god Ganesha or "Krishna Janmaschtami" in honor of the god Krishna. "Mahashivaratri" honors the god Shiva.

History and Origins of Hinduism

The emergence and history of Hinduism are divided into the Pre-Vedic and Vedic Religion. There is also the classical and modern Hinduism. The ancient Indus cults of the Bronze Age belong to the pre-Vedic period (approx. 2500–1750 BC), from which prototypical representations of the deity Shiva emerge.

At that time there was already the worship of a great mother goddess, a male deity and the 'great bath' as ​​part of ritual ablutions, which always play a major role in Hinduism. Around 1800 BC BC, the Asiatic nomadic people of the Aryans brought with them some warlike gods, which flowed into Hinduism.

Vedic religion

History and Origins of Hinduism

The Vedic religion existed between 1750 and 500 BC Chr. Won at that time Sacrificial rituals in favor of the gods more and more important. The priest took on an increasingly important role, called themselves Brahmins and understood themselves as the personification of Brahman (unchangeable reality and source of everything in the Vedas). Between 850 and 500 BC Chr. developed that Caste system "Varna" (class society), which we will discuss in more detail later.

In the period of about 500 to 200 BC Chr. it then came to one reform, in which the sacrificial rituals were no longer as well received Monk movements developed, in modesty, Nonviolence and meditation were practiced. Buddhism and Jainism emerged from these movements. Folk Hinduism and the Brahmins, however, persisted.

Classical Hinduism

Classical Hinduism ranged from about 300 to 1100 AD Its main phase was between 300 and 650 AD. There was a stronger exercise of the caste system, Brahmins were valued and women were devalued. It came to Child marriage, the ban on remarriage and widow burns.

Also were Cows are increasingly considered sacred, the Prohibition of slaughtering cattle enacted and it arose hindu templewhich became popular pilgrimage destinations. In the late period of classical Hinduism, the collapse of great empires led to the fact that Hinduism, which was previously quite uniform, changed regionally. Deities like Vishnu or Shiva, for example, came into focus as local deities.

Religious directions such as Shaivism, Vishnuism, Bhakti and Tantrism emerged. Between 1100 and 1850 there was also some Islamic and Christian influence through conquests by Muslims and Christian British. To a small extent, the two religions are still represented in India today.

The Term "hinduism"was only created around 1830 by the British. Previously, followers of Indian non-Muslim faiths were called "Hindus" denotes, without a fixed religious affiliation. The word "Hindu" is derived from the Original culture of the "Indus" from. This is how the people around the river "Indus" (in today's India and Pakistan) were called by the Persians.

Modern Hinduism

Mahatma Gandhi was a representative of Modern Hinduism

Modern Hinduism emerged from around 1850. It denotes new movements that emerged through industrialization. The British wanted to take action against widow burning and child marriage. It formed in intellectual circles Movements thatRejected the caste system and the dominant power of the priests.

From this attitude emerged nonviolent independence movementshow to get through Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) are known. They aroused the interest of western countries and left the so-called "Guruism" arise. On the other hand, there are the more radical Hindus who pursue a 'pure', Vedic Hinduism that is said to be unaffected by Western influences and other religions.

The caste system in Hinduism (Varna)

The term "Varna" means "caste". He designates the Ancient Indian social division into four different classes (box). Once born in a certain caste, no quitting is possible. This system is reminiscent of the class society of the European Middle Ages.

The caste system has been officially abolished in the Federal Republic of India since 1947, but continues to play a major role in society. Each caste has an associated color. According to the legend, they originated from the ancient giant "Purusha", more precisely from his body parts.

Brahmins and Kshatriyas

The first class of "Brahmins" arose from the mouth of the primordial giant Purusha, the second "Kshatriya" from his arms, the "Vaishya" from his thighs and the fourth class "Shudra" from his feet. To the top class ofBrahmins belong to the hindu priest. They teach the Vedas and are with the Color white connected.

The Kshatriyas are the second stand. They wear the Red color. In the past, they mainly belonged to them Princes, kings and warriors. Today will be too Landowner and people in politically important positions are included. This caste is represented to this day in Nepal, North and South India. Your job is to protect the community and to help those in need.

Vaishyas and Shudras

The caste system in Hinduism

The third caste of Vaishyaswears yellow and belongs to urban upper class. it consists of Merchants and Dealers as well as large landowners and pawnbrokers. In the past, this stratum was primarily represented by immigrants who came from 1500 BC. Came to India.

The first three grades will also be the "Twice-born" called, which means that through an initiation rite they can receive the right to learn the scriptures and to perform sacrificial rites. They belong to the fourth and largest caste Shudras. you wear black and are mostly Craftsmen, tenant farmers, day laborers, workers and servants.

Dalits

Another caste are the Dalits. They are inferior to classical Hinduism outside the caste system and will too "the untouchables" or "the casteless" called. To this day, they are discriminated against by people who still believe in the outdated caste system.

To Combating Discrimination a quota was introduced, the Dalits den Access to education should facilitate. In 1995, an Indian politician of Dalit descent was elected Prime Minister for the first time, and in 2017 both candidates in India's presidential election had a Dalit background.

8 key messages and rules of Hinduism

Core statements and rules of Hinduism

Hinduism is one versatile and quite open religion. There are Hindus who regard Buddha as the reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, some also worship Christ and still others practice Muslim cults.

Yet they are all united by the belief in multiple gods (polytheism), Gurus (teachers), Ascetics (abstinent believers), rebirth, karma and redemption (moksha). There are also some important ones Rules and beliefsthat most Hindus pay attention to. We have put them together for you.

1. The Vedas (scriptures) tell of one Unity of diversity. This wisdom supports tolerance towards other religions and different practices.

2.The divine exists in many different forms and different gods.

3.Cows are sacred animals. They must not be eaten or chased away. The mother of all cows "Kamadehnu" is said to be able to fulfill wishes and is revered. According to legend, the god Krishna grew up with cow herders. In addition, the cow is considered a mother and breadwinner because of its milk, among other things.

4.A Hindu should travel to the sacred river Ganges at least once in their life. A washing in this river is supposed to free him from his guilt.

5.The eternal cycle of life is called samsara and consists of life, death and rebirth.

6.Destiny in Hinduism is karma. It arises from good or bad deeds and determines which social class (caste) a Hindu will be in in the next life born again becomes.

7. A Hindu's goal is that his individual soul ("Atman") through redemption or Transcendence ("Moksha") with the World soul ("Brahman") merges. So he leaves the eternal cycle of rebirth ("samsara").

8. Dharma emerges from Brahman, the Absolute. Santana Dharma is another term for Hinduism itself. It is one eternal ("Santana") cosmic order ("Dharma")which represents the whole universe, including its natural laws and all earthly inhabitants.

What is karma

Karma is a spiritual concept according to which every action has a consequence. This can be effective in the present life or in the next life. In Hinduism, belief in karma is closely related to the cycle of rebirth.

The bindi: the red point on the forehead

A bindi is worn by many Indian women. It's a red one painted or glued on forehead decoration, which symbolizes the third eye (third eye chakra). It is Enlightenment and should protect its wearer.

The bindi used to mark which woman is married. Today unmarried women also wear it. It is derived from the gender-neutral "Tilaka" ("Tika"). It is a Blessingsdabbed between the eyes or on the forehead of men and women with red paint.

8 gods of Hinduism (+ meaning)

Hinduism is a flexible and tolerant world religion. That's why there is in the Indian mythologynumerous gods and beings such as mounts and demonswhich are important depending on the region.

Belief in gods in Hinduism is an integral part of Indian culture and everyday life. Images of gods, statues, altars and praying believers can be found everywhere. The gods are all forms of a single divine existence: Brahman (world soul).

The different gods can all relate to the Main god Brahma lead back, but live in their form different properties out. The gods themselves also have different ones Avatarsunder which they occur. For example, Krishna is the eighth avatar of Vishnu. We have compiled the most important gods of Hinduism for you and added their meanings.

How many gods there are in Hinduism
In Hinduism it should over three million gods give. The three main gods are Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti. The three main currents of Hinduism are formed from them: Vishnuism, Shaivism and Shaktism. In one passage in the Vedas 3,306 are mentionedbut all of which go back to the main god Brahma.

Brahma

Brahma, the main god in Hinduism

The god Brahma is a main indian god. He has the World created and is named after the world soul "Brahman". It is all-encompassing, but also irrelevant. For this reason, he is not very actively worshiped, since he has already done his job and no longer significantly influences the world.

Brahma forms one Trimurti (divine trinity) with Vishnu and Shiva. Their functions complement each other. Brahma stands for Creation, Vishnu for preservation and Shiva for destruction. The wife or also female personification ("Shakti") of Brahma is Sarasvati. She is the Indian goddess of wisdom and learning.

Brahma is usually represented with four faces and four arms. He also has some attributes: a prayer wreath, the Vedas, a ladle in yoni shape (square symbol for the female genitalia), a Sacrificial jar and manuscript made from palm leaves. From the Middle Ages he was frequently with a beard shown. Before that, most of the sculptures did not have a beard. It is in some representations on aLotus flower.

Vishnu

Vishnu is one of the most important gods in Hinduism with its own belief system, the Vishnuism. He is one ancient deitywhich already occurs in the Vedas and the Puranas (ancient Hindu script). He also forms a divine trinity with Brahma (creation) and Shiva (destruction).In this he represents the Probation his wife and Shakti, so its female counterpart is Lakshmi.

At the time of the Vedic religion (between 1750 and 500 BC) Vishnu was a God of light and warmth. An important role was also played by him Sacrificial rituals granted. He set time in motion and has earthly space in the form of a Dwarf figure measured. This is one of his incarnations called "Vamana". She took possession of the three worlds: heaven, earth and underworld.

Also, Vishnu is known as Guardian of men and gods, the god of goodness and the averting of disaster. He takes care of that Balance between good and bad. He is usually depicted young and regal with noble headgear and jewelry. He is also in human form four arms. But he can also appear in the form of an animal or riding an eagle.

Its attributes are one Club (for power), a Conch shell (for omnipresence), a Fire wheel (for the sun) and one Lotus flower. The lotus often comes as a in Hinduism Symbol of purity and creation in front.

Shiva

The god Shiva

The god Shiva is known for his opposites. He brings both horror, destruction and calamity as well as kindness, kindness, preservation and Creation. He is also worshiped as the god of dance and feasts, meditation and chastity.

Together with Brahma and Vishnu he forms a Trimurti (divine trinity). Shiva stands for destruction, Brahma for creation and Vishnu for preservation. The god Shiva is one of the most important gods in Hinduism and also has his own belief system: the Shaivism. In this religious group he is considered the highest and most important manifestation of the divine.

His name translates as "cheap" or "promising", but can be found in the ancient scriptures 1008 other names, each of which stands for one of its properties. His wife or feminine manifestation is Parvati (Mother goddess and daughter of the mountains). Together they have two sons, Ganesha and Skanda.

He is usually depicted with three eyes and four arms. The third eye is on the forehead. You can often find it in one meditating position and one Crescent moon on the head. Its attributes are a trident and an hourglass drum, which symbolize life and death. His mount is a bull.

Krishna

The Hindu God Krishna ("the dark one") is considered the eighth avatar of Vishnu. He is called Savior of the world celebrated as, according to legend, he was born from Vishnu to protect the world from danger. It is also used as a God of the cowherd adored because he grew up with them.

He is said to have always played his flute there and thought up pranks. In some stories he is portrayed as a lover and woman who understands women, a warrior or a king. His Companion and lover is Radha, the adulterous goddess of devotion.

Krishna is one of the most famous gods in Hinduism. Most of all he is popular with the so-called "Hare Krishna" adored. This religious group has been trying for a long time to establish the worship of Krishna in the western world as well. For them, God represents the highest embodiment of the divine.

He is mostly in the representations young, has a blue skin (symbolizes infinite consciousness) and yellow clothes (symbolizes the earth). He's also wearing his flute at himself or playing on her. Its legs are often crossed and one is often found near it Beef.

Lakshmi

The Hindu gods Lakshmi, Ganesha and Sarasvati

Lakshmi is the wife, companion and female counterpart of Vishnu. she is the one Goddess of happiness, love, fertility, health and beauty. It also ensures mental well-being, harmony and wealth. She takes care of the earth, nature and all its inhabitants like a mother.

In the pancatantras, an ancient Indian poetry in five books (3rd to 6th centuries), she is worshiped as one of the highest deities. The kindest and most gracious of all goddesses mostly standing or sitting on a lotus flower, the symbol of purity and creation. She has four arms and holds more lotus blossoms in two hands. The other two hands are in a blessing position.

Ganesha

Ganesha is a God of luck with elephant head. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati. According to legend, a mother made him out of clay and then gave him life. He is not just called Messenger of luck, but also as God of wisdom adored.

Besides, he should Remove impedimentswhat makes him an important god for him New beginnings, Schooling, store openings and the like. In his representations, Ganesha has an elephant head, one reddish skin and four arms. They stand for mind, intellect, ego and consciousness.

He usually holds one in his hands broken tusk, one Flower chain, a ax and a Dessertthat he also touches with his trunk. His body is usually very full and he is portrayed either as a child or as a grown man. The big belly symbolizes wealth and the ability to absorb experiences. Like other gods, he too sometimes sits on a lotus flower. His mount is a mouse or a rat.

Sarasvati

The goddess Sarasvati

Sarasvati is that Hindu goddess of language, music and science. She is also called "the eloquent" and is very talented rhetorically. The followers of Hinduism believe that they are Sarasvati's Diversity of language to express all the complex contents of life. Your holiday is that Vasant Panchami Spring Festival.

According to her characteristics, Sarasvati is often revered by artists, students, and intellectual families. Her husband is Brahma, the creator of the world. Sarasvati is usually represented with a String instrument called "Vina". Like many gods in Hinduism, she also has four arms. With two she holds the vina, with the other one rosary and a Book made from palm leaves.

Rama

Rama (also Prince Rama) is one of thehuman forms of the god Vishnu. Like his, Rama's job is that To protect people and keep the evil away. Translated, Rama means "he who rejoices". He is the son of King Dasharatha, who ruled the capital Ayodhya in northern India.

According to legend, the mother of his wife Sita had him banished to the forest for 14 years so that he would not become the royal successor. A demon kidnapped Sita and Rama freed her with the help of a general and his army of monkeys. Therefore it is considered in Hinduism as Warrior and rightful ruler.

At Ramanavami there is a party for his birthday. It will mostly be in the city Ayodhya celebrated. Rama is mostly on representations young and beautiful, royally dressed, wearing jewelry and has one blue skin. Sometimes he wears bow and arrow, sometimes also a quiver, which symbolize his warlike side and the fight against evil.

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