6 Common Myths About Hinduism

The oldest religion, the specific date of which is still not known, is one of the most mysterious and vibrant confessions of civilization. Hinduism is the world’s oldest surviving religion with over a billion followers and is the 3rd largest behind Christianity and Islam. Some argue that Hinduism is more of a body of wisdom than a religion. Let’s debunk the myths surrounding such a mystical denomination as Hinduism. Reality: In this religion there is one single supreme God, which cannot be known. A huge number of deities worshiped by the followers of religion are manifestations of one God. Trimurti, or three main deities, Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer). As a result, Hinduism is often misunderstood as a polytheistic religion. Reality: Hindus worship what represents God. No adherent of Hinduism will say that he worships an idol. In reality, they only use idols as a physical representation of God, as an object for meditation or prayer. For example, a person who has just opened a business prays to Ganesh (an elephant-headed deity), who brings success and prosperity. Reality: All living beings and creations are considered holy and each has a soul. Indeed, the cow occupies a special place in Hindu society, which is why the consumption of beef is strictly prohibited. A cow is considered a mother who gives milk for food – a holy product for a Hindu. However, the cow is not an object of worship. Reality: Huge numbers of Hindus eat meat, but at least 30% are vegetarians. The concept of vegetarianism comes from ahimsa, the principle of non-violence. Since all living beings are manifestations of God, violence against them is considered a disruption of the natural balance of the universe. Reality: Caste discrimination is rooted not in religion, but in culture. In Hindu texts, caste meant a division into estates according to profession. However, over the years, the caste system has evolved into a rigid social hierarchy. Reality: There is no main holy book in Hinduism. However, it is rich in a huge amount of ancient religious writings. The scriptures include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita and the Song of God.

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