Hinduism appeared as an amalgam of sacred texts, philosophical teachings, and knowledge from all fields of life long before a term ‘religion’ was even applicable. In India it is called Sanatana Dharma, which can roughly be translated as the ‘Eternal Law’, which governs your whole existence with its various processes inside the mind, body, and soul as well as the outside world. Sounds interesting? And it’s only the tip of the iceberg! Here are 10 facts you didn’t know about Hinduism.
Hinduism is the oldest out of all religions
Let’s put it this way: Hinduism is older than Islam (500 AD), Christianity (50 AD), Judaism (500 BC), Jain (600 BC), Buddha (700 BC), and Greeks (800 BC). Vedas, the sacred texts of not only Hinduism, but Indian culture as a whole, have existed since 2,500 BC. And the events described in Mahabharata, a Sanskrit epic created in Ancient India, are from around 5000 BC. Then there are the events of Ramayana, which according to astrologists and historians took place as early as 7,300 BC.
This is not the first Universe that was created (or destroyed)
Yep, according to the cosmology of Hinduism Universes are created and destroyed after a certain period of time and this process just keeps on repeating itself over and over again. There are 4 cycles in the life of a Universe: Satya Yuga (the Golden Age), Tretha Yuga, Dwapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga, characterized by decline in spiritual development and, eventually, the destruction of the Universe.
We’re living in the Kali Yuga
Each Yuga lasts millions of years, but the Kali Yuga we’re living in is the shortest one – 432,000 years. It is characterized by the rule of demon named Kali (not to be confused with the Goddess Kali). He feeds of war, quarrel, strife, greed, lust, and ignorance. During the Age of Kali people lose their spirituality and focus on material things only.
There are many deities in Hinduism, but three are the most important
There are many gods and goddesses in Hinduism responsible for all kinds of things from natural elements like water and fire to things like love and wealth. But when it comes to the Universe itself there are three Gods that are the most important – Brahma (the Creator of the Universe), Vishnu (the Preserver of the Universe), and Shiva (the Destroyer of the Universe).