Hinduism – Oldest Living Religion
Hinduism is vaguely termed as the oldest living religion in the world. Holding a unique distension of being the third most followed religion after Christianity and Islam, this religion has close to a billion followers worldwide. Predominantly, this religion is followed in the Indian subcontinent and parts of south-east Asia. Nepal is the only country in the world, which has declared Hinduism as the official religion of the country. The followers of Hinduism are called Hindu. Hindi language is derived from this term only, and the name Hindustan (India) is the logical fallout of Hinduism.
The history of Hinduism is so ancient, that there exists no record of its origin. In some contexts, scholars believe that Hinduism existed even before humans learned to live in a civilized society. Historically, Hinduism can be traced back to Vedic roots of ancient Indian civilization, with no single founder as such. Many traditions and cultures embedded into this religion, to give shape to the modern day religion with such a mass following.
The scriptures of Hinduism are vastly distributed among its followers, and have a very strict relevance to the daily activities. The two most common forms of scriptures are Sruti (the revealed) and Smriti (the remembered) texts. The basic fundamentals of these scriptures are Sociology, Mythology, Philosophy and Theology. All these scriptures are in fact a guide to the attainment of the Dharma or the rightful living. The Vedas and the Upanishads are the most important of scriptures of Hinduism. Ramayana and Mahabharata are the grand epics which forms the base of this religion. Every member of the Hindu household remembers these epics by heart, and the values of these are deep inside the core of a true Hindu. And, last but not the least; the Bhagvata Geeta is the scripture, which truly defines the actual essence of Hinduism. It is said that Krishna, a Hindu God, himself narrated Geeta for the benefit of all Hindus.
One of the main beliefs of Hinduism is the Reincarnation and Karma theory, which has its believers worldwide. Even scientists and philosophers have agreed on this principle. According to this, the Human body is nothing but a collection of five elements: earth, water, fire, sky and land. The core of the human being is the soul, which can not be destroyed. The five elements which form the body eventually get dissolved, leaving the soul to attach with other elements to form another body. This, reincarnation says that until and unless the karma, or the deeds are purified, the human body will keep on resurfacing to face the ordeal of the world.