Hindu

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Background

Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of South Asia. Hinduism is often referred to as Sanātana Dharma, a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law," by its adherents. Generic "types" of Hinduism that attempt to accommodate a variety of complex views span folk and Vedic Hinduism to bhakti tradition, as in Vaishnavism. Hinduism also includes yogic traditions and a wide spectrum of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma and societal norms such as Hindu marriage customs.

Basic Beliefs:

  1. The three-in-one god known as "Brahman," which is composed of: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).
  2. The Caste System.
  3. Karma. The law that good begets good, and bad begets bad. Every action, thought, or decision one makes has consequences – good or bad – that will return to each person in the present life, or in one yet to come.
  4. Reincarnation. Also known as "transmigration of souls," or "samsara." This is a journey on the "circle of life," where each person experiences as series of physical births, deaths, and rebirths. With good karma, a person can be reborn into a higher caste, or even to godhood. Bad karma can relegate one to a lower caste, or even to life as an animal in their next life.
  5. Nirvana. This is the goal of the Hindu. Nirvana is the release of the soul from the seemingly endless cycle of rebirths.