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jagannath puri rath yatra - hindufaqs.com - 25 Amazing Facts about hinduism

Here are 25 Amazing facts about hinduism

1. Hinduism is the world’s 3rd largest religion closely following Christianity and Islam. However, unlike the top 2 religions, 95% of Hindus live in a single nation! Source

2. If you ask a religious Hindu, when did Krishna or Rama live – they will give an answer like 50 million years ago or some other random big number. Actually, it doesn’t matter. Because, Hindus believe in a circular time (rather than the linear time concept in the Western world).

3. Each of our time cycles has 4 main periods – the Satya yuga (golden age of innocence), Tretha Yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali Yuga. In the last stage, people get so filthy that whole thing is cleaned up and the cycle starts all over again.

kalchakra in Hinduism | Hindu FAQs
kalchakra in Hinduism

4. Hinduism is the oldest of the major extant religions. Its fundamental book – Rig Veda was written over 3800 years ago.

5. Rig Veda was orally passed for 3500+ years in parallel. And yet, its current form has no major discrepancies. It is indeed a stupendous achievement that a major body of work can be orally passed between people in such a large nation with no loss in quality/content.

6. Unlike other major religions, Hinduism doesn’t consider the pursuit of wealth as a sin. In fact, we celebrate wealth in the form of many gods such as Lakshmi, Kubera and Vishnu. Hinduism has a 4 level hierarchy – Kama (pursuit of pleasures including sexual/sensual) – Artha (pursuit of livelihood , wealth and power), Dharma (pursuit of philosophy, religion and doing duties to society) and Moksha (liberation) and we progress from the top to bottom. This is very close to Maslow’s hierarchy and thus Hindus are natural capitalists.

GSB Seva Ganesh Ganpati near King Circle Mumbai is one of richest Mandals | Hindu FAQs
GSB Seva Ganesh Ganpati near King Circle Mumbai is one of Richest Mandals

7. Hinduism is the parent religion for 2 of the other major religions of South Asia – Buddhism and Sikhism. It is also closely associated with its sister religion – Jainism.

8. The holiest number for Hindus is 108. This is the ratio of Sun’s distance (from earth)/Sun’s diameter or Moon’s distance (from earth)/Moon’s diameter. Thus, most of our prayer beads have 108 beads.

9. Beyond India, Hinduism is the dominant religion of many exotic regions such as Nepal, Mauritius, Bali, second biggest religion of Fiji & Sri Lanka and at one point covered most of South east Asia – including Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia. Source

10. The Hindu epic of Mahabharatha – that is often used to teach the principles of Hinduism – is written in 1.8 million words long poem (10X the combined length of the Illiad and Odyssey)

11. Unlike all other major religions, we don’t have a founder or a prophet (like Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammad or Buddha). According to Hindus, the religion has no origin (again coming back to the circular concept).

12. Unlike the popular Western conception, Yoga in Hinduism is not merely an exercise routine. It is one of the founding blocks of the religion.

13. The 4 most holiest animals for Hindus are the cow, elephant, snake and peacock (India’s national bird and a wagon of many Hindu gods) – 4 main animals of India.

14. The largest religious structures in the world – Angkor Vat in Cambodia were built by the Hindu kings of South East Asia.

Ankor Vat in Cambodia | Hindu FAQs
Angkor Vat in Cambodia

15. Hinduism has no formal Institution – no Pope, no Bible and no central body.

16. Unlike Christians or Muslims, we go to the temple at any time, any day. There are no special Sabbath, Sunday congregations or Friday prayers.

17. Hindu scriptures are organized into Vedas (poems that written in multiple levels from abstract rural level and going deeper into cosmic universe), Upanishads (scientific discourses and arguments about the world), Brahmanas (manuals for ritual performances), Aranyakas (experiments done on human mind and nature in the forests), Puranas (mythologies about Hindu gods) and Itihasas (notebooks on “historical” events”).

18. Hindus don’t mourn for anything and believe that happiness is the highest form of religious achievement. Thus, unlike most other religions there is no sad festivals for us where we are supposed to mourn.

19. Fire & Light are among the holiest of offerings for Hindus. The concept of Yajna – offering things to fire – is considered one of the highest forms of worships in Hinduism. It symbolizes the idea that everything meets its end.

Hindus Performing Yagna | Hindu FAQs
Hindus Performing Yagna

20. Hinduism’s holiest body of works – Rig Veda – talks of 33 main gods. Although most Hindus consider the Vedas as the holiest, none of those 33 gods are in mainstream worship now.  Also READ: 330Million Hindu Gods

21. Unlike other major religions, Hindu scriptures ask a number of philosophical questions and is ok with “don’t know” answer for some of them. One of the critical body of these questions is the Prashna Upanishad. unfortunately most of us cannot understand the answer to the fundamental questions posted there.

22. Hindus strongly believe in rebirth and karma. That means my next birth will be determined by my actions of this birth.

23. Hindus hold big chariot processions to carry their gods during special occasions. Some of these chariots can be huge and marauding – sometimes killing people in their path when they lose control. The biggest one of all – Jagannath – gave the English dictionary term Juggernaut -meaning the unstoppable one.

Jagannath Rath Yatra | Hindu FAQs
Jagannath Rath Yatra

24. Hindus hold Ganga as the purest of all waters and believe that bathing in it can purify them of their sins.

Holy River Ganga or Ganges | Hindu FAQs
Holy River Ganga or Ganges

25. Kumbh Mela. It is considered to be largest peaceful gathering in the world with over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. Most of the sadhus and saints are said to be in samadhi and appear only to kumbh mela.

kumbh Mela, Worlds biggest peaceful gathering | Hindu FAQs
kumbh Mela, Worlds biggest peaceful gathering

The holiest number for Hindus is 108. This is the ratio of Sun’s distance (from earth)/Sun’s diameter or Moon’s distance (from earth)/Moon’s diameter. Thus, most of our prayer beads have 108 beads.

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Well, there are many reasons why people ask this  question and there are many answers to the question. People ask this question out of  genuine interest, genuine curiosity, genuine confusion and even out of meanness. So, here are the many answers for why are there many Gods in Hinduism.

Lalbaug Cha Raja
Lalbabu Cha Raja Ganpati and His Millions of Followers

1. There are ‘no-god’ religions, ‘one-god’ religions and ‘many-gods’ religions in this world. ‘Many-gods’ religions are as natural as the  ‘no-god’ religions and ‘one-god’ religions. They just evolved, because God / Nature loves variety. As simple as that.

2. Let us turn this question around. If you are asking  why there are multiple gods in Hinduism, you should also ask why there is only one-god in Abrahamic religions? Why? Why? Why only one God?

3. The ‘one-god’ religions truly do not have one-god. They had many gods and the followers of each God fought with the followers of other gods literally to establish their own superiority  and they made their god as the ‘only available  God’ and called it ‘One-God’. And the story doesn’t stop  there. Whenever there is in-fighting, a new branch of the religion gets created. All the hundreds of branches have different  notions of the same God and fight over their differences. Major branches actually kill and heap abusing each other.

4. The One-God religions are like political parties. The followers rally behind  their God like captive voters of political parties follow their leaders. They want to argue that their God is ‘true’ God and everyone else’s God is ‘false’. How can there be ‘true’ or ‘false’ Gods, if there is only one God?

5. Hinduism is not like a political party. Hindu Gods do not ask for  ‘acceptance’ or ‘belief’, just like Sun, who doesn’t need your or my acceptance or belief for his existence. There is no ‘true’ Sun or false ‘Sun’.   Hinduism is about contemplating and understanding  the oneness of Universe. It is called Brahman, Tat or Aum and by  many other names. But you may ask, why so many names? Because all Natural  objects have multiple names. Sun has many names in many languages. Water has many names in many languages. Only man-made objects have ‘one’ name. For example, Coke, a man-made name is same in  every language.  Toyota, a man-made entity, is the same in every language. The religions that have only one-God that goes by only  one-name must have been man-made religions.

6. The Universe is big. It is not only big in  size, but also in its aspects and  qualities. Each aspect is deep in itself to understand.  For example, the universe regenerates itself continuously. That is one aspect. The universe maintains itself in a state of equilibrium. That is another aspect. The universe gives raise to a diverse set of organisms. That is yet another aspect. The  universe has energy and it moves. That is one more aspect. But also the  universe stays as is  for long time. That  is another aspect. Each God of Hinduism represents one aspect of the Universe.

7. Since our minds are small, we cannot hold the full image of God. Therefore the god you see and the god your brother or sister sees is  going to be different. In stead of fighting over and branch out into multiple religions and denominations, Hinduism says that your image of God is what you can relate to, so go with it. And similarly your brother’s image of God is what he can relate to, so he will have to go with it. You have no business about  your brother’s image of God and your brother has no business about your image of God. You can leave it at that. But if you are a friendly person and if you value your brother as much as you value yourself, you would be curious about his image of god and he would be curious about your image of god. When you exchange each other’s image of God, you will both see a ‘bigger picture’ of God. So for the sake comfort, keep your image of God. For  the sake of  growing, gain a better image of God, by exchanging your ideas of God with your brother. Once you keep growing and your brother keeps growing, both of your images converge to the  same infinite god. No need to fight. Just keep all the Gods. This is the most beautiful and open concept about gods that mankind has ever created. It is free for you to take. What are you waiting for ?

Do read our post: Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism?

vishnu - vishwaroop - hindufaqs.com - Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism

Are there really 330 million Gods in Hinduism? A million dollar question about 330 million Gods of Hindus. The general terminology is “33 koti deva” or Trayastrimsati koti as we call them. In hindi, Marathi and many Indian regional language, koti means crore or 10 million. But, as we say English is a funny language, then well, Sanskrit is a tricky language.

Koti in Sanskrit has many meanings like ‘highest point’ , ‘Excellence’ , ‘Edge’ , ‘Point’ , ‘Pitch’ , ‘Alternative’ etc. It is not necessarily crore. The most important of the meanings is ‘pinnacle’, signifying, core devtas. Second, devta also does not necessarily mean gods, it’s alternative meanings are ‘King’ , ‘God on earth among men’ , ‘divine’ , ‘heavenly’ , ‘cloud’ etc. Its most important meaning is the divine souls.

vishnu - vishwaroop - hindufaqs.com - Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism
vishnu – vishwaroop – hindufaqs.com – Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism

Lets simplify, Koti here means Types. So there are 33 types of Gods in Hinduism as we can say. These doesn’t include the Hindu Trinity i.e. Brahma , Vishnu and Mahesh.

These 33 Koti Devas are :
08 Vasus
11 Rudras
12 Adityas
02 Prajapati

  • 8 Vasu

1Drav Vasu
2. Adhva Vasu
3. Som Vasu
4. Jal Vasu
5. Vaayu Vasu
6. Agni Vasu
7. Pratyuvash Vasu
8. Prayaas Vasu

  • 11 Rudra

9. Veerbhadra Rudra
10. Shumbh Rudra
11. Gireesh Rudra
12. Ajaik paat Rudra
13. Aharbudhyat Rudra
14. Pinaaki Rudra
15. Bhavaanishwapar Rudra
16. Kapaali Rudra
17. Dikpati Rudra
18. Sthanu Rudra
19. Bharg Rudra

  • 12 Aditya

20. Dhata Aditya
21. Aryamaa Aditya
22. Mitr Maditya
23. Vatun Aditya
24. Anshu Aditya
25. Bhag Aditya
26. Vivasvan
27. Dandadi Aditya
28. Poosha Aditya
29. Par-jaya Aditya
30. Twa’nashtaan Aditya
31. Vishnu Aditya

  • 2 Prajapati

32. Prajapati
33. Amit Shatkar

Some other Info from Hinduism Literature:

“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him.” [Yajurveda 32:3]

“Ekam evadvitiyam”
“He is One only without a second.” [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2]

“Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.”
“Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]

“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]

“shudhama poapvidham”
“He is bodiless and pure.” [Yajurveda 40:8]

“Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.”
“His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]

Sanskrit     :  “Ekam evadvitiyam”
Translation:  “He is One only without a second.”

God is one, but he has many names and forms. Since God is omnipresent, omnipresent and omniscient, should not He be present everywhere and in all the existence?

Just like electricity flowing in our homes – it becomes cool air flowing through the AC, becomes light glowing in the bulbs, becomes heat in the kitchen, becomes music through the speakers, dances as pixels on our computer screen – one energy is blissfully dancing through this creation ; ‘The Universal Law’ or ‘The Cosmic Celebration’ whatever one can call.

God is the substratum of this existence. Everything is inside God, because there is no outside at all!

God is one, yet He is many – this is the highest secret, they say, which needs to be experienced and lived as it cannot be understood!

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