Fast Facts about Hinduism Religion:
History: Hinduism is the world's oldest known religion. History of Hinduism can be traced back to 5000-10,000 B.C.
Facts about size and Rank: It is the third largest religion of the world with more than 1 billion followers.
Location: Most of the Hindus live in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka with considerable presence in all other parts of the world also. About 85% of Hindus live in India. That is why India is also called as "Hindustan."
Known as: People who follow Hinduism are called as "Hindus."
Founder: Hinduism has no single founder. It has been evolving over the thousands of years and will continue to.
Origin: Hinduism originated in India. Hinduism is largely based on the teachings from Vedas.
Meaning of the word: The word "Hinduism" actually has no real meaning because Hinduism was not founded as a religion. The name "Hindu" is given by the people outside of the India, especially Greeks and Arabs, to those living in the vicinity of "Sindhu" river. So, the way of life those people were following is called "Hinduism."
What do they worship: Hindus believe in one God named as "Brahman" but view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations of Him. Therefore, in practice, they worship more than one God. Most Hindus worship God in the form of an idol. Rivers, mountains, trees, animals, and natural things which are useful for a human being are revered in Hinduism. Cow is the most revered animal for Hindus.
Place of Worship: The place of worship of Hindus is called as a temple.
Main Deities: Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva are the creator, protector, and destroyer respectively. These are the three main deities in Hinduism. Besides them, Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Lord Hanuman, Lord Rama, and Goddess Parvati are the most popular deities in Hinduism.
Yugas: According to Hinduism, as there are four seasons in a year, there are four Yugas namely Satya-Yuga, Treta-Yuga, Dvapara-Yuga, Kali-Yuga. At the end of a full cycle of four Yugas, the life on the earth comes to an end (though not completely) and a new era starts. The humanity enters into a new era. The present era is known as Kali-Yuga i.e. Dark Age.
Facts about sects in Hinduism: Hinduism consists of different sects like Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism. The common people follow all the three sects collectively worshiping Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Devi.
Aims of life: Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and Moksha (salvation) are the four objectives of a Hindu's life.
Goal: Salvation is the ultimate goal of a Hindu's life.
Stages of life: According to Hinduism, four stages of life are Brahmcharyashram (Student phase), Grihastahshram (Living with wife and children), Vanprasthashram (leaving the home and pray to God, may keep contact with family), and Sanyasashram (discard everything in life including wife, children, and material things).
Sacred Books or Scriptures: Four Vedas, Upanishadas, Bhagvadgita, 18 Puranas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata are the sacred books of Hindus.
Language: Most of the Hindu scriptures are written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is considered to be the mother of all the languages. Sanskrit is considered to be the language of demi-Gods. The languages Hindus use vary according to regions. They speak all the India languages like Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malyalam, Gujarati, Kashmiri, etc. Outside India, the languages spoken by Hindus are English, Sinhali, Indonesian, etc.
Eating Habits: Most of the Hindus do not eat beef and/or pork. They also do not eat non-vegetarian food on auspicious days. Hinduism strongly advocates vegetarianism. Food is highly revered and wasting the food is considered as a very bad habit.
Karma: Karma means your deeds. Hindus believe that our fate depends upon our Karma i.e. as you sow so shall you reap. If you do bad Karma, you have to compensate for it in this as well as your next life. Your next life depends upon your Karma.
Reincarnation: A soul dwells in every living thing. Body is mortal but the soul is immortal. When we die, our soul enters a new body and the cycle continues until we get salvation.
Interesting facts about Hinduism:
1. The institution of marriage was founded and put forth in practice by Hindus.
2. The first law maker, Manu, was a Hindu and Manu Smriti was the first book on law in the world.
3. Rigveda is the oldest literature known to mankind.
4. Hindus believe that Vedas are written by Gods.
5. According to Vedas, lending money on interest is a bad Karma.
6. Acupuncture and acupressure are vital parts of Hindu customs.
7. Do you know the fact that Vedas were preserved for more than 5000 years without the help of printing technology? This was done by reciting and memorizing all the hymns and through Teacher-Disciple tradition (Guru-Shishya Parampara).
8. India is the home of four great religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
9. Sanskrit is the oldest language known to mankind.
10. The concepts of decimal system, zero, point, pi and many others were used first by Hindus.
11. According to Vedas, Om is the sound which was present at the time of creation of universe and it is the only symbol, which represents the God (Brahman).
12. Parents, teachers, and food are considered next to God.
13. Wasting food is considered as a very bad habit in Hinduism.
14. There is no officially-declared Hindu country in the world as there are Islamic and Christian countries. Nepal was the only Hindu country, but it has now become a republic country.
15. Hindu community is the second most tortured community in the world after Jews.
16. Hindus do not wear footwear inside the temples or homes.
17. Because of the usefulness of rivers, they are highly revered in Hinduism. People call them as mother. Ganges is the highest revered river for Hindus.
18. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the holiest temple for Hindus. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
19. Kashi is situated along the banks of the river Ganges. It is the holiest place for Hindus. Some Hindus believe that if you die in Kashi, you would attend salvation. Some people prefer to spend the last days of their lives in Kashi.
20. There have been substantial evidences that Hinduism had spread all over the world including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, USA, Italy, and many other parts of the world.
21. Hindu population constitutes about 14% of the world population.
22. Hindus believe that we get the human body when our soul passes through 8,400,000 species (Yonis).
23. A few decades back, Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedic Maths, and Hypnotism were considered as superstitions and/or rubbish but with the advent of modern science it is proved now that these things are very helpful for us.
24. Hindus do not worship Lord Brahma individually. He is worshiped only in the form of trinity i.e. Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh together. There is only one temple of Brahma in the world, which is in Pushkar, Rajasthan. The same thing applies to Indra. Indra and Brahma are both cursed because of their weak characters. Some people use this thing against Hinduism but they should understand that Hinduism is bold enough to punish every culprit whoever he/she may be. This also proves the fact that Hindu mythology is not just a fairy tale but is a history in itself as no culture would abandon its own gods.
25. The Ganges River is considered as the most sacred river by Hindus. The Ganges is considered as a goddess. They believe that all of the sins of a person are washed when he/she bathes in Ganges. Ganges water contains more oxygen than any other river in the world and the water remains fresh for longer time. According to a program broadcasted on Discovery, the Ganges water contains bacteria veg which eats up harmful bacteria. Hence, despite being over-polluted, there are less harmful bacteria in it.
26. Practice of cremation is observed by most of the Hindus. The practice of burial is also observed in a small number of castes.