Hinduism is one of the world's larger religions with a following of nearly one billion people throughout the world. The religion's origins are rooted in India, which is also the region in which most of Hinduism's adherents live. Hinduism is the primary religion in India, as well as in Nepal. Hinduism is a unique religion, in that it does not have any one founder or no single scripture. Instead, there have been many different key figures teaching various philosophies and writing a number of different holy books throughout the religion's history. Hinduism is thought to be the oldest religion in the world by most historians and religious experts.
Hinduism is a difficult religion to define, with multiple gods and a wide range of principles and beliefs. Much of the religion is drawn upon the revered texts known as the Veda. The primary basis of Hinduism is largely based on a common value system referred to as dharma. One of the primary beliefs of Hindus is that all existence is part of a massive and all-encompassing cycle of life, with the main phases as birth, death and rebirth, all of which are ruled by karma. Most Hindus believe that the human soul continues on a cycle of living successive lives, with the soul's next incarnation directly depending on how its previous life was lived according to the tenets of Hinduism.
In Hinduism, there are three primary gods who are believed to be responsible for the creation, upkeep and the destruction of the whole world. Brahma is the first god, whose duty was to create the world and all its creatures. Vishnu is the second god of the three, whose responsibility is to preserve the universe and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth during difficult and turbulent times. To this point, Hindus believe Vishnu has been reincarnated nine times. The third god is named Shiva, whose job it is to destroy the universe at its breaking points in order to restore and re-create it. Hindus see the destruction wrought by Shiva as beneficial in the long term.