Hinduism

A:

The origins of Hinduism are unknown. This is primarily because Hinduism is not a single system of beliefs but a collection of various beliefs and practices that have evolved over time.

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  • What are the names of Lord Krishna?

    Q: What are the names of Lord Krishna?

    A: There are 108 different names by which Lord (or Sri) Krishna may be known, including Ananta (the Endless Lord), Kanjalochana (the Lotus-Eyed God) and Vishwamurti (Form of the Entire Universe). The name Krishna itself means "Dark-Complexioned Lord".
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  • Why do Hindus not eat meat?

    Q: Why do Hindus not eat meat?

    A: Many Hindus do not eat meat because it is considered tamasic, meaning influenced by ignorance. Some Hindu scriptures do not sanction meat, poultry, fish or eggs, although this is open to interpretation, as other scriptures refer to meals involving meat.
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  • How is the caste system related to Hinduism?

    Q: How is the caste system related to Hinduism?

    A: India's caste system is believed to have originated with the Aryan invasion in the first millennium B.C. and has been a part of Hindu culture ever since, according to Faithology. The caste system has four parts--Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Another part of Hindu society are the Dalits, or untouchables, who were not part of any caste.
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  • What does the Hinduism symbol represent?

    Q: What does the Hinduism symbol represent?

    A: The primary symbol in Hinduism is Aum and this symbol both orally and visually represents God, or Brahmin. To merge with God, those of the Hinduism faith repeatedly chant Om, or Aum.
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  • What is the Hindu creation story?

    Q: What is the Hindu creation story?

    A: There are several Hindu creation stories found in the Hindu scriptures. One story tells of the universe being created from the sound Aum. According to the BBC, the Chandogya Upanishad, a sacred Hindu text, describes creation as the breaking of an egg. This text also claims that in the beginning, Brahman, the supreme reality, created the entire universe through heaven, the earth, the atmosphere and the three seasons.
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  • What foods are Hindus not allowed to eat?

    Q: What foods are Hindus not allowed to eat?

    A: Hindus are forbidden to eat most animal-based foods, such as eggs, fish, poultry or beef. Very strict Hindus also keep alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants out of their diets as well.
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  • Who founded Hinduism?

    Q: Who founded Hinduism?

    A: The origins of Hinduism are unknown. This is primarily because Hinduism is not a single system of beliefs but a collection of various beliefs and practices that have evolved over time.
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  • What does Vishnu hold in his hands?

    Q: What does Vishnu hold in his hands?

    A: Vishnu holds the conch, discus, lotus and mace in each of his four hands. Each of these items represents some element of the world for which Vishnu is considered to be responsible.
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  • What are the components of Hinduism?

    Q: What are the components of Hinduism?

    A: The components of Hinduism can vary from individual to individual but generally include the belief that there is one Supreme Being that is the Creator and the Unmanifest Reality, the belief in four divine Veda scriptures, the belief that the universe will go through multiple creation cycles, the belief in karma, the belief in non-injury, the belief in the reincarnated soul and the belief that there are divine beings living in unseen worlds. Hinduism is a tolerant religion that believes in the sacredness of all life.
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  • Which foods are restricted among Hindus?

    Q: Which foods are restricted among Hindus?

    A: The dietary restrictions of Hindus vary among practitioners: nearly all abstain from eating beef, and some follow a predominantly vegetarian diet, while others, such as Shaktas, consume meat, provided it comes from animals sacrificed in rituals. Among Hindus, Shaivites and Shaktas have the most lenient diets and may include meat products in their meals, while more conservative Hindu branches such as Vaishna abide by theological rules that dictate permissible and impermissible foods.
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  • What is the name of the Hindu holy book?

    Q: What is the name of the Hindu holy book?

    A: The holy book in the Hindu religion is known as the Vedas. This holy book is written in the Sanskrit language.
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  • Who are the major prophets of Hinduism?

    Q: Who are the major prophets of Hinduism?

    A: In true Hinduism, there are no prophets. There are only avatars, who are incarnations of deities, or God himself, into lower realms of existence for special purposes. Avatars are worshipped as one of the core principles of Hinduism.
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  • How has Hinduism impacted the world?

    Q: How has Hinduism impacted the world?

    A: Hinduism has affected society in numerous ways, but perhaps the most significant is the emergence of the caste system in India. Almost all traditions, beliefs and practices that make up Hinduism predate recorded history and even the word "Hinduism" itself. It is often referred to as the oldest religion in the world.
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  • What do Hindus believe in?

    Q: What do Hindus believe in?

    A: According to Religion Facts, Hindus believe in a variety of things, mostly related to their pantheon of deities and what they see as the cyclical nature of the universe. Hindus also believe that all life is sacred and should be treated with respect and reverence.
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  • What is the main symbol for Hinduism called?

    Q: What is the main symbol for Hinduism called?

    A: One of the main symbols for Hinduism is called "Aum" or "om." It represents a sound that is sacred in the religion.
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  • Which mantra is the most powerful mantra in Hinduism ?

    Q: Which mantra is the most powerful mantra in Hinduism ?

    A: The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest and most commonly known chants, or Hindu scriptures, as it is known for its philosophy, which promotes worship and leading a purpose driven lifestyle. The mantra’s spiritual meaning is “May the divine light of the Supreme Being illuminate our intellect to lead us along a path of righteousness.”
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  • What are the names of the main Hindu gods?

    Q: What are the names of the main Hindu gods?

    A: The three members of the Hindu Trinity are Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Ganapati (Ganesha) is the son of Shiva, while Vishnu has two avatars (or divine descendants) named Rama and Krishna.
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  • Why is the Ganges river sacred to Hindus?

    Q: Why is the Ganges river sacred to Hindus?

    A: The Ganges river is sacred to Hindus because it is considered to be the extension of God, Lord Shiva, and therefore, the river is divine and an image of the higher power. Not only does the Ganges hold this sacred quality, but it is able to provide water and agricultural food for 350 million people, as well as nurture the endangered Bengal tiger and the blind freshwater dolphin, the susu.
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  • What is a Hindu title of respect?

    Q: What is a Hindu title of respect?

    A: The word "mahatma" is a title of extremely high respect amongst Hindus. Sanskrit for "Great Soul," this honorific title was given to Gandhi in 1914.
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  • What are some of the modern-day traditions of Hinduism?

    Q: What are some of the modern-day traditions of Hinduism?

    A: Some of the modern-day traditions of Hinduism include regular traditional prayer at home, personal traditions created by individual families, reading traditional literature and continuing to create traditional architectural buildings. One problem that Hindus have seen in the modern age, however, is that children are beginning to question many aspects of the faith.
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  • How often do Hindus pray?

    Q: How often do Hindus pray?

    A: According to the Smithsonian Institution, Hindu prayer, called mantras, occurs daily. This is a part of a larger branch of worship, called puja. The BBC states that puja is an individual act, rather than a communal one.
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