Hindus believe in samsara, an eternal cycle of birth, life and deaths or reincarnation, explains How Stuff Works. In Hinduism, each individual soul is considered immortal or eternal. Samsara is controlled by karma, which, in Hinduism, is the moral law of action and reaction. All Hindus believe that each individual accumulates karma during his lifetime and the present condition of the human body and soul is affected by past actions.Continue Reading
Reincarnation means "reenter the flesh." In Hinduism, the soul never dies and just inhabits one body after another during its evolutionary journey. Sometimes, the soul is born into another human body, sometimes in a plant's body, or sometimes an animal body. If an individual accumulates good karma during his lifetime, he may earn a higher place in the Hindu's caste system. If he does evil deeds, his soul may be pushed down to the lowest level of the chain. A person may change his karma by practicing good deeds, yoga or spiritual discipline.
While souls are considered eternal in Hinduism, every Hindus' ultimate goal is to exit the cycle of birth or salvation from samsara, also called moksha. To achieve moksha, a Hindu is expected to break ties from all that binds him to this world and to completely surrender to the Lord. A Hindu who has achieved moksha is released from samsara, which is also seen as an eternal cycle of suffering and pain.Learn more about Hinduism
Varanasi is important to Hindus because it is believed to have been founded by the Hindu god Shiva. The city is a major pilgrimage site and one of the holiest cities in Hinduism, with approximately 2.5 million people visiting it each year.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Most Hindus follow a strict vegetarian diet and abstain from meat, eggs, poultry and other food considered intoxicating, such as alcoholic beverages and caffeine. In addition to maintaining a vegetarian diet, many Hindus refrain from eating food that is spicy or sour. Some practitioners, usually the most devout, eliminate onions, mushrooms and leeks from their diets as well.Full Answer >