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What Are the Main Tenets of the Hindu
Hinduism is the world's oldest living religion and has over 900 million followers across the
by Contributing Writer
Hinduism is unique in that, unlike other major world religions such as Islam, Judaism and
Christianity, its followers have a much broader interpretation of orthodox teachings. In many
ways, Hinduism transcends traditional views of what constitutes a religion, as it is a way of life
for its adherents. Still, there are important concepts within the Hindu faith upon which most
Hindus agree.
Unity of All Living Creatures
A central principle of Hinduism is the interconnectedness of all living beings. This philosophy is
reflected in the Hindu teachings on reincarnation and dharma. Reincarnation is the belief that a
soul experiences different lives based on how the previous life was lived. Ultimately, the soul
will achieve oneness with God and thus with all other souls. The unity of all life is also
expressed in the dharmamic principle that a truth greater than any individual consciousness
unites humankind and nature.
Divine Spirit
The majority of Hindus believe in a Supreme Being whose spiritual essence is manifest in many
gods. Hinduism teaches that this Supreme Being is immutable and transcendent, beyond time
and space. Though they worship many gods, Hindus acknowledge three important gods,
Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as responsible for the creations, maintenance, and destruction of the
Karma and Dharma
Karma is the Hindu teaching that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. People control
their own fates through their actions and thoughts. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, the
founder of "Hinduism Today," explains that, "the enduring sense of an ever-present Truth that is
God within man is the essence of the Sanatana Dharma." Following Sanatana Dharma is to
follow a righteous path leading to spiritual maturity, though this will look different for every
The Vedas
The Hindu holy scriptures are comprised of the four Vedic texts, the Samhitas, the Brahmanas,
the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. These texts are revered as sacred and their contents form the
basis for the Sanatana Dharma. Hindus believe the four Vedas were given to scholars from the
Supreme Being. They were passed down through the generations as an oral history, before being
converted to Sanskrit text.