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What is Hinduism?
Hinduism as a religion, dates back over 4,000 years and is the third largest religion with
about 900 million Hindus worldwide. Hinduism is made up of a variety of different religious
beliefs and practices which originated near the river Indus in India. The name 'Hindu'
comes from the word Indus.
What is Aum?
Hindus consider Aum or Om to be the universal name of the Lord and
that it surrounds all of creation. Om symbolizes the life breath which
runs through one's body bestowed (given) by the Parabrahman
(absolute truth). Hindus believe that the Lord started creating the
world after chanting "Aum". Aum is one of the most chanted sound
symbols in India as people believe it has an insightful effect on the body and mind of the
person who chants it. It is found in most sacred Hindu texts or at the beginning of a prayer
or mantra.
Who is the God Brahman?
Hindu’s believe in the supreme God Brahman who is
worshipped in a variety of forms, including: Brahma
(the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), Shiva (the
destroyer) and several others. Hindus believe that
life is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, which is
governed by Karma. They believe that everything
has a cause and an effect, this is called the law of
Karma. Hindus believe that your next life (rebirth)
depends on how your previous life was lived…
There are three main aspects of Brahman which are shown are expressed in the trimurti:
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
There are many thousands of lesser gods and goddesses in Hinduism, these are all ways
of understanding the one true god called Brahman.
Is there a Hindu holy book?
The main Hindu scriptures (sacred writing) are:
Vedas, a collection of hymns praising the Vedic gods. Veda means 'knowledge'
Ramayana, long epic poems about Rama and Sita
Mahabharata, which includes the Bhagavad Gita
Puranas, a collection of stories about the avatars and lives of saints.
Where do Hindu’s worship their god(s)?
Puja (worship) takes place in the Mandir (temple).
Mandirs vary in size from large buildings, surrounded by
walls to small village shrines. People can also visit the
Mandir at any time to participate in the bhajans (religious
songs) and to pray. Hindus often have a special room with
a shrine to particular gods where they can worship at
Why do Hindu’s have a bindi?
A Bindi (from Sanskrit bindu, meaning "a drop,
small particle, dot") is a decoration worn on the
forehead in South Asia (particularly India) and
Southeast Asia. Traditionally, it is a dot of
sandalwood paste (red colour), turmeric or
vermilion applied in the
center of the forehead
close to the eyebrows.
However, it can also
consist of a sign or
piece of jewellery. The tilak (Sanskrit: Tilaka means “mark”) is
also used by men to show religious links or by both sexes after a
puja ritual to invoke religious feelings. Nowadays, bindis are worn
throughout South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and
Pakistan) by women and girls, and no longer signifies age, marital
status, religious background or ethnic affiliation. The bindi has
become a decorative item and is no longer restricted in colour or
Information from BBC: