Hindu Religious Worldview
Hinduism does not have a single, unifying sacred narrative. Instead there are numerous narratives ranging from the theological to the ethical to the ritual, mythical, and social. The following beliefs are not universal.
1. Hindus believe in a single, all pervasive World Soul, called Brahman, the spiritual essence that underlies all reality. Brahman is the foundation of all physical matter, energy, time and space, and being. Brahman is present in all people in the form of the atman. Brahman is spiritual but not spirit. Some define Brahman as “the one, all-pervasive Supreme existence.” Brahman cannot be described.
2. Brahman manifests itself in the various personal high divinities that create the world.
3. The universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and closure.
4. Hindus believe in karma, that they create their own destiny through thoughts, words, and deeds.
5. Hindus believe that their soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained.
6. Hindus believe that divine beings live in unseen worlds. Worshipers can communicate with these beings through temple worship, rituals, and personal devotionals.
7. Hindus believe that to know Brahman, the Transcendent Absolute, they must practice personal discipline, meditation, dharma, purification as well as take pilgrimages.
8. Dharma is the foundational concept in Hinduism, a wide-ranging term for righteousness, law, duty, moral teachings, religion itself, or the order in the universe.
9. Hindus believe that there is no single path to salvation, but they recognize three paths: Path of Deeds (Karma yoga - the belief that deliverance can be obtained by fulfilling family and social duties which overcomes the...