The Indians’ national religion, the Hinduism, is called santana dharma by the Indians themselves. It’s one of our oldest world religions and it has existed for several thousand years. Hinduism is merely based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life, and therefore it’s not strictly a religion. Because it has no founder, anyone who practices Dharma can call himself a Hindu.
You find parts of the Hinduism in many other religions, for instance the Buddhism. Nevertheless it’s also very different from the other religions because it allows so much. The Hinduism is always changing, although it still remains the same.
Around 780 million Hindu worshippers are spread across the earth, but most of them live in India, which is the centre of the Hinduism.
As much as 80% of the population in India and Nepal are Hindus, but you find Hinduism in almost every place you find an Indian. The United States, Canada, Great Britain and South-Africa are some of the places where Hinduism is widespread.
There’s only one real God in the Hinduism, which is Brahma,
In the Hinduism, there are casts. A cast is a rank that is given to a human already when it’s born. The casts are not as important as they were before, but they’re still used at the countryside, where 70% of the Indian population still live. If you’re born with a cast of low rank, you can’t associate with someone with a higher rank than yourself. The worst thing you can do is to marry someone with a lower cast than yourself. People with high casts can’t butcher, or be in contact with a butcher. If they do this they can become “impure.” People with a high rank are not supposed to help people with a low rank, because the cast is a symbol of your previous life. It’s your own fault that you have been given the cast you’ve got, and this is the reason why there is so large difference between rich and poor in India.
At the beginning there were only four casts; the priest cast, the warrior cast, the worker cast, and the servant cast. When these casts were gradually broken, new casts came into being, and by the year 1900 there were about 3000 different casts in India.
If you did a serious crime, you were thrown out of your cast and became cast loose, consequently a “pariah”. This is the lowest of all casts, and it has to be avoided by all costs. In 1947 there was made a law against cast discrimination, but you can still see the large difference between rich and poor in India.
Bhagavad-Gita is one of the many sacred books you find in the Hinduism, and it’s just a part of a larger collection of books, named Mahabarata. Bhagavad-Gita contains the actual idea that the Hinduism is built on; the people do their duty in the community, and God intervenes if Dharma is threatened.
The book deals with a battle between two parts. Arjuna, the leader of one part, drops his weapons and refuses to fight because he recognizes so many friends among the opponents. One of Brahmas personalities, Vishnu, tells Arjuna why he has to fight. He’s born in the warrior cast, and it’s his duty to fight……
Transmigration of souls
According to Bhagavad-Gita, the world consists of two things; soul and matter. The matter again, consists of three forms; Sattva - the shiny, light and bright, Rajas – the incredible and passionate, and Tamas – the obscure, slow and reduced. Before the world came into being, all these forms were balanced. It was not until they became unbalanced, that the world was created, and the soul was bound to every living creature.