What Are The Major Beliefs Of Hinduism

What Are The Major Beliefs Of Hinduism

Hinduism is the world’s oldest major religion. It has existed in some form since at least 1500BC and is made up of different types of belief, practice, tradition and custom. At the core of Hinduism lies an incredibly diverse set of beliefs, which can vary greatly depending on location, social status, class and other aspects. Although some Hindus may be unfamiliar with certain doctrines, all Hinduism’s core beliefs are shared.

Hinduism is an intensely personal religion- there is no single authority that can authoritatively define what a Hindu believes. Hindus recognize thousands of gods, each with different personalities and characteristics. Hindus believe in the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth, known as samsara. They also believe in karma, the idea that the good or bad deeds of one life will affect the fate of the next life.

Hindus believe that the soul is eternal, but the body it inhabits is not. This means that on death the body and soul separate, but the soul or atman is reborn in another body. This can occur as many times as necessary until the soul has perfected itself, made a union with God and achieved enlightenment. This goal is known as moksha.

Hindus also base their beliefs on the concept of dharma, known as the moral order of the universe. Dharma involves not only the beliefs and practices of the individual, but the entire universe. To achieve moksha, the individual will look to align with the dharma of both their environment and the greater universe.

Diversity is a key feature in Hindu beliefs and practices, with various levels of commitment. Hindus are also expected to treat other religions with respect. The overall principle that guides Hindus is to treat all as one’s own, with empathy and understanding.

The Avatars of Vishnu

Vishnu is one of the three major gods in the Hindu pantheon and one of the most important figures in Hinduism. Vishnu is the preserver of the universe and is believed to appear in different forms or avatars throughout history. The most famous avatars are Krishna, Rama, and Buddha. According to some Hindu traditions, Vishnu has been reincarnated more than once in the form of humans, animals and plants.

Krishna is the most popular of Vishnu’s avatars. He is regarded as the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, and is depicted as a man playing flute amongst cows and gopis, or rural women. Rama is an epic hero and the hero of the Ramayana, an ancient Hindu epic poem. Rama is depicted as an exemplary human, who is an ideal husband and a devoted father. The third avatar is the Buddha, who was born a prince but renounced his worldly possessions to pursue a spiritual path. The Buddha is a symbol of enlightenment and a source of spiritual knowledge and the ultimate goal of Buddhism.

Hindus believe that the avatars of Vishnu serve to help humankind spiritually and to restore balance to the world. The avatars remind Hindus of the importance of love and harmony, and of morality and virtue over materialism. By worshipping the avatars, Hindus gain spiritual strength and can draw closer to liberation.

Hindu Practices and Rituals

Hinduism has many different practices and rituals that vary according to location, community and family. At the core of Hinduism lies a set of beliefs and practices, which are shared across the subcontinent. Common rituals include worship of gods and goddesses, prayers, fasting, festivals and pilgrimages.

The worship of idols is a key part of Hinduism, with Hindus worshipping images or murti of deities. These images can be made of wood, stone or metal and are typically adorned with flowers. Hindus also perform puja, a ritual offering of items such as rice, flowers, food and incense to the image or painting of a god. This is done to show devotion and seek their blessing or protection.

Fasting is another important aspect of Hinduism. Hindus will fast during special occasions, such as religious festivals or tithis, a type of lunar calendar used in some Hindu traditions. It is believed that fasting helps to purify the mind and body, and can help with self-discipline and self-reflection.

Festival celebrations are also a major part of Hinduism, with festivals being held in each month of the Hindu calendar. The largest and most well-known of these festivals is Diwali, or Deepavali, a five-day festival of lights that celebrates the victory of good over evil and the return of Rama and Sita.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation are important practices in Hinduism and form part of a path towards enlightenment. Yoga is believed to be a body-mind-spirit path to liberation, while meditation is seen as a way of focusing the mind. Yoga helps to unite the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of a person, while meditation helps to bring clarity and stillness to the mind.

Yoga and meditation are seen as essential practices for achieving moksha. Through regular practice, the practitioner can improve their physical health, mental health and emotional wellbeing. Yoga is also believed to aid in the development of concentration, mindfulness and a greater appreciation for life.

Yoga does not rely on belief in any particular god or the need to adhere to any dogma. Instead, the focus is on the practice itself and its potential to bring about physical, mental and spiritual balance. By practising yoga and meditation regularly, individuals can strive towards the ultimate goal of achieving moksha.

Scriptures and Teachings

The Hindu scripture, the Vedas, is made up of four books and is believed to contain all knowledge and teachings. These texts provide guidance and instruction on the path to moksha, with the Upanishads particularly focusing on the spiritual aspects of life. The Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana are two other major texts in Hinduism that deal with morality, ethics, religion and the meaning of life.

The principles, teachings and beliefs found in Hinduism all point towards one goal, which is the pursuit of truth, harmony and liberation. These scriptures and teachings help to bring out the spiritual nature of humans, and to help guide individuals towards the path of enlightenment and liberation.


Hinduism is made up of many different beliefs, practices, traditions and customs, all of which point towards one goal, which is the achievement of liberation and enlightenment. These beliefs, such as the cycle of birth, life and rebirth, the concept of karma and the pursuit of truth and harmony, are key to understanding Hinduism. In addition, sacred texts and practices, such as yoga and meditation, can help individuals to achieve their goal of liberation. Overall, Hinduism is a deeply spiritual practice that can help individuals to achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

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