Hinduism is believed to be the oldest living religion, as old as the Indian civilization. It originated about 5000 years ago. It flourished during the period associated with the Indus valley civilisation. Later, it was moulded by the Aryan culture. It is because of hindutva (hinduism) that the area where these civilisations resided was named as Hindustan.
Hinduism is said to have no founder. It is believed to exist from time immemorial. It is said that Hinduism evolved from the deep thinking process of learned people, saints, sages, philosophers etc. The foundation of Hinduism exists and is based on the Vedas and Upanishads. The four Vedas Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda are considered to be wise wordings of Saints who were believed to be avtaar of Brahmadev.The Rigveda was initially written by Maharshi Valmiki. Upanishads are also known as Vedanta as they are extensions of the Vedic philosophy.
Hinduism, unlike other religions has no set of dogmas or creeds and no single source of authority. It’s greatest power is “unity in diversity “. According to Hinduism, Brahma is the creator and responsible for existence of all and the Atma or the soul is a life force which exists in every living thing. It firmly believes that the soul is indestructible and is considered to re-emerge in different forms. Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Mahesh i.e. Shankar (destroyer) are three forms of the God. It also believes in Moksha (to get rid of sorrow, worries, miseries, anger, hatred, ego etc.) and enter into a peaceful state of mind.
The word OM is considered as the symbolic representation of the Creator, and it encompasses in itself the whole universe. Hinduism expects everyone to carry out their Dharma (duties) righteously. It believes that God is the only one and he takes birth in various forms. For example, Ram, Krishna Parshuram were believed to be avtaars of Lord Vishnu. It preaches idol worship known as pooja. It also recommends dhyan/meditation, practice of yoga and adoration of the name o the god. Yoga was initially preached by Patanjali. It leads to physical, mental and spiritual fitness.
Compassion towards all the living beings is one of the main principles of Hinduism. It is considered that Dnyanyoga is the path of true divine knowledge, Karma yoga is the path of good deeds and Bhakti yoga is the path of complete devotion to god. Hinduism teaches one about his duties and preaches correct way of living life with a peaceful and pure mind. It tells that every living thing deserves good and must perform good deeds along with devotion of god. This will help one in enlightenment. It teaches us that whole world is our family, “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam”.