Hindu Organization of Long Island

AwarenessCommunication Resource

A Brief History of Hinduism

Hindu dharma, popularly known as Hinduism, is one of the oldest religious traditions of the world. Hindus call their tradition "Santana dharma" an ageless eternal law. Hindu dharma includes many scriptures and claims no one founder or seminal event. Of the innumerable scriptures, the Vedas (bodies of knowledge) are the most revered and are believed to have been revealed to learned sages. There are four Vedas, of which the Rig Veda is the oldest and the best known. Hindus also believe in the law of Karma: the moral law of cause and effect. Hindu thought embraces universality and acknowledges that all paths lead to the same supreme being. To look within and recognize the Absolute is the highest goal to a practicing Hindu. The core of Hindu teaching is that all beings are divine and furthermore that God is within any form of existence. This principle is the basis of varied forms of Hindu practices including the worship of various deities, animals, plants and inanimate objects. Hindus consider all forms of worship -- physical, verbal and mental -- to be valid. The main purpose of life is to seek direct personal experience of God.