Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world. It is estimated to have nearly a billion followers. Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no founder and no common creed or doctrine. Most prevalent among Asian Indians, the religion teaches that God is within each being and object in the universe and also transcends every being and object. It teaches that the essence of each soul is divine; and that the purpose of life is to become aware of that divine essence.
How and when did Hinduism begin?
While there is no shortage of historical scholars, sages, and teachers in Hinduism, there is no historical founder of the religion as a whole, no figure comparable to Jesus, the Buddha, Abraham, or Muhammad. As a consequence, there is no firm date of origin for Hinduism, either. The earliest known sacred texts of Hinduism, the Vedas, date back to at least 3000 BCE, but some date them back even further, to 8000-6000 BCE; and some Hindus themselves believe these texts to be of divine origin, and therefore timeless.
There is no single, authoritative text in Hinduism that functions like the Bible for Christians, or the Qur’an for Muslims. Instead, there are several different collections of texts. The Vedas are the oldest Hindu sacred texts, and have the most wide-ranging authority. They are believed to have been written anywhere from 1800 to 1200 BCE. The Upanishads describe a more philosophical and theoretical approach to the practice of Hinduism and were written roughly between 800 and 400 BCE, around the same time that the Buddha lived and taught. The Mahabharata is the longest epic poem in the world, the most well-known portion of which is the Bhagavad-Gita, which is perhaps the best-known and widely cited book in all of Hinduism; the Ramayana is the other most important epic poem in Hinduism.
Hinduism is related to all the major continuing and connected religions of India. About 80 per cent of India’s massive population regard themselves as Hindu, and there are approximately 30 million Hindus outside of India.
Role of priest for Hinduism
Hindu priest is the heart of hinduism. Within the UK, trained priests were originally brought in from India, but certain organisations and sampradayas now train their priests locally.Traditionally many priests were learned and hence called “pandit.” They were expected to be knowledgeable in scripture and Sanskrit. They perform many hindu rituals and hindu puja as per people’s occations. Ketulbhai joshi is such type of hindu priest in uk who is such a good priest for all this.