Hinduism BeliefsQUESTION: What are the basic Hinduism beliefs?ANSWER:
It is hard to pin down Hinduism beliefs because they are so many and so varied, often contradicting one another.
That is acceptable to the Hindus, since they believe that all paths lead to God and all practices are okay if the devotee is sincere.
There are Hindus who are monotheistic, who believe in one almighty god unknowable to humans, and there are Hindus who are pantheistic, who worship many gods.
There are said to be about 300,000 gods in the Hindu pantheon of deities. One of the high deities is Lord Gnesh, the elephant god. Another one is the Monkey god. Then there is Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and Brahma. The cow is considered sacred as well.
One of the central Hinduism beliefs is the doctrine of reincarnation
, which has many implications to society. Charity to those less fortunate is unheard of. If a person does evil in this life, he will be reincarnated into a lower social caste in the next life. Therefore, those in a lesser social or economic position deserve to be there to make amends for the sins of a previous incarnation.
They believe that God is not separate from his creation. They are one and the same. There is no evil. All is good since all is God.
Life is an endless cycle of reincarnations until a person is able to escape it and merge into Nirvana, nothingness.
To break this endless cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation, it is necessary for a person to do charity and meditate to reach a higher consciousness.
The practice of yoga in its various forms is considered very important to reach this goal.
The devotees in the strict yoga groups are forbidden to eat meat, eggs, and fish. They are forbidden any forms of intoxication; no alcohol or drugs. No sex outside of marriage is allowed. And, within marriage, it is only to produce children. Neither is gambling allowed.