Hinduism a path of life or religion practiced all around the world, most notably in India and Nepal. It is a polymorphic monotheism which means the worshipped gods represent different aspects of a divine reality, all a part of one great universal spirit that exists within all things.
For example, there is a holy trinity of gods – Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. Brahma is the Creator of the Universe, Vishnu being the Nurturing and Preservation of the Universe, and Shiva being the Spirit of Chaos and destruction required to rebuild and recreate the Universe.
There are a vast amount of different levels within this hierarchy of creation. Each aspect is a part of the greater whole manifesting itself in an infinite amount of ways. One who practices Hinduism worships one or many gods, often both – depending on their family life, community, or personal choice.
Within this Faith, it is believed that we exist in a continual cycle of reincarnation lifetime after lifetime. Our fate is determined by karma, as the accumulation of our actions within a lifetime influences the nature of our next life.
The ultimate spiritual goal is to break out of the reincarnation cycle to become united once again with God. This is achieved through the path of knowledge and the path of devotion. The path of knowledge is the path of study, yoga, and meditation. The path of devotion is the path of praise and worship to God or the gods.
Worldly activities – the pursuit of wealth, power, love, and pleasure – must be performed in harmony with dharma. Dharma holds many meanings, but ultimately represents universal duties, laws and conducts that are considered the right way of living within the Hindu community.
Hinduism can be understood as an umbrella term for different systems of religious understandings. It does not have a single unified belief system but rather is comprised of many different facets of values and traditions.
Despite this, there is still a strong sense of unity within this religion. It encompasses many different ways of achieving the same goal in the end, being the unification with God.