Essay by dpwinc1University, Bachelor'sA+, June 2009

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Founded in 1000 BC by John Doe, the Hindu religion…. Unlike many other religions of today, Hinduism does not have a single founding person nor is it clear of exactly when it began. Hinduism, also referred to as Sanathana Dharma, is an ancient religion that is believed to have roots that date back to 8000 BC. It is a religion that lacks a unified belief system, and its goal is liberation form earthly existence. Although Hinduism lacks some founding information or a unified belief system, it is the third largest religion practiced today with nearly one billion followers (ReligionFacts.com, 2004). It is also a vital part of the region from where it originated and a major influence on many societies around the world.

Unlike most religions, Hinduism does not rely on a unified system of beliefs. It is a Dharma religion that is comprised of many different traditions and beliefs that have evolved over time.

There is no single set of texts to follow, no single prophet or deity to follow, and no governing authority. Instead, Hinduism contains concepts of paths, strategies, and stages of life for one to achieve self-realization.

Most of the Hindu beliefs are derived from the Vedas. The Vedas are spiritual texts that have been passed down form one generation to the next. There are four basic Vedic books: Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Atharva-Veda (IndiaLife, 2007). These texts provide guidance for one to achieve the sought after self-realization. Self-realization is necessary to break the chain of reincarnation and become liberated from earthly existence.

Becoming liberated from earthly existence is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. Hindu belief is centered on the wheel of reincarnation. Through the concept of karma , one strives to purify the soul by conducting pure deeds. If one cannot perform pure deeds, the...