30+ Interesting Facts About Hinduism
- Hinduism is the world’s 3rd largest religion, with more than 1 billion adherents.
- Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions that developed between 500 BC and 300 BC.
- India, Nepal, and Mauritius are the only three countries in the world with a majority Hindu population.
- Yoga is known as a physical and mental exercise in the West. In reality, it is a religious practice in Hinduism. (Source)
- There is no prohibition on eating meat in Hinduism. But many Hindus are vegetarians due to their disliking of the killing of animals for food.
- People are divided into four classes (varnas) in Hinduism. These include Brahmins (religious scholars), Kshatriyas (rulers and warriors), Vaishyas (merchants), and Shudras (laborers). They are believed to be originated from the head, arms, thighs, and feet of Brahma (god of creation) respectively.
- Apart from these castes, there are Dalits (untouchables) in the system as sweepers and latrine cleaners. (Source)
Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage, is held after every 12 years. It is known as the
world’s largest religious gathering.
View of Kumbh Mela in 1989
- Around 95% of the total world Hindu population resides in India alone.
- Nepal has the highest percentage of the Hindu population (over 81%) in the entire world.
- A Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala is the richest temple in the world. The estimated wealth inside the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is more than $1 trillion. (Source)
- Hinduism is a polytheistic religion that believes in several gods (devas) and goddesses (devis).
- The three oldest religious texts belong to Hinduism, which dates back to 1200 BC. These are the Atharvaveda, the Yajurveda, and the Samaveda. Rigveda, another Hindu text, is the 6th oldest in the world. (Source)
- Ayurveda is the medical knowledge and practice connected to Hinduism. Main ayurvedic practices include herbs, massage, sweat baths, yoga, meditation, and nasal cleansing. Nearly 70% of the Indian population uses Ayurveda for primary health care. (Source)
- Brahma (creator of the universe), Vishnu (preserver of the universe), and Shiva (destroyer of the universe) are the three chief gods in Hinduism.
- Out of six, the two schools of thought in Hinduism (Samkhya and Mamasa) believe in atheism.
- Unlike other major religions, Hinduism has no founder. This religion evolved in different periods with the inclusion of new beliefs and rituals. Chanting and sacrifice were introduced during the “Vedic Period” (1500 BC to 500 BC) while worshiping of deities started in the “Classical Period” (500 BC to 500 AD).
- Mahabharata, an ancient Hindu poem, is the longest poem ever written. This poem contains 1.8 million words and 200,000 verses. (Source)
- There are four main sects in Hinduism: Smarta (followers of all major deities), Shaktism (followers of Devi), Shaivism (followers of Shiva), and Vaishnava (followers of Vishnu).
- Hinduism has the highest number of religious festivals than any other religion. (Source)
- The cow is a sacred animal in Hinduism due to its admiration in several Hindu texts. However, the aggressive cow-friendly policies in India are creating problems for citizens. (Source)
- Lotus is a sacred flower in Hinduism.
- Singing and dancing are acts of worship in Hinduism.
- The founder
of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi, was shot and killed by a member of an
extremist Hindu party.
Indian founder Mahatma Gandhi was killed by member of Hindu organization
- The largest Hindu temple, Angkor Wat, is located in a Hindu minority country Cambodia. (Source)
- 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga practices.
- Most of the Hindu religious text is written in the Sanskrit language. Many Indian languages are based on Sanskrit, but less than 1% of Indians speak this language.
- Reincarnation has an important place in Hinduism. According to this belief, the soul of every living being transfers into any living thing in the new birth. It depends on karma (actions during life) in the previous life. (Source)
- Om and swastika are two primary Hindu symbols. Om (or aum) is considered a sacred sound, while swastika means “good fortune.”
- Several Indian religions are closely-related to Hinduism. Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are derived from Hinduism.
- Saffron is the most sacred color in Hinduism. It symbolizes fire and purity.