Hinduism Facts
Hinduism Facts

41 Transcendental Hinduism Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published December 28, 2019
  • Dating back to over 4,000 years ago, Hinduism is the world's oldest religion.[7]
  • With approximately 900 million followers, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.[7]
  • Nearly 95% of of the world's Hindus live in India.[7]
  • Hindus believe in the doctrine of samsara, which is the continuous cycle of life, death, and incarnation, as well as karma.[7]
  • Because there is no one founder of Hinduism, and because it embraces many religious ideas, Hinduism is often called the "way of life" or a "family of religions."[7]
  • The word "Hinduism" is from a Sanskrit word that means "dwellers by the Indus River."[6]
  • Hindu Gods
    Hindus worship both male and female gods
  • There are approximately 33 million Hindu gods and demigods.[1]
  • Over 15% of the world's population is Hindu.[6]
  • Approximately 0.7% of Americans practice Hinduism.[6]
  • While there are many gods in Hinduism, they all form one universal spirit called Brahman. Brahman takes three important forms: Brahma (the creator of the universe), Vishnu (the preserver of the universe), and Shiva (the destroyer of the universe).[6]
  • While there is not a singular book of doctrine in Hinduism, the Vedas are some of the most important. Composed in Sanskrit around 1500 BC, they contain sacred verses and hymns.[6]
  • There are six seasons in the Hindu calendar: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter, and winter. Springtime is considered the king of seasons for its pleasant weather.[2]
  • The longest poem in the world is the Mahabharata. Incorporating 1.8 million words, it is 10 times longer than the Odyssey and the Iliad combined. This celebrated epic poem contains Hindu philosophy and devotional material.[8]
  • Mahabharata Facts
    Mahabharata is sometimes called the "Fifth Veda" because of its cultural importance

  • Most Hindus do not believe in euthanasia because they believe it will cause the soul and body to be separated at an unnatural time, damaging the karma of both doctor and patient.[4]
  • According to Hinduism, prayopavesa, or fasting to death, is an acceptable way for a Hindu to end their life, depending on the circumstance.[4]
  • Because so many Hindus live in India, the country is also called "Hindustan."[14]
  • Hinduism is one of the four "Dharmic" or "Indic" traditions. The other religions are Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The Dharma religions share many spiritual concepts, such as dharma, karma, samsara, and moksha, though they are interpreted differently.[14]
  • Hinduism has at its heart the metaphor of Indra's net. Indra's net is an infinitely large net of cords that holds multi-faceted jewels at each vertex, and each jewel is reflected in all of the jewels to describe the interconnectedness of the universe.[3]
  • The largest religious structure in the world is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Initially built to the Hindu god Vishnu in the early 12th century, it is made from 5 million tons of sandstone.[9]
  • Angkor Wat Fact
    Angkor Wat was originally a Hindu temple, but it was transformed into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century

  • Hindus worship both male and female deities.[14]
  • Scholars note that the movie Star Wars helped mainstream America become more receptive to Hindu and Indian mysticism than any other other cultural factor.[3]
  • Famous Hindus include J.D. Salinger, M. Night Shyamalan, and Ben Kingsley.[5]
  • Hindus believe in yuga, which is a large unit or epoch of time. There are four yugas, with the apocalypse end of the fourth. We are currently living in the second half of the final yuga.[15]
  • The largest human gathering on earth is the Kumbh Mela. A spiritual gathering held every three years, this Hindu festival attracts over 100 million people.[11]
  • Hindus were the first to use basic concepts of mathematics, such as zero, the decimal system, infinity, and pi.[14]
  • The number 108 is considered to be the most sacred number in Hinduism. It is sacred because it is the ratio of the sun's distance from earth to the sun's diameter and the ratio of the moon's distance from earth to the moon's diameter.[14]
  • In Hinduism, rivers are considered sacred. The most sacred river in India is the Ganges River, which is supposed to wash away a person's sins.[13]
  • Star Wars and Hinduism
    Other movies that contain Hindu themes are The Matrix, Interstellar, and Batman
  • Hollywood movies have incorporated some important Hindu concepts. For example, movies such as Interstellar, The Matrix, Batman, and Star Wars include themes of a transcendental force and the reality/illusion paradox.[3]
  • Sanskrit is the most common language in Hindu scriptures; it is also the oldest language in the world.[14]
  • While most Hindus live in India, Indian diaspora has helped spread the religion around the globe. Sizable Hindu populations outside of India reside in the UK, Canada, the United States, East Africa, and the island of Bali in Indonesia.[10]
  • One core belief of Hinduism is that karma is essentially the law of cause and effect. What you do in this life will affect you in the next. Karma is not determined by a conscious god but by an automatic process or the nature of the universe.[10]
  • The earliest text in Sanskrit is a collection of texts called "Vedas," which is related to "wisdom," "vision," and the Latin videre, "to see."[12]
  • One of the most important terms in Hinduism is "dharma," which is from the root dhr, meaning "to found, maintain, uphold."[12]
  • Recent polls show that approximately 40% of Americans believe in the Hindu concept of reincarnation.[10]
  • In Hinduism, the endless cycles of karma and incarnation are curses. The ultimate goal of a Hindu is to avoid both and achieve moksha, a "state of oneness with ultimate reality."[10]
  • The Beatles became interested in Hinduism through the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Their trip to India resulted in one of their most creative periods. However, their stay in India was cut short following sexual misconduct allegations against the Maharishi.[12]
  • The Hindu concept of Brahman is sometimes referred to as God; Brahman is impersonal, indefinable, unknowable, unmanifested, without attributes, and the sum of everything that exists. In Hinduism, we are all Brahman, but the belief that we have our individual identity is what keeps us chained to the wheel of reincarnation.[10]
  • While Hindus worship over 330 million gods, they are all facets of Brahman. So, Hinduism is both monistic and polytheistic.[10]
  • Swastika Fact
    The swastika originally symbolized good luck and the divine until the 1930s, when Hitler appropriated it as an emblem of Aryan identity.
  • Adolf Hitler appropriated the swastika from Hinduism (where it symbolizes reincarnation) and used it as a symbol of terror (not because he believed in reincarnation).[10]
  • A Hindu man in Minnesota owns several Burger King franchises, even though Hindus traditionally avoid eating beef. When asked how he could run a business centered on eating beef, he replied, "religion has its dharma, and business has its dharma."[10]
  • The largest Hindu temple in the United States is in Maple Grove, Minnesota. It has seven distinct sections, so devotees of different gods can worship in the same building.[10]
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