Hinduism in brief

GOD IS ONE
but is called by sages with different names.

Hinduism is a monotheist religion ( Rig Veda)

HINDUISM IN BRIEF

 

Hinduism is an orthopraxis, rather than a religion and a way of life. It is not based on rigid dogmas. While claiming a history of great philosophical and theological speculation, it prefers an experiential approach, therefore a direct pursuit of Reality.

Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with approximately 950 million adherents worldwide. Hinduism does not proselytize, as it recognizes all paths leading to Truth as valid.

To the definition of “Hinduism”, traditionally, definitions such as SANATANA DHARMA, “eternal norm”; vaidika-dharma, the religion of the Vedas; matrka-dharma, the Mother of every norm are preferred. The common denominator is the term dharma. DHARMA is the cosmic order of all reality.

 
 
 

DHARMA

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The cosmic order, dharma, is the substratum of all that exists; the set of ethical laws that promote peace, growth and harmony between beings. Dharma implies the set of physical, biological and ethical laws that support life; an order that must also be reflected in the actions of man. All that nourishes and supports manifestation, the world, all living beings and society is dharma.

Further information . . .
 
 

KARMA

The theory of karma is based on the law of cause and effect. The term Karma generally gives the idea of something that is done, an action, a job, a duty. The human being's fate is in his hands; he is the result of past actions and the creator of future ones. Through these actions, we sow our own future.

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MOKSHA

The ultimate end of man is supreme Bliss and union with God, moksha.

 

OM - The sacred syllable

 
 
 

The sacred syllable Om is the primordial sound from which sprang all other sounds and languages, it is the synthesis of three sounds a-u-m, the eternal syllable. It is the symbol of the Absolute vibration and of manifestation itself. It is the vibration present in every existing form, in every human being and in every grain of sand, in every atom. It is the nature of Brahman, the Absolute. It is the essence of the Vedas.

 
 
 
 

VEDA

 

Hinduism is not based on the revelation of a single prophet or founder. From the vast ocean of endless knowledge, the ancient seers, rishis, gained an essence to be transmitted to mankind to promote human beings’ welfare and happiness. This eternal knowledge is the VEDA. A knowledge that every human being can, potentially, perceive in a state of deep meditation.

Eternal knowledge, the Vedas, is perceived by wise seers, the rishis.
The Veda outlines the boundaries of Hindu orthodoxy: it is the supreme authority. The foundations of Hindu culture, spirituality, arts and sciences are found in it. The Veda has been preserved intact over thousands of years thanks to the extraordinary mnemonic capacity of the priests, the Brahmins, in charge of transmitting them and preserving their knowledge.

The Hindu sacred Scriptures are divided into two main sets: Shruti, the Divine revelation, and Smriti, texts based on Shruti but compiled by men. There is a large body of Scriptures that contains the wisdom, the history and the spirituality of Hinduism and India. Among these texts, there are the famous Ramayana and Mahabharata, the two great sacred epics; the Puranas rich in myths, symbols, iconographic aspects, celebrations and rituals; the Brahma-sutras, regulatory and doctrinal treatises, Shastra; Tantras and Agamas dedicated to the doctrines of the different traditions.

Further information. . .
 
 
 

Among the main Scriptures:

 
SHRUTI, the Divine revelation1

SHRUTI, the Divine revelation

SMRTI, written texts2

SMRTI, written texts

Itihasa 3

Itihasa

Mahabharata e Ramayana
Purana4

Purana

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Hindu temple

 
 
 
 
 

The temple is the meeting place between the devotee and God, and the main place of gathering and exchange for cultural communities. It does not, however, constitute a "closed" place, but a bridge between the Hindu community and local community in a process of knowledge and mutual acceptance in which everyone is welcome, where the common good is nourished.

Further information. . .
 
 

Some key concepts of Hinduism

 
 
14 cosmic eras, yuga, and the cyclical concept of time
The Hindu concept of time is circular. The universe has no beginning nor end. In Hindu cosmology, it follows an eternal process of emanation and reabsorption, corresponding to the Creator’s, Brahma, exhalation and inhalation. Each cosmic cycle or maha-yuga consists of four ages, yugas: satya, treta, dvapara, kali. Since the perfect era, satya, we witness a gradual decay of virtue. At the end of each Kali-yuga, the manifestation is reabsorbed in a state of latency, pralaya, awaiting a new emanation, shristhi.
24 stages of life, ashrama
The life of human beings is ideally divided into four stages: brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and samnyasa. Considering ideally a hundred years lifespan, the first twenty-five years matches the period of the student, period in which the Scriptures are studied at the Guru’s abode and chastity is observed. In the following twenty-five years, the family stage starts in which household tasks are performed and the individual actively participates in the economic well-being of society. The third stage involves withdrawal to the forest, a partial withdrawal from mundane life, in which the individual studies the Scriptures in depth and intensifies ascetic and meditative practices. The fourth stage is total renunciation of the world, it is the path of the monk.
34 aims, purushartha
The four stages of life they accompany the four human goals: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. The light that illumines everything is dharma, the right behaviour, ethics. Enjoying material things, ever in harmony with the ethical principles of dharma, is artha. Experiencing the sensory and sensual sphere, without being affected by it, is kama. These three goals are defined pravritti, "towards the world." The fourth scope, moksha, is the emancipation from the bonds of ignorance and the realization of the Absolute. This is the nivritti path, the path of the monk who renounces the world. The monk offers his life to the quest for God and in service to all beings.
44 paths or yoga
Yoga is the union of the individual self with the absolute Self. This quest for union can follow different paths according to the qualities and temperaments of each individual. Countless, as countless are human beings, are the ways that lead to ultimate emancipation, moksha or mukti. The Bhagavad-gita gives a three-fold classification of yoga: Karma-, jnana- and bhakti-yoga, paths that merge one into another and do not exclude one another. Karma yoga is the path of conscious and unselfish action. It’s realization implies not to be attached to the fruit of the action. Jnana-yoga implies intellectual and speculative discrimination, between what is real and what is not. Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion and abandon to a personal form of God. Raja-Yoga provides spiritual and meditative practices of various kinds.
 
 
 
 

Countries with the highest rates of Hindus

 
 
Nepal

81.3%

India

79.8%

Mauritius

48.5%

Fiji

30-33%

Guyana

28-33%

Bhutan

25%

Trinidad

22.5%

Suriname

20-27.4%

Hinduism has over 1 billion adherents worldwide (15% of world's population). Along with Christianity (31.5%), Islam (23.2%) and Buddhism (7.1%), Hinduism is one of the four major religions of the world by percentage of population.
Source. . .

 
 
 

Hinduism in Italy

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Hindu communities in Italy

view the webpage about Hindu communities in Italy
 
 

For futher information

 
 
 

Introductory video on Hinduism

 
 

Video "Sanatana Dharma o Induismo"