Hinduism Today Magazine Issues and Articles
9 Basic Hindu Beliefs
Category : April/May/June 2009

9 Basic Hindu Beliefs



Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Hinduism Today's founder, assembled these beliefs, a creed shared by most Hindus, to summarize a vast and profound faith. He wrote, "The Hindu is completely filled with his religion all of the time. It is a religion of love. The common bonds uniting all Hindus into a singular spiritual body are the laws of karma and dharma, the belief in reincarnation, all-pervasive Divinity, the ageless traditions and our Gods. Our religion is a religion of closeness, one to another, because of the common bond of loving the same Gods. All Hindu people are a one family, for we cannot separate one God too far from another. Each in His heavenly realm is also of a one family, a divine hierarchy which governs and has governed the Hindu religion from time immemorial, and will govern Sanatana Dharma on into the infinite. The enduring sense of an ever-present Truth that is God within man is the essence of the Sanatana Dharma. Such an inherent reality wells up lifetime after lifetime after lifetime, unfolding the innate perfection of the soul as man comes more fully into the awakened state of seeing his total and complete oneness with God."

1 Reverence for Our Revealed Scriptures

Hindus believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion which has neither beginning nor end.

2 All-Pervasive Divinity

Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

3 Three Worlds and Cycles of Creation

Hindus believe there are three worlds of existence--physical, astral and causal--and that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.

4 The Laws of Karma and Dharma

Hindus believe in karma--the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds--and in dharma, righteous living.

5 Reincarnation and Liberation

Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha--spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth--is attained. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.

6 Temples and the Inner Worlds

Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.

7 Yoga Guided by a Satguru

Hindus believe that a spiritually awakened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation.

8 Compassion and Noninjury

Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, "noninjury."

9 Genuine Respect for Other Faiths

Hindus believe that no particular religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.