Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world
with a tradition going back to the very beginning of what we know of as history over five
thousand years ago. It is the third largest of the worlds religions, with nearly a
billion members or one-sixth of humanity. It is the largest non-biblical or, to use a
pejorative term, pagan tradition remaining today.
As such it holds the keys to the pre-Christian beliefs that all cultures
once had and many people still retain. Hinduism is the worlds largest pluralistic
tradition. It believes in many paths and recognizes many names and forms for God, both
masculine and feminine. It contains many sages, many scriptures and many ways to know
Its emphasis is not on mere belief as constituting salvation but on
union with the Divine as the true goal of life. Hinduism is a culture containing its own
detailed traditions of philosophy, medicine, science, art, music and literature that are
quite old, venerable and intricate. It is the foundation of Indian culture that is rooted
in the Sanskrit language which first arose as Hinduism's sacred language.