Hinduism is referred to as the eternal faith, or Sanatana Dharma according to Navaratna S. Rajaram of Hinduism today. It is based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life. On of the primary beliefs in Hinduism is seeing the essential truth in all religions, or sarva dharma samatva. Hiduism is more than a religion. It is a way life for true believers worldwide. Although the majority of Hindu people reside in India, there is a growing number of Hindu people here in the United States.

Hinduism is said to have no historical beginning although the roots of the religion can be traced back to 3000 B.C.E. In fact, most Hindus will tell you that the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Hindu scriptures, is stated to be eternal and to have always existed. Non Hindus will most likely challenge this belief and and say that it is impossible for this scripture, a product of man, to have no beginning. I believe it is possible that the ideas of the Rig Veda are eternal. This is probably what is meant when Hindus say that the Rig Veda itself is eternal. There is no specific date that Hinduism’s origin can be traced to.

Hinduism, according to Rajaram “is not a revealed religion”. This means that the religion does not define itself in terms of a single authority or book, such as the Bible or Koran. The Rig Veda is simply a collection of truths that were shared with the common people by Vedic priests.

It is not a theology or a belief system that everyone is required to acknowledge. A Hindu is free to question any or all of the scriptures. He does not cease being a Hindu for doing so. Hindu scripture is meant to be a guide. 3) Hinduism recognizes no prophet as having exclusive claim over religious truth. This is undoubtedly the greatest difference between Hinduism and revealed religions. A Hindu who believes in the existence of God (or Gods) is not required to acknowledge an intermediary as a prophet or as the chosen agent of God. Every Hindu man, woman and child has the same direct access to God through his or her own efforts. 4) Hinduism does not recognize claims of exclusivity or a clergy. Exclusivity divides the world into believers and nonbelievers, which Hinduism does not. As a result, Hinduism has no clergy to monitor and enforce belief. 5) The only "dogma" of Hinduism is freedom of choice and conscience. Hindu religious literature is concerned mainly with the knowledge and method necessary to learn the truth about God. Any accommodation of a belief system that denies one's freedom of choice and conscience is fundamentally incompatible with Hinduism. It is our duty to defend this precious freedom and preserve and pass it on to future generations.

Hinduism is the primary religion in Indian culture, which accounts for eighty-three percent of the Indian population. The remainder of India is comprised of Muslims (11%), Christians (2%), Sikhs (2%), Buddhists, Jains, Parsees, and B’hais (2%). The origins of Hinduism can be traced back to approximately 1500 BC. For Hindus, religion is the guiding force of their culture. The main precept of Hinduism is that “religion is consciousness of ultimate reality, not a theory about God” (Bradnock, 1997:163).

Hindu culture places a great deal of importance on an individual's place in society. The primary belief in this system is that a person is born into his or her condition based on his or her previous life. The caste system can be traced to the term Varna, which means color. Varna, which can be traced back to 600 BC, was used as a means to classify people in the population. In this system, your caste sets your place in life and guides your existence. There are four main castes, which divide the Hindu population into different social classes and professions. The four castes are Kshastrya, who are warriors, Vaishya, agricultural workers and artisans, Shudras, who are typically servants, Brahmans, who are priests, and a fifth caste, Hijras, who are made up of societal outcasts such as homosexuals, non-hereditary Hindus, and people ousted from other castes. Within each caste, there are further subdivisions of caste membership.

In Hinduism, there are four main