Hinduism, which developed in the area of modern day India, is among the oldest of the world's religions. The religion originally derived from the Vedic scriptures (or Vedas), in existence for up to 6000 years.
Hinduism in Ireland
Hindu Cultural Centre of Ireland
The earliest records of this religion are in Rig Veda, the oldest known human literature. Some portions of Rig Veda have been dated to before 6000 BC. This implies that the religion was in vogue at least a few centuries earlier then that. Hinduism has been gaining increasing popularity due to its high philosophy broad outlook and non dogmatic approach. Hinduism is different from many other religion in that it does not have a founder and does not claim exclusivity. Its explicitly accepts all religions as valid.
Words of Faith
Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. Its Interfaith perspective is pluralistic and encapsulated in the ancient words “Ekamsat vipra bahudha vadanti “. “Truth is One, but wise people call it variously; that is - the
Absolute Underlying Truth is one, but it is conceived of and expressed in different ways. The different manifestations are all supported by the Origin Another phrase from the 19th Century Mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa – “so many faiths – so many paths”.
In Hinduism, the goal is to manifest the Divinity from within since each soul is held to be potentially Divine. Theologically, Hinduism is monotheistic, but methodologically, pluralistic.
The most all-embracing and all- inclusive attitude is the full acceptance of every religion and approach. Hindus love all religions and respect the individuality of choice available to relate to an inconceivable Principle that is devoid of spatial parts and changes not in evolution.
The differences should be enjoyed and celebrated.
Extract from Swami Vivekananda’s final address at the Parliament of Religions – Chicago 1893
Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if anyone here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, ‘Brother, yours is an impossible hope.’ Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.
The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant, it develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.
Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.
If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: ‘Help and not Fight’, ‘Assimilation and not Destruction’, ‘Harmony and Peace and not Dissension’