Hinduism is a religion found most particularly in India and Nepal. It is the world’s oldest living religion and the third largest behind Christianity and Islam with more than 1 billion followers. It consists of thousands of religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BC. Around 15% of world’s population are known as Hindus.
Myth No. 1: Hindus are idol worshippers
This is a popular misconception. No Hindu will say she or he is worshipping an idol. Hindu Shastras recommend starting out with a worship of god bearing a physical form since this is what the average, inattentive human mind can relate to.
Myth No. 2: All Hindus are vegetarians
Hinduism’s encourages a vegetarian diet, though not all Hindus are vegetarian. A big majority of Hindus eat meat.
Myth No. 3: Hindus worship Cows
In Hinduism, the cow is thought to be sacred, or deeply respected but Hindus do not worship cows, although they are held in high esteem. The reason has to do with the cow’s agricultural uses and gentle nature.
Myth No. 4: There are 330 million Hindu Gods
There were 33 Gods in Hinduism. The transition from 33 to 330 million came after Upanishadic Age. Upanishads taught that ultimate reality is a single supreme soul Brahman. The three main creators or Trimurti are Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer.
Myth No. 5: The Bhagavad Gita is like the Bible
There is not one central, authoritative book in Hinduism. Hinduism is rich in scripture with a vast collection of ancient religious writings. The scriptures include the Upanishads, the Vedas, the Puranas and the Bhagavad Gita.
Myth No. 6: Hinduism supports a discriminatory caste system
In Hinduism, the lowest castes, or untouchables, were marginalized and faced persecution. But many modern Hindus have asserted that caste-based discrimination is not inherent to Hinduism.
With some inputs from CNN