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The Hinduism Portal

Aum, an all-encompassing, mystical entity, representative of the Hindu religion and philosophy.

Hinduism (Sanskrit Hindū Dharmaहिन्दू धर्म, also known as Sanātana Dharma सनातन धर्म, and Vaidika Dharma वैदिक धर्म) is a dharma (the word “Dharma” does not match any other word in English) originating in the India around the start of the Common Era as a synthesis of various religious traditions. The term “Hinduism” is heterogeneous, as Hinduism consists of several schools of thought, it encompasses many religious rituals that widely vary in practice, as well as many diverse philosophies. Most Hindus believe in a supreme cosmic Spirit, which may be understood in abstract terms as Brahma or which may be worshipped in personal forms such as Vishnu, Shiva or Shakti. Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with approximately 1.5 billion adherents, (2010), approximately 1.25 billion of whom are in India.

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Ahimsa - non-violence in action, words and thoughts - is considered the highest ethical value and virtue in Hinduism.
Ahimsa is a term that means 'not to injure'. Ahimsa concept includes nonviolence against all human beings and all living beings - including animals - in Hinduism and other Indian religions, it is one of the cardinal virtues in Hinduism and a central premise of its ethical theories.

Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept in Hinduism inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Ahimsa's precept of 'cause no injury' includes injury to any living being through one's deeds, words, and thoughts.

The Chāndogya Upaniṣad, dated to the 8th or 7th century BCE, is the oldest known Hinduism text with the explicit use of the word Ahimsa in the sense of non-violence and a code of conduct, the Hindu Epic Mahabharata declares Ahimsa is the highest virtue, Ahimsa is the highest self-control, Ahimsa is the greatest gift, Ahimsa is the best suffering, Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice, Ahimsa is the finest strength, Ahimsa is the greatest friend, Ahimsa is the greatest happiness, Ahimsa is the highest truth, and Ahimsa is the greatest teaching. Patanjali's Yoga-sutra includes Ahimsa as the first Yamas (virtuous self-restraint). Later ancient literature of Hinduism debate principles of Ahimsa when one is faced with war and situations requiring self-defense, the historic literature from India and modern discussions have contributed to theories of Just War, and theories of appropriate self-defense.

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Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927 - 2001), affectionately known as Gurudeva by his followers, was born in Oakland, California on January 5, 1927. He established a Hindu monastery in Kauai, Hawaii and founded the magazine Hinduism Today. The author of many books on Hinduism and metaphysics, Subramuniyaswami was one of the most prominent faces of Hinduism during the last two decades of the 20th century, he was one of Shaivism's most orthodox and revered Gurus, the founder and leader of the Saiva Siddhanta Church, world's first Hindu church. Born with the name Robert Hansen in California in 1927, as a young man of 20, in 1947, he journeyed to India and Sri Lanka in search of his guru. Two years later was initiated into sannyasa by the renowned siddha yogi and worshiper of Shiva, Jnanaguru Yogaswami of Sri Lanka.

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agnim īļe purohitam|
yajñasya devam ŗtvijam|
hotāraM ratnadhātamam.||"

English: "I praise Agni, the priest of the house, the divine ministrant of sacrifice, the invoker, the best bestower of treasure.

Rig Veda The first words of the first hymn.




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