Facts about Hinduism

Here are some facts about Hinduism.

  • Has about 800 million followers worldwide
  • Has no founder or prophets
  • Not a single, unified religion
  • About 80% of the population of India considers themselves Hindus
  • Over 3,000 years old
  • Includes the concept of a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth
  • Has many deities, including Krishna, Shiva, and Rama

Use these facts to write a paragraph about this ancient religion.

The Bhagavad Gita and Mohandas Gandhi

The Bhagavad Gita, or “Song of God,” is one of the most influential Hindu religious texts. It is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, which tells of a war between two sets of relatives. The Bhagavad Gita opens with Arjuna, the leader of one side, despairing at the thought of killing his kinsmen. His charioteer, Krishna – who later reveals himself as a god – urges him to do his duty as a noble by leading his men into battle. Krishna reassures Arjuna that our souls are immortal, so he cannot truly kill anyone. He then goes on to tell Arjuna of three ways that the soul can be freed from the cycle of death and rebirth. The soul can be freed through karma yoga, doing one’s duty without self-interest in the consequences of one’s actions; through jnana yoga, or withdrawal and concentration that lead to knowledge; and through bhakti yoga, or devotion to God.

Mohandas Gandhi led India’s independence movement in the early twentieth century. He credited the Bhagavad Gita with helping him to cope with life’s tragedies. Based on what you know of Mohandas Gandhi, write about the influence of the Bhagavad gita on his life and work.