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.

Avatars of Vishnu

According to Hindu belief, whenever the order of the world is threatened, Vishnu the Preserver appears on Earth. He is often considered to have ten forms, or avatars, on Earth.

First Vishnu appeared as a fish to rescue the world from a flood. Next, as a tortoise, he supported a mountain on his back. Third, as a boar, he killed a demon who had stolen the Vedas, or holy scriptures.

In his fourth avatar, as half man, half lion, he killed a demon king who could not be harmed by man or beast. Next, as a dwarf, he tricked a demon king who had seized the universe.

As a warrior Parashurama he destroyed a wicked king. As Rama, the perfect king, he killed the demon king Ravana. His eighth avatar was Krishna, the central character in the epic Mahabharata. Krishna’s advice to another character became the beloved text Bhagavad Gita. Next Vishnu appeared as Buddha in order to remove suffering from the world.

The tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki the Destroyer, has not yet appeared in the world. Kalki will wipe out the forces of evil.

Some people see a progression in the avatars of Vishnu. Look at these ten avatars. Describe any progression you see.