<<an eastern religion>>
Hinduism encompasses a wide range of core beliefs, across its numerous sects (branches). In one form or another, it is the predominant belief system of India and Nepal. With about a billion followers, it is the third-largest religion after Christianity and Islam.
One factor common to all the various streams of Hindu belief is that there is no absolute or exclusive truth. This makes for tolerance of another’s religion provided the other doesn’t claim exclusive truths. The Hindu belief claims a succession of one’s life leading on to another, termed reincarnation. If one’s deeds are good in this life they will be better off in the next life while if a person’s actions are bad they will come back in a lower state. This is known as karma – the principle of cause and effect, with the actions of the past affecting the present experience. Ultimately, the adherents hope to be united with Brahma, the supreme god in Nirvana, the state of perfect bliss. Hindus whose lives are bound in superstition can worship millions of lesser gods. The Vedas are the most sacred of the Hindu texts.
Hindus believe the path to spiritual enlightenment can be found through practicing Yoga, which involves stretching exercises and improving muscle flexibility together with [transcendental] meditation – this focuses on oneself as opposed to Christian meditation that centers on God and His Word.
A Guru is an especially enlightened person who is revered and looked to for direction and insight.