Principal Hindu Beliefs
Hinduism embraces many diverse traditions, each with its own theology, philosophy, rituals, code of practices and value system. Despite this diversity, most Hindus share some common beliefs. These include the following:
Parabrahman (Supreme God): There is one supreme, all-powerful loving God. He is the creator, has a divine human form, is immanent, transcendent, and the granter of liberation.
Avatarvad (Descent of God on earth): God ‘descends’, or manifests, on earth in various forms to revive dharma and grant liberation.
Karmavad (Law of Action): According to its past and present actions, the soul reaps fruits, good and bad, which are experienced either in this life or future lives.
Punar-Janma (Reincarnation): The immortal soul is repeatedly born and reborn in millions of life-forms until it attains liberation.
Moksha (Ultimate Liberation): The goal of human life is for the soul to be liberated from the perpetual cycle of births and deaths so as to remain eternally in the blissful service of God in his transcendental abode.
Guru-Shishya Sambandh (Guru-Disciple Relationship): The guidance and grace of a spiritually enlightened teacher is essential for an aspirant seeking liberation.
Dharma: This is an all-encompassing term representing divine law, inherent nature, path of righteousness, religion, duty, responsibility, virtue, justice, goodness and truth.
Veda-Pramana (Authority of Vedic Scriptures): Hindu faiths accept the spiritual authority of the four Vedas, each of which comprises the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads. (Individual traditions may also have their own sacred texts which derive their authority from this Vedic corpus.)
Murti-Puja (Worship of Sacred Images of God): Devotees worship images ritually infused with the presence of God to develop and express their relationship with him. (Click here to learn more.)
A few of these beliefs are also briefly explained in the FAQs about Hinduism here.
For a brief description of Hinduism in general, please click here.