Hindu philosophy and religion, also known as Sanatana Dharma, has a very different way of interpreting the world we live in compared to that of western faiths. With no founding father or moment of conception, it is thought to be the eternal religion. It is one of the world's oldest religions, which has developed over thousands of years. It is also the 3rd largest religion in the world. Today there are many evolved versions of Hinduism, just as there are many denominations of Christianity and variations of Islamic faith. However, one thing that sets Hinduism apart is the extreme difference between these versions of Hinduism. As a Hindu you can believe in one god such as in Christianity. However, you could also believe in many gods such as Vishnu, Shiva, or Brahman, or no gods at all depending on your point of view. .
"The oldest and most influential Hindu texts are the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Dharmashastras". (Ellis & Esler, 2003, pg. 76-77) The Vedas, the oldest Hindu texts, were a somewhat contradictory collection of writings that formed the foundation of Hinduism. "The ancient Vedic texts were collected by a group of high priests called Brahmins" (Ellis & Esler, 2003, pg. 77). The Vedas, which are two to three thousand years old, were written based on thousands of years of philosophical thought passed by word of mouth thought the centuries. (Ellis & Esler, 2003, pg. 76-77).
The Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world. It has 100,000 verses. Many people wrote it over a period of several hundred years. This poem is complicated because, in addition to the main story, it has many other stories that are included to teach important lessons. The Ramayana has 24,000 verses. It is thought to be the work of a man called Val-miki, and was written down around 100 BC. It tells the story of Prince Ramah and his wife Sita. The stories in the Mahabharata and the Ramayana can be understood on many different levels.