Hinduism is the third most practiced religion in the world and is the basis of daily life for over 793 million people.
The Hindu people were organized into a caste system by the Aryans following their invasion. The Aryans first put together a hierarchy (levels) of four separate castes which they later expanded to include a fifth category. The purpose of the system was to maintain firm social boundaries between the Aryan invaders and the previous inhabitants of India. The highest caste is made up of priests and religious officers. The next caste consists of rulers and warriors, while the third caste is made up of farmers, merchants, traders and craftsmen. The lowest of the castes was comprised of all of the servants and peasants. Hindu people were born into the castes of their parents and had no mobility among the castes.
Hindus believe in reincarnation or the "rebirth of the soul." When a living thing dies, it is reborn again and again, each time into a higher or lower state depending upon their actions and behavior in life, and this is what is known as Karma. This Hindu belief is that they get what they deserve, nothing less, and nothing more.
All Hindus practice ahimsa which is the desire to not kill or harm any being by word, deed or thought. A Hindu person's ahimsa vow may even be broken simply by feeling contempt for another being. If you practice ahimsa, you have to put up with insults, criticism and even assault. Ahimsa is the entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm.
The ancient Hindus devised a method of bringing their lord within the realm of the senses by worshipping an object that they could feel, smell or see. They pray to their lord through objects such as photos, special jewels, and water. Praying to their god through songs and rituals is called Puja. .
A very important god to the Hindus is Shiva. Worshipped as the "first father," Shiva is thought to be the creator of the universe.