What is Hinduism? Is it a religion or is it a culture? The truth is - it is both a .
It consists of thousands of religions that have evolved in India .
over the years. The beliefs of the Hindu religion are, in short, that goals like salvation, .
transmigration, and rebirth are looked upon with reverence. Hindus believe that the .
realization of some goals is beyond us and should be made a part of our activities while .
we are still living. They believe that everything we do (karma) is accounted for by the .
universe. The major teachings of Hinduism, however, state that salvation is achieved .
through a spiritual oneness of the soul, atman, with the ultimate reality of the universe, .
Brahman. To achieve this goal, the soul must obtain moksha, or liberation from the .
samsara, the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Different sects of Hinduism teach .
different paths to moksha. As a result of these basic teachings, come Hindu beliefs in .
reincarnation and karma (material actions resulting from the consequences of previous .
Although Hinduism contains a numerous amount of philosophies, nevertheless its .
one dominant note is that of Moksha. This transcendental state that all Hindus strive for is .
the particular kind of enlightenment and liberation that is knowing who you are. In other .
words, it is a state of mind where we are free from burden. It is striving to become one .
with the absolute truth, the realization that you are Atman-Brahman. Brahman is the .
ultimate reality, the god substance, it is the world, and the world is the manifestation of .
Brahman. Atman, alternatively, is the soul; it is the personal god, the god within. This is .
the ultimate goal of all Hindus; to achieve pure reality through unification of the soul .
with Brahman, to come to the realization that we are god and that we are infinite beings. .
However, each soul must first achieve moksha from the cycle of life known as samsara.