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Rooted in India, Hinduism is one of the older primary religions in our world. Most every major religion has a collection of sacred texts and Hinduism is no exception. Over the centuries, Indian sages formulated a series of teachings and suggestions about life, which were slowly written to insure their preservation. Perhaps the oldest of them, the Brahmanas are a set of rules the priests gave for worship written between 1200 and 1000 bce. Estimated as being written around 800 bce, the Upanishads are a collection of answers from famous Indian teachers concerning questions about life and the universe. The ancient poems and hymns known as the Vedas were composed around 500 bce, and The Great Epics, a series of philosophical and religious poems mainly about legendary heroes and gods, had been passed down verbally for centuries before they were finally written about 100 bce. The Bhagavad-Gita is a short section from one of these epics, and it has become the preferred religious text of India. Its influence has spread to the west as well.

Although Hinduism is pantheistic in asserting that God is not a personal creator but the totality of all things seen and unseen, it is important to note that pantheism does not exclude the spirit world or spirits, and in Hinduism there are also personal beings, gods and deities of various order. A recurring Hindi trinity consists of Brahma, the creator; Shiva, the destroyer; and Vishnu, the redeemer. The three are said to work in a continuous cycle of creation, destruction and redemption. Brahma creates a new world. Shiva destroys it, presumably when the point of moral or spiritual no return has been reached, and Earth cannot hold any more evil. Vishnu comes in the form of a human to teach men something for a problem they cannot solve on their own. So for the Hindu, Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and Ghandi and other avatars are just further manifestations of Vishnu. The purpose for this continual cycle of creation is to perpetuate the karmic cycle and liberate humanity from its physical trappings. Furthermore, not all Hindus interpret these gods as personal beings, and some interpret them as essential human ideals humans imagine to be real. Under this idea, the real function of worshiping personal gods is to direct the worshiper towards the knowledge of the ultimate one truth.

As stated above, Hinduism asserts that God is not a personal creator but the ultimate reality behind and beyond all things. Different from Brahma, which has personal attributes and character, Brahman is impersonal ethereal and all pervasive. In essence, Brahman is not the most rudimentary aspect of life or of the universe; it is the most rudimentary aspect. The term denotes the supreme unity, "that" or "that one," the all which lies behind or beyond both existence and non-existence. In Brahman, there are no fundamentally divisive or exclusive differences. Rest and action are joined, as are good and evil. Everything is united, part and parcel of the same god or creation force. In the sense that Brahman lacks any division or represents a state of unison and the oneness of all things, one finds ancient conscription to the idea that behind order lies chaos. Hindus use the neuter pronoun in order to avoid any idea of a manlike god, personal creator or first principle.

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