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History

Many people consider Hinduism to be the world’s oldest living religion. Its roots date back as far as 2000 B.C. Hinduism originated around the Indus Valley near the Indus River in what is now modern day India and Pakistan. “Most traditions within Hinduism share certain distinctive, core beliefs despite the absence of an identifiable beginning in history, single founder, central religious establishment, or sole authoritative scripture,” according to the Hindu American Foundation (HFA). “Two of these core beliefs are that of the oneness of existence (No one is superior, none inferior. All are brothers marching forward to prosperity.) and pluralism (May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all beings experience prosperity. May none in the world suffer.).” Throughout the religion’s long history, archakas have taught devotees these principles; conducted daily prayers, rituals, festivals, and ceremonies; and honored one, all-pervasive Divine Reality that is worshipped in different forms (gods/goddesses).