Aum or Om(ॐ) is one of the most sacred symbols in Hinduism. In Sanskrit known as praṇava lit. " to sound out loudly" or oṃkāra lit. Hindus consider Aum to be the universal name of the Lord and that it encompasses all of creation.
Origin of Hinduism
Hinduism originated in India, but it was not founded by one individual. Rather, it is the fusion of any religious beliefs. Hinduism is said to be a religion of a million and one gods. Its origins are mixed and complex. Hinduism has neither a specific moment of origin nor a specific founder. Indeed, its collection of sacred texts is known, as a whole, as Sanatana Dharma.The exact beginnings of Hinduism are impossible to determine, since they evolved as time and culture impacted the religious ideas of early India.
History of Hinduism:
The first traceable roots of Hinduism lie with the invading Aryans, who move into the northwest of the Indian subcontinent from about 1500 BC. The Aryans' priestly caste, the Brahmans, are responsible for the sacrificial rites (the most solemn, among this nomadic people, being the sacrifice of a horse).
The ritual hymns which they chant, passed down orally for many centuries, are gathered in the Rigveda, the earliest of all religious texts. The hymns of the Rigveda reveal that the foremost god of the Aryans is Indra, a war god and a great slayer of demons and animals.
He is possibly based on a historical leader of the Aryans in their advance into India, for one of his titles is 'city-breaker'. The two other main gods of the Aryans are Agni, the god of fire; and Soma, a god associated with a drink (also called soma and probably hallucinogenic) which plays a major part in the priests' rituals. In the long term none of these gods feature prominently in Hinduism.
There are nine(9) basic beliefs in Hinduism,which are as follows:-
1.Reference for Our Revealed Scriptures.
3.Three worlds and cycles of creation.
4.The laws of Karma(the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds) and Dharma(righteous living).
5.Reincarnation and Liberation
6.Temples and Inner worlds.
7.Yoga Guided by a spiritual master.
8.Compassion and non-injury.
9.Genuine respect for other faiths.
Misconceptions about Hinduism:
1: There are 330 million Hindu gods.
2: Hindus are idol worshippers.(hindu worship a reminder of God)
3: Hindus worship cows.( Hindus do not pray to cows but they do regard all creation and all life as sacred.)
4. All Hindus are vegetarians.(A majority of Hindus eat meat)
5. Hinduism supports a discriminatory caste system.( Caste discrimination is rooted not in religion but culture.)
6. Women are subservient in Hinduism.( Not because of religion.)
7. Hindu women wearing ‘red dots’ on their foreheads are married.
8. The Bhagavad Gita is like the Bible.( There is not one central, authoritative book in Hinduism.)
9. Karma is fatalistic.( Everyone has the ability to choose life’s actions.)