Key facts about Hinduism

Hinduism is the name of the religion, and its followers are known as Hindus.

Hinduism is the oldest of the six major world religions. It has no single founder but developed gradually over a period of time.

Hinduism has over 1 billion followers worldwide, with about 95% of Hindus living in India. At the time of the 2011 census, there were over 800,000 Hindus living in the UK.

Five key facts

Watch to find out how Aashvina lives her life according to Hindu teachings, including how she worships and what she eats.

What do Hindus believe and how do they worship?

Click the image below to discover more about Hinduism.

Religious symbol

This is the Om symbol (sometimes written as Aum) and it is the Hindu word or sound for God. Hindus will say this at the beginning and end of all prayers.

A Hindu shrine

A Hindu place of worship is called a mandir, but the majority of Hindus have a shrine at home where they perform personal and family worship. Worship in Hinduism is called puja.

Click on the picture below to explore a typical Hindu shrine.

Denominations

Within Hinduism there are a number of traditions or denominations. The four main traditions all consider different deities to be the supreme god or goddess.

DenominationBelief
VaishnavismVaishnavas worship Vishnu as the supreme god.
ShaivismShaivas worship Shiva as the supreme god.
ShaktismShaktas worship Devi as the supreme goddess.
SmartismSmartas consider all deities to be equal.

The Trimurti

Hindus believe that Brahman is beyond their understanding, so the different gods and goddesses help them to understand various aspects of Brahman. Three of the Hindu gods are known as the Trimurti.

Click on the picture below to learn more about the Trimurti.

Where next?

Key facts about Sikhism
Key facts about Judaism
Key facts about Christianity