Primary Schools Page 1

Introduction to Hinduism


The Word Hindu

A long time ago, when people came to visit India, they had to cross a large river. That river was called Sindhu. These people could not say the word Sindhu properly. They called it Hindu instead. Then they started calling the people who lived across the river Hindus. This is how Hindus got their name. The religion of the Hindus is now called Hinduism. A lot of Hindus still live in India, but many have moved to other parts of the world.




The Symbol Om

Om is an important symbol for Hindus. It is the sound heard in the deepest of meditation. It is said to be the name of God.




Founders of religions are the first people who start teaching that religion. Every religion has either one or more founders. Hinduism has hundreds of founders who have taught Hinduism in different times. The special name given to these founders is rishi. These rishis can actually experience God. Rishis can be young or old, male or female. Here is a picture of an ancient rishi and a picture of a rishi who lived only fifty years ago called Ramana Maharshi


Ancient Rishi

Modern Rishi

Holy Writings:

Whatever the rishis learnt about God is found in important books of Hinduism called the Vedas.  Hinduism also has lots of stories. These stories are found in books called the Puranas



Hindu Prayers

The main Hindu prayer is called the Gayatri. The prayer is written in an ancient language called Sanskrit




Gayatri Prayer:

Let us meditate on the glorious light of God. May She enlighten our hearts and direct our understanding.


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