15 Interesting Facts About Hinduism That Might Surprise You

Hinduism is one of the most influential religions in the world and the oldest that goes back as far as 5,000-10,000 BC. It comes at No. 3 after Christianity and Islam in terms of followers. Regardless of which religion you practice, most of the major religions preach peace and non-violence, so does Hinduism. Here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about Hinduism. Let’s have a look.

  1. Hinduism Isn’t The Accurate Name Of The Religion

Hinduism or what we call Hindu dharma isn’t the actual name for this religion. Its actual name is Santana Dharma, which means the Eternal way of Salvation. The word Hindu or Indu comes from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, meaning a large body of water or River. The people who lived beside the Indus valley were called Hindus by the Greeks.

  1. Sanskrit, Mother Of Many Languages

Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages in the world having a history of more than 3500 years. Many linguists consider it to be the mother of many (almost all) languages, It belongs to the language family of Proto-Indo-Aryan, Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-Europian Languages. It is also been proven that Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computers. Pretty cool, isn’t it!

  1. Holy River Ganga Has Her Bodyguard!

Yes, you read it right. The holy river Ganga has its bacteria called Bacteriophage. It infects and kills other harmful bacteria invading the river. That’s the reason river Ganga water doesn’t go bad if being kept for a long time. University of Roorkee’s D.S. Bhargava, an environmental engineer, stated that the Ganga is the only river in the world that decomposes organic wastes at a rate 15 to 20 times faster than any other river in the entire world.

  1. The English Word Juggernaut Is Named After A Hindu Deity

The English word Juggernaut, which means huge or powerful, is named after the Hindu deity Lord Jagannath. Every year, a cart festival is held in Puri, a city of Odisha, named The Holy Rath Yatra. The carts used for Lord Jagannath along with his brother Lord Balavadra and sister Goddess Suvadra are huge and the devotees would crush themselves under the wheels of the carts to attain salvation. That’s where the word came from.

  1. Hinduism States That Gods Have Many Forms

In Hinduism, it is believed that God is one eternal energy, who can take any form or Avatars according to the situation and in the favour of mankind and it’s also believed that a part of Brahman lives inside every single being in the universe or multiverse.

  1. There Is No Founder OF Hinduism

Most religions have a founder such as Prophet Muhammad for Islam, Jesus for Christianity, Buddha for Buddhism, Mahavir for Jainism and so on. Hinduism, however, has no single founder and no one knows the exact timeline for when it originated.

  1. Hinduism Follows A Vegetarian Diet

Hinduism believes in Ahimsa or non-violence. They don’t want to hurt any living being. That is why many, if not all, Hindus prefer a vegetarian diet as they don’t want to hurt animals.

  1. “OM”, The Sound Of The Universe

OM or AUM is the most sacred symbol or syllable in Hinduism. It’s often chanted as a prefix of any mantra. Its also been suggested that when chanted the vibration of OM is said to be 432HZ which is the vibrational frequency of everything in this universe.

  1. “Yoga”, The Face Of Hinduism To The World

Yoga is a vital part of Hinduism. Even if you don’t know Hinduism or India still you know what yoga is. That much influence yoga has created into this world. The original meaning of yoga is ‘Union with God’ for Hindus. But in recent years it has been adopted by western society as well. Lord Shiva is said to be the lord of Yoga often mentioned as Adi Yogi or the First teacher as he is the first person to describe the secret of yoga to the Sapta Rishis or the seven saints.

  1. The Only Religion That Doesn’t Have A Conversion Rule

Hinduism is the only religion that never invaded any country or other religion to convert them into Hindus. Hinduism has no rule or ritual for conversion. But it will not be going to restrict you if you want to practice Hinduism. You can practice it and attain salvation even being into your religion.

  1. “The Kumbh Mela”, A Gathering That Can Be Seen From Space

The Kumbh Mela, a spiritual gathering of Hinduism held on the banks of Holy river Ganga every 12 years. Millions of people gather there to bathe in the holy river. The gathering is so massive that it can be seen from space and on 10th February in 2013, more than 30 million people gathered in a single day! It has also been awarded the status as a cultural heritage by UNESCO.

  1. “Vedas”, The Oldest Known Scripture In The World

The Vedas are a large body of text originated in ancient India. Composed in Sanskrit around 1700-1100 BCE making them the oldest religious scripture in the world. They had a great influence over Hinduism and Indians. There are 4 Vedas Rig Ved, Sama Ved, Yajur Ved and Atharva Ved. Vedas are also called ‘Sruti’, as knowledge of the Vedas were passed orally thousand of years ago from generation to generation.

  1. The House Of Incredible Knowledge And Innovation

Indians, the followers of Hinduism offered this world some great knowledge and innovations. Yoga, Astrology, Decimal system, Infinity, Pi, Meditation, Vastu, Navigation system, Shampoo allegedly have their origins in Hinduism. The Mathematics Society will always bow down to Aryabhatta as the greatest mathematician as he invented ‘Zero’. Can you Imagine number system without zero? The first man to perform plastic surgery was Sushruta back in 600 BC, often regarded as the father of surgery and medicine, he was the son of Rishi Viswamitra.

  1. Hinduism Believes In The Circular Concept Of Time

Hinduism believes in a circular concept of the timeline rather than a linear concept. According to Hinduism, time is divided into four Yugas such as Satya-Yuga, Treta-Yuga, Dwapara-Yuga and Kali Yuga. Right now we are in Kali-yuga. At the end of Kali Yuga, an apocalypse will come to destruct anything and everything for the recreation of the Universe and Multiverse.

  1. Hanuman Chalisa Predicted The Distance Between Sun And Earth

Hanuman Chalisa is a prayer offering to Lord Hanuman written by Santh Tulsidas in the 16th century. In a verse of this prayer, it’s written as follows

Yuga-Sahasra-yojana para Bhanu
Leeloo Tahi Madhura Phala Janu”

According to the above verse, the distance between the Sun and Earth is Yuga-Sahasra-yojana. As said by Hinduism, 1 yuga is 12000 divine years, Sahasra means one thousand and Yojana means 8 miles. Now Equating this calculation we get 12000 x 1000 x 8 = 96million miles, which is 154.4 million km approximately, much closer to the 20th-century calculation of 152 million km at Aphelion (Longest distance between the Sun and the Earth). Just WOW!

So, these were some interesting and lesser-known facts about Hinduism.

 

 

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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