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The Basics of Hinduism
The Hindu god Ganesha - son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

The Basics of Hinduism

Hinduism is so diverse that the basics are spread over thousands of texts and these depict a vast series of events that unfolded over a long course of time. The religious texts of Hindus encompass a very large corpus. The most important are the four Vedas called Rig-Veda, Sâma-Veda , Yajus-Veda and Atharva-Veda. These focus on rituals, while the Upanishads and Puranas throw light on mythological accounts, spiritual insight and philosophical teachings.

In addition to these, there are a many other classical texts (shastras) preaching the Hindu philosophy, as well as the major epics - the Mahâbhârata and the Râmâyana.

Hinduism has no central doctrines and most of the practicing Hindus do not claim to belong to any particular denomination. But there are some denominations in Hinduism, which are based mainly on which God is worshipped as the Omnipotent One. There are also those that developed as a result of the revivalist movements and reform within Hinduism. But these sects are not antagonistic to one other.

The most noteworthy impact of Hinduism has been on the evolution of Indian society. According to a traditional Hindu faith, there are four phases of a human life (Âshramas). These are the stage of a student (spent controlled and celibate and in contemplation under a guru), house-maker, retirement (detachment from the materialistic world) and finally, asceticism where the aim is to find the eternal bliss.

Hindu society was formerly classified into six divisions, which are called the Varnas. These are - 1. Priests and teachers (Brahmins), 2. Warriors, 3. Nobles and kings (Kshatriyas), 4. Farmers, 5. Merchants and businessmen (Vaishyas) and 6. Servants and labourers (Shudras). These classes gradually evolved into some extremely rigid castes and creeds. This paved the way to an exceedingly oppressive hierarchy which was in place for much of Hindu history. Most of the reform movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries revolved around a number of these issues. Although, modern Hinduism is far more liberal, the principles of castes and classes are still important in issues of social norms, marriage and politics.

1.
Ravana was the king of a place that was probably which present day country?
Sri Lanka
Australia
India
USA
Ravana was an asura who resided in Lanka. He took away Sita from Rama only to be defeated by Rama later
2.
Who is the mother of the youngest Pandava?
Kunthi
Mandodari
Madri
Gandhari
Madri is the sister of Shalya, the wife of King Pandu and the mother of Nakula and Sahadeva
3.
In the Kurukshetra war, Krishna was the charioteer of which great warrior?
Bhima
Arjuna
Karna
Drona
Krishna played a vital role in leading the Pandavas to victory and with his bravery he saved Arjuna from various dangers he faced in battle with Karna
4.
Which of these is a holy book of Hinduism?
The Bible
The Quran
The Upanishads
The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita means "Song of the Lords" and is Krishna's teachings to Arjuna
5.
Who gave Pashupatastra to Arjuna?
Lord Brahma
Lord Shiva
Lord Vishnu
Lord Krishna
Pashupatastra was gifted to Arjuna by Shiva after Arjuna prayed to him for a long period of time. Pinaka is also a weapon of Shiva
6.
Who among the following belongs to the "Trimurtis"?
Indra
Surya
Narada
Shiva
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are together known as "Trimurtis". Brahma is the creator, Shiva the destroyer and Vishnu the protector
7.
Who is the eldest son of Kunti?
Yudhisthira
Bhima
Karna
Arjuna
Karna is the son of Surya and Kunti. Yudhisthira is their second son, followed by Bhima and Arjuna
8.
Ganesha has a face that symbolizes which animal?
An elephant
A horse
A cat
A mouse
Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Muruka is also a child of Shiva and Parvati
9.
Who is the Hindu goddess of knowledge?
Lakshmi
Shakuntala
Parvathi
Saraswati
Saraswati is the wife of Brahma and sits above a lotus. Lakshmi is the wife of Vishnu
10.
According to Hinduism, who is the king of gods?
Shiva
Indra
Brahma
Vishnu
Indra is the god of thunder and uses Vajrayudha as his weapon
Author:  Siddarth Bhattacharjee

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