Hinduism's routes go back over 2000 years to the time when the Aryan invaders met India's Indus Valley civilization. Belief in natural forces, fertility and mother goddesses joined the caste system and the sacred book of the Vedas to form the foundation of Hindu beliefs, as much a social system as a religion. It is based around a trinity of three Gods, Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Shiva (the Destroyer). Although Hindus in Nepal may pay equal respect to all three gods as part of their religion, some may confess to follow either Vishnu or Shiva. There are four main castes in Nepal which are practiced as part of the Hindu religion, the Brahmans (priest caste), the Kshatriya (warriors), the Vaisyas (merchants) and finally the Sudras (menial workers).
The ultimate goal for Hindus is to break the cycle of endless rebirths. Though working towards that worship can improve one’s condition in this life and in subsequent rebirth. The ultimate source of creation is the supreme and formless Brahman who manifests in infinite forms. The three main aspects, depicting three main forces of the universe, are Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the transformer and destroyer. Each of these has innumerable manifestations; there are as many gods as there are facets of human nature, which is, in fact, what they represent.
Hinduism in Nepal
Hinduism is the major religion of Nepal. In the 1991 census, approximately 89.5 percent of the Nepalese people identified themselves as Hindus. Buddhists and Muslims comprised 5.3 and 2.7 percent, respectively. The remainder followed other religions, including Christianity. The national calendar of Nepal, Bikram Sambat (B.S.), is a solar Hindu calendar essentially the same to that widespread in North India as a religious calendar, and is based on Vedic principles of time-keeping. The geographical distribution of religious groups revealed a majority of Hindus, accounting for at least 87 percent of the population in every region. Among the Tibeto-Nepalese, those most influenced by Hinduism were the Magar, Sunwar, and Rai peoples.
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