Hindu Beliefs

Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.

Hindu Beliefs

Teaching your children about Hindu beliefs? Learn about the Hindu faith and the concepts of dharma, atman, moksha, karma and Brahman in Hinduism.

Hindu Beliefs

Hinduism is a world religion that has fused together various traditions and beliefs of the cultures of India throughout history. Starting in ancient history, the Hindu faith developed a series of sacred texts.

These sacred texts are known as the Vedas, and they are made up of:

  • The Rig Veda
  • The Samaveda
  • Yajurveda
  • Atharvaveda

Hindu people also have a series of fundamental concepts that are laid out in the sacred texts and show believers how to live their lives. These concepts are:

  • Dharma(the overarching moral law of Hinduism)
  • Purushartha(the main goals for life)
  • Varna(the Hindu social classes)
  • Atman(the soul)
  • Karma(cause and effect of your actions)
  • Samsara(reincarnation)
  • Moksha(becoming one with the Brahma)
  • Brahman(the ultimate power in the universe)
  • Within this Teaching Wiki, we’ll outline each of the above concepts that play a major role in Hinduism. You can also access a fantastic variety of teacher-made resources. This collection of Hinduism Teaching Resourcescan offer you a helping hand during the lesson planning process. You’ll find a range of helpful resources covering Hindu beliefs, gods and goddesses, places of worship and much more.

A Brief History of Hindu Religion

  • Hinduism is one of the oldest surviving world religion and has been worshipped in India uninterrupted for more than 4,000 years. The roots, customs and traditions of the Hindu faith developed at different periods during those 4 millennia and created what we know as modern Hinduism.
  • Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no single founder (such as Jesus Christ for Christianity). It is instead the fusion of many schools of thought from many cultures.
  • Around 1500 BC, the Indo-Aryan people migrated into the Indus Valley, and their language and culture blended with that of the indigenous people living in the region. It is believed that the blend of culture was effective for both cultures.
  • This early period, from 1500 BC to 500 BC, is the period when the sacred texts – Vedas – were first composed. It is now know as the ‘Vedic Period’ for modern Hindu people. Rituals such as sacrifices, chanting and dancing were common in the Vedic Period.
  • Throughout the following centuries, more eras and periods added new information, and traditions to the Hindu faith. The Epic, Puranic, and Classic Periods took place between 500 BC and 500 AD. During these periods, Hindus began to emphasize the worship of deities, especially Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi.

What is Dharma in Hinduism?

  • Dharma means duty, virtue, truth and morality. It outlines a moral lawof right and wrong that Hindus follow in everyday life, behaving correctly and taking their duties seriously. This Hindu belief brings stability to a person’s life. Dharma is a universal concept, but outlines a slightly different law for everyone depending on their age, gender and social position. For example, a child’s dharma is to work hard at school. The dharma of a parent, is to raise their children and support their family.
  • Every person’s dharma is called sva-dharma. To act against your dharma is known as adharma.
  • All Hindu beliefs and concepts are founded on living in accordance to dharma. Dharma is also an important concept in Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Teaching your children about dharma? Take a look at this Dharma Information PowerPoint.


Purushartha refers to the four main goals of life within Hinduism. These are:

  • Dharma- moral values;
  • Artha- economic values;
  • Kama- pleasure;
  • Moksha- liberation.

Using the Purushartha to provide structure to your life will allow a person to live a meaningful life. Working with the Purushartha allows a person to make good decisions and live a meaningful life.

Artha refers to having the materials you need to support yourself and your family. It’s the basis for dharma and kama.

Kama relates to pleasure in general. To practice kama, a person’s pleasures, such as art, music or kindness, must align with that person’s life purpose and duty.

Moksha is a liberation achieved when dharma is lived by and artha and kama are practised correctly.


Varna refers to social classes within Hinduism. A part of Dharma, Hindu’s also believe in Varna, which outlines the different social classes, and their duties. The Four Varnas are:

  • Shudras- workers;
  • Vaishyas- merchants;
  • Kshatriyas- protectors or society;
  • Brahmanas- provide education and leadership.

This Lesson Pack can offer you a helping hand when teaching your children about the duties within the Hindu belief system.

Related to Varna is Ashrama – the four stages of life stated in ancient Indian texts. People in the top three classes, Vaishyas, Kshatriyas and Brahmanas, are known as ‘twice-born’. This refers to them being born once, then born again when males receive a sacred thread as a symbol of their status. They will go through the Ashramas, these are:

  • Brahmacarya- student;
  • Grihastha- householder;
  • Vanaprastha- retired;
  • Samsara- reincarnate.


Atman refers to a person’s ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’. Hindus believe that atman is part of the spirit of Brahman, their ultimate God. Hindus also believe the atman is eternal, meaning it never dies.


Karma means ‘action’, and refers to the Hindu law of cause and effect. This is where the actions of a person, influence the future of that person. Within Hinduism, Hindu’s believe that good behaviour that corresponds with dharma will have positive outcomes. Poor behaviour, against dharma, will result in bad outcomes.

Karma has also become an important spiritual concept to many people, regardless of what religion they belong to.


Karma is central to samsara, which means ‘reincarnation’. This is a core Hindu belief and is defined as a continuing cycle where the soul (atman) is reborn and life renews over and over as a result of karma. If you behave in accordance with dharma, this will result in positive outcomes that allow your soul to be reborn. A soul can be reborn into a physical body, or an animal.

Reincarnation is a central belief in Hinduism. Take a look at this PowerPoint to find out more about Hindu values along with gods and goddesses.


Moksha is the ultimate goal within Hinduism, to leave this cycle of rebirth (samsara) and become one with the god Brahma. Hindu’s believe that in order to achieve moksha, Hindus must follow one of the three paths, the path of duty, the path of knowledge, or the path of devotion.

This PowerPoint is a great tool to use when teaching your children about samsara and moksha in Hinduism.


Brahman is a Sanskrit word meaning transcendent power. The Hindu belief in Brahman is the belief in a power that upholds the world. Particular Hindu deities are manifestations of Brahman. Brahma is the Hindu creator god and creator of the Vedas.



Beliefs of Hinduism
Common to virtually all Hindus are certain beliefs, including, but not limited to, the following:
a belief in many gods, which are seen as manifestations of a single unity. These deities are linked to universal and natural processes.
a preference for one deity while not excluding or disbelieving others
a belief in the universal law of cause and effect (karma) and reincarnation
a belief in the possibility of liberation and release (moksha) by which the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) can be resolved

Hinduism is bound to the hierarchical structure of the caste system, a categorization of members of society into defined social classes. An individual’s position in the caste system is thought to be a reflection of accumulated merit in past lives (karma).
Observance of the dharma, or behavior consistent with one’s caste and status, is discussed in many early philosophical texts. Not every religious practice can be undertaken by all members of society. Similarly, different activities are considered appropriate for different stages of life, with study and raising families necessary for early stages, and reflection and renunciation goals of later years. A religious life need not be spiritual to the exclusion of worldly pleasures or rewards, such as the pursuit of material success and (legitimate) pleasure, depending on one’s position in life. Hindus believe in the importance of the observation of appropriate behavior, including numerous rituals, and the ultimate goal of moksha, the release or liberation from the endless cycle of birth.
Moksha is the ultimate spiritual goal of Hinduism. How does one pursue moksha? The goal is to reach a point where you detach yourself from the feelings and perceptions that tie you to the world, leading to the realization of the ultimate unity of things—the soul (atman) connected with the universal (Brahman). To get to this point, one can pursue various paths: the way of knowledge, the way of appropriate actions or works, or the way of devotion to God.