Hindu means Indian, or inhabitant of the Indian subcontinent. This earliest of religions began in India 1500 years before Jesus Christ. The first Hindu bible is the Rig Veda, a collection of 1028 hymns. There are many gods in Hinduism, beginning with Shiva, the destroyer, symbolically depicted in phallus form. Animals are worshipped, with cattle and peacocks being sacred. Thus, vegetarianism is widespread among followers. Yoga is the path to enlightenment, and there is an afterlife, because there is reincarnation. The caste system is part of the religion.
When I worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the mid-70's, I was attached to the Shiva laser program, which was, then, the most powerful laser in the world. Shiva because the ultimate system would have had 20 "arms."
With a population just over one billion, about 82% of Indians are Hindu, with Islam accounting for 12% (120 million). Eighty percent of Nepalese are Hindus. While India occupies 2.4% of the world land area, 15% of the world population lives here.
In Pakistan, Hindus only account for 1% of the population, as 97% are Muslims, of which 77% are Shiites. Two percent of Indonesians are Hindus.
Oh, and why is Hindu the fastest growing religion in the United States? First, Christianity declined from 86% to 77% from 1990 to 2001. Second, non-believers, in this period increased from 8% to 14%, with the state of Washington at 25%. Third, Hinduism is not the fastest growing religion, it is Wicca (pentagonal symbol on right), a Neopagan religion known as Witchcraft, from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001, or an increase of nearly 1600%! But, fourth, of the major religions, Hindu increased from 227,000 to 766,000, or 237% (Buddhism 170%, Islam 109%, Christianity 5%). The relatively low number was suddenly increased by Indian immigrants, almost all who were Hindus. There were about 400,000 during that decade, and with the added children plus the high rate remaining in the country, this would explain most of the increase.
Leighton Chong and I had lunch at Plumeria and had their Wednesday special, Okura Hotel curry with a glass of Chardonnay. He has been developing the Fall Sustainability Tour, hopefully to be linked to Enterprise Honolulu's:
When the grand odyssey for Planet Earth and Humanity is finalized, you will be the first to learn the details. The above gathering will be held in mid September. The follow-up adventure will link with potential blue-green world partners and sister city sites, somewhat in the mode of the Green Enertopia concept. The fact that the theme of the conference is, launching "The Blue Economy," ideally combines renewable energy with The Blue Revolution.
The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 53 to 10,836, while world markets were mostly up, except for the Americas. Gold sunk $17/toz to $1086. while crude oil seems headed for $80/barrel.
In the Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Imani is up to 65 MPH, but should weaken and not pose a threat to any populated area. Tropical Storm Omais at 45 MPH is moving north, weaken and not affect the Philippines nor Taiwan.