What does Hindu mean?

   Many people think that everyone in India is a Hindu. Calling everyone in India a Hindu is like calling everyone in America a Christian. For Hinduism is a religion just as Christianity is.
   Actually most of the people of India are Hindus. For when the old India was divided into the two countries of India and Pakistan, most Indians who were not Hindus settled in Pakistan.

   Here are some of the Hindu beliefs:
   There are many gods. Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are the greatest.
   The cow is sacred. It must not be killed.
   After death everyone is reborn in another form. He may be reborn as an animal. He may be reborn higher in the scale of human beings. Everything depends on the kind of life he has led.
   The Ganges River is sacred. If a Hindu dies on its banks or if he dies elsewhere but has his ashes thrown into the river, he earns a rest from being reborn.
   Within the Hindu religion there are different beliefs, just as there are different beliefs in the Christian religion. Some Hindus, for instance, call all life sacred. They wear cloths over their faces to keep from swallowing tiny insects.
   Along with the Hindu religion a caste system developed. All Hindus were divided into classes called castes.    Rules were made for each caste. A person 'lost caste" if he did not obey these rules. Now the caste system is breaking down.
   In Hindu temples there are many images of the Hindu gods. Some of them have several arms. These arms show that the gods have many powers.