What are the basic elements of Hinduism?
The word Hindu comes from the word Sindhu, the Sanskrit term for the river Indus. The roots of Hinduism can be traced to the Indus Valley culture.
Hinduism was not founded by any spiritual leader. It is a philosophy and a way of life that evolved over hundreds of years. The mixing of social and religious beliefs of the Indus Valley people and the Aryan settlers led to the evolution of Hinduism. The essence of Hinduism is the belief in an omnipotent and omnipresent single force or energy (shakti)- the source of all creation. This creator of the universe is God. This God is known by different names and different forms, depending on which aspect of his force is being worshiped. God is the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of this universe.