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From what I've seen, Hinduism isn't a religion like most of the other modern ones with many "rules" that you have to follow, it's more of a "pick-your-own-rules" way of doing it. (See: Is there an Orthodox Hinduism?)

Additionally, it changes much as time passes1

The question is, are there any invariant "core" tenets/rules to Hinduism; i.e. rules that have not changed since Vedic times and are still a part of the religion.

Some candidates:

  • The no-conversions rule (one must be born a Hindu). This seems to be changing now.
  • Restrictions against beef

1. So do other religions, really.

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    The freedom to seek your truth or God or form is the invariant. This freedom was not denied to Arjuna by Krishna. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 9:07
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    " Hinduism isn't a religion like most of the other modern ones with many "rules" that you have to follow, it's more of a "pick-your-own-rules" way of doing it" - Incorrect. " it changes much as time passes" - Also incorrect. Good Q though.
    – user1195
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 3:22
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    no-conversion rule is myth. I have added "many details" about devalasmriti scripture in my answer at hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/26319/13287 . see "argument 3" in my answer . You may check "argument 1" also
    – zaxebo1
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 13:37

1 Answer 1

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Some core invariants IMHO,

  1. Belief in Veda/Shruti (this is summarily rejected by Cārvāka and other materialistic and atheistic school of Hinduism).
  2. Belief in Re-incarnation
  3. Belief in Atman
  4. Belief in One universal Brahman which pervades all beings, animate as well as inanimate.
  5. Belief in Karma and the role it play
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    Not just first, but all of the first three are rejected by materialistic school of Hinduism. I'm not sure about 4 and 5.
    – user13107
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 5:42
  • Nastika schools aren't really "Hinduism" though. Also, I believe point 5 is cultural rather than religious (that is, it is taken as given and Astika philosophies are a response to this presumption), but perhaps I am wrong Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 23:56

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