The fundamental beliefs shared by all Hindus are the existence of one God, the Law of Karma and the Cycle of Reincarnation. The most misunderstood concept of Hinduism is its belief in one God. It has been erroneously labeled as pantheistic because of the numerous gods and goddesses one finds in it. But one has to go deeper in to the philosophy of Hinduism to understand the underlying principle of unity. Hindus believe that even though God is One, He manifests differently at different times to different people according to their need and faith. Further, they believe that He bestows His Grace on humans in whatever form they worship Him.
The Law of Karma can be simply explained by referring to the fact that whatever one sows, that one reaps. Karma is misunderstood as encouraging fatalism. On the contrary, it puts the full burden of one’s salvation on one’s own shoulders. Good living bestows good karma and bad living brings bad karma. One takes birth according to one’s karma to reap its fruits and work it out. Thus the human birth presents a rare chance to nullify one’s past karma while making it possible to move closer to God. Human birth is not easily obtained and it is unwise to waste it in ignorance of God.
The concept of rebirth is related to the Law of Karma. All Hindus believe that the soul is indestructible, eternal and deathless. It is only the body that decays and drops off. The soul simply takes on a new body according to its karma. The ultimate goal of all created beings is to reach God and escape this endless cycle of birth and death. This reaching of God is called Moksha (Freedom).