The ultimate aim of a follower of Hinduism is the Moksha or liberation from karma bondage and endless cycle of birth-and-death through soul-realization. The most recommended paths for liberation are through Yoga and meditation that combine physical and mental disciplines for spiritual well-being and ethical life.
Hinduism is also referred to as Sanatana Dharma, or the “eternal way” of life stressing the human values or duties called Swadharma consisting of the values such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, purity of mind, goodwill, compassion, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, forgiveness, and asceticism.
Keeping in view the liberation as the ultimate purpose of life in Hinduism, there are four main ways of integrating the body, mind and soul or yoga that Hindu sages have taught for self-realization. The four main Yogas are the Bhakti Yoga or the path of self-less love and devotion; Karma Yoga or the path of right and detached action; Raja Yoga or the path of meditation; and Jnanana Yoga or the path of wisdom. There is individual freedom for choosing one or some yogas over others according one’s inclination. In Hinduism, the cow is identified as a caretaker, a kind maternal figure and a symbol of unselfish giving.
In true Hinduism, the rituals and dogmas are considered as distortions that have crept into the religion. Many religious and social reformers have stressed to make Hinduism free from cultism, fadism, sectarianism, ritualism and materialism.