Hinduism is an ancient religion whose beginnings date back 6,000 years. Although there is tremendous variation in Hinduism, there are some consistent strains. As with Buddhism, which originally derived from Hinduism, there is an emphasis on an all-encompassing, multi-dimensional spiritual unity to which we all belong. The many deities in Hinduism are simply manifestations of this cosmic divinity. Suffering comes from ignorance and enlightenment comes from knowledge of the oneness of all reality and of the illusory nature of separateness and individuality. Contemplative practices are also important in the Hindu religion.