Hinduism Assignment

Hinduism Assignment Words: 699

Hinduism is one of the oldest world religions and is said to have as many gods as there are devotees. The diverse traditions and practices of Hinduism hold common beliefs, which are valid, indisputable, and eternal. Hinduism caters to a rage of people with various spiritual needs. In this paper I will discuss the origins, definition, rituals, and practices of Hinduism. Hinduism is a set of traditions and beliefs not a religion, which has evolved over time. The common practices, principles, and beliefs constitute Hinduism’s core philosophy.

According to Jayaram (2010) foreigners use Hinduism to describe Indians, who live in the region of the Indus River, which runs partly in Pakistan and partly in India. Hinduism does not follow a holy book nor does it have an original founder. According to Jayaram (2010) Hindu is originally a Persian word describing the Indian race living east of the Indus River. A cow plays an important part of Hinduism because the body of the cow is a divinity. Hindus worship the cow so killing a cow and eating the meat is a serious taboo.

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According to Jayaram (2010) animals are vehicles of Gods such as the mouse, swan, bull, elephant, and owl. The three most important Gods are Brahma creator of reality, Vishnu or Krisha preserver of all creations, and Shiva, the destroyer. According to Religion Facts (2010) the center of Hindu practices are to fulfill one’s stages of life and one’s social position. The Hindus will pass four stages throughout one’s lifetime, which are brahmacharga, grastha, venaprastha, and sanngasu. The common practices are Ayurvenda, which is the system of healing and medicine.

The Sadhu is known as the Holy Man, which means one will devote one’s life to spiritual disciplines. According to World Almanac & Book of Facts (2008) the most common Hindu practice is known as Puja, which is done at home in front of a shrine or in a temple. Puja is of public rites and is a ceremonial dinner for the Gods. When one performs Puja the ritual is done before one eats or drinks. Hindus practice in a caste system, which shapes the lives in India and dates back to Vedic age. According to Axia College Week Three Supplement (2005) the Brahmins are the priests, specialists, and philosophers of the spirit of life.

Kshatriyas are the noble; kings, vassals, and courageous warriors who would preserve and guard society. Vaishyas are specialists in economics, which are merchants and farmers. Shudra are the artisans and laborers. The untouchables are outcasts who would clean the streets, work with the corpses, work with dead cow leather, and one who removes human waste. Indian people would accept the social roles because of historical and social customs. Parents would arrange the marriage of children who fit in the caste system.

Hospitality is a duty for all caste classes and to turn one away without offering food or drink is a sin. The caste system is worse than slavery, is prejudicial, discriminatory and does not fit the principles and values of modern time. Liberation is to find spiritual perfection and is what Hindus live to accomplish in a lifetime. According to Axia College Week Three Supplement (2005) Hindus believe in karma with good deeds to escape samsara and achieve moksha, which is liberation from space, matter, and time through the immortal Absolute.

Hinduism dates back to c. 1500 B. C. brought into India by Aryans according to Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition. Hinduism remains a major world religion today because Hinduism is assimilative, flexible and has no central authority. Hinduism helps everyone in society find solace through solutions with spiritual and personal problems. The point of this paper is to help one understand Hinduism. Hinduism believes in one truth with the one truth being in different names. References

Axia College (2005). Week Three supplement: Chapter Three HINDUISM. Retrieved from Axia College, HUM/130-Living Religions course website. Hinduism (2009). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database. Hinduism (2008). World Almanac & Book of Facts, 720. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database. http://www. hinduwebsite. com/hinduintrod3. asp http://www. hinduwebsite. com/hinduism/h_meaning. asp http://www. religionfacts. com/hinduism/practices. htm

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