Third are the Visas, or merchants and farmers. Finally, the fourth caste is the Shudder, or laborers. Existing outside of the caste system are the untouchables, the outcasts of society. One does not get choose to enter his or her caste, rather, that is decided according to what family the person is born into. Some other aspects of Hinduism that are shared among the different sects are the belief in the three-in-one god known as “Brahmas,” which consists of: Brahmas (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).
There are three gods that make up Brahmas – Brahmas, Vishnu, and Shiva. Hindus also worship the “wives” of Shiva, such as Kali, or one of Vishnu ten incarnations (avatars). There are literally millions of Hindu gods and goddesses, by some counts, as many as 330 million! At the same time, Hinduism teaches that all living things are Brahmas at their core. In other words, all living things are Brahmas, or god. Hindus also uphold the ideas of karma, reincarnation, and nirvana. The laws of karma state that good begets good, and bad begets bad.
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Every action, thought, or decision one makes has consequences , either good or bad, that will return to each person in the present life, or in one yet to come. Reincarnation is known as the “transmigration of souls,” or “samara. ” This is a Journey on the “circle f life,” where the spiritual self undergoes a series of physical births, deaths, and rebirths. By generating good karma, a person can eventually earn the reward of be reborn into a higher caste, or even to godhood. Bad karma can demote one too lower caste, or even to an existence as an animal in their next life.
Nirvana is the final goal of Hinduism. Nirvana is the liberation of the soul from the seemingly endless cycle of rebirths. Only by Becoming tuned in to the Brahmas within can one attain enlightenment-and only then can one reach Nirvana. The release from the wheel of life that allows access to Nirvana is known as “mimosa. “Many life-times of upward-striving incarnations are required to reach this transcendence of earthly miseries. This desire for liberation from earthly existence is one of the underpinnings of classical Hinduism, and of Buddhism as well. (Fisher, 2005) Hindus make out three possible paths to mimosa, or salvation. The first is the way of works, or karma yoga. This is a well-liked way of salvation that puts emphasis on the idea that By Rorer so doing a person can overcome the weight of bad karma that they have accumulated. The second way of salvation is the way of knowledge, or Joana yoga. The basic principle of the way of knowledge is that the reason of our repression to the cycle of rebirths in this world is ignorance.
According to the leading view among those committed to this way, our ignorance consists of the mistaken belief that we are individual selves, and not one with the ultimate divine reality – Brahmas. It is this same ignorance that provokes our bad actions, resulting in bad karma. Salvation is achieved through achieving a state of consciousness in which we realize our identity with Brahmas. This is achieved through deep meditation, often as a part of the discipline of yoga. The third way of salvation is he way of devotion, or backbit yoga. This is the way most preferred by the common people of India.
It satisfies the longing for a more emotional and personal approach to religion. It involves the self-surrender to one of the many personal gods and goddesses of Hinduism. Such devotion is expressed through acts of worship, temple rituals, and pilgrimages. Some Hindus consider ultimate salvation as absorption into the one divine reality, with all loss of individual existence. Others regard it as heavenly existence in adoration of the personal God. Reference Fisher, M. P. (2005). Living Religions (6th deed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.