Ike M. Hunley
University of Phoenix
Dr. Theodrick Morton
Hindu Religious Traditions Paper
This paper will respond to the assignment requirements from the course syllabus based on the course readings. The first question was, "What sacred elements characterize Hindu religious traditions?" Based on the course readings, as well as to my understanding, they are the major devas, based on Vedic scriptures, which include Indra (god of thunder and bringer of welcome rains), Agni (god of fire), Soma (associated with a sacred drink), and Ushas (goddess of dawn). The devas included both opaque earth gods and transparent deities of the sky and celestial realms. But behind all the myriad aspects of divinity, the sages perceived one unseen reality. This reality, beyond human understanding, ceaselessly creates and sustains everything that exists, encompassing all time, space, and causation. (Living Religions)
One might argue that almost everything is sacred in Hinduism after reading this chapter. One could also have the opinion that Hinduism is a religion of 330 million gods, or deities. The Hindu majority have deep roots in the Vedas and other scriptures, hold ethics to be central to orderly social life and attribute suffering to the law of karma, thereby suggesting incentives to more ethical behavior. Most Hindus believe that the ultimate cause of suffering is people's ignorance of their true nature, the Self, which is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect, and eternal. (Living Religions) Personal humility and high ethical behavior are essential elements to all facets of the Hindu religions traditions. In Hinduism, different aspects of one reality are symbolized by the many gods and goddesses of Hinduism. For example, Brahma is that reality in its role as creator of the universe; in Vishnu it is seen as the preserver and the upholder of the universe; and Shiva is that same reality viewed as the principle of...