Hinduism and Hindu Holy Books

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  • Topic: Hinduism, Shiva, Vishnu
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Hinduism

Table of Contents

Introduction Page 1
Hindu Beliefs
A. Hindu GodsPage 1
B. Life Before and After DeathPage 2
C. The Caste SystemPage 2
Rituals of Life in Hinduism Page 3 & 4
Worship
A. Daily ObligationsPage 4
B. Daily RitualsPage 4
C. PujaPage 5
D. Yoga Page 5
Hindu Holy Books
A. VedaPage 5
B. Laws of ManuPage 5
C. The EpicsPage 6
PilgrimagePage 6
Shivarati Page 6 & 7

Introduction

Hinduism - stands for the faith and the way of life most of the people who live in India.

Hinduism is such an ancient religion that it had many types of beliefs and religious practices. Around 1750 BC Aryan invaders from central Asia settled in North - West India and introduced their own religious ideas.

Slowly the Hindu came to accept the idea of the existence of an eternal supreme being. They called this being, Brahman. Hindus also worship different gods which individually represent one particular aspect of Brahman. The most popular one of the lesser gods are Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer)

Hinduism has no founder. It is a religion that has slowly developed over a period of time.

Hindu Beliefs

Hindu Gods

The Hindus have four gods Brahman, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. There main god is Brahman. He is the origin and the sustainer of all life, and the goal of all things. He is eternal and omnipotent and only he is real. They believe that Brahman is so great that he cannot be explained in human words because all humans are imperfect and Brahman is perfect.

Shiva
Shiva is usually depicted with six arms each one representing a different function to preform. He is known as the destroyer and restorer of life, symbol of the reproductive force of nature, philosopher and sage. He has a third eye which signifies wisdom or higher consciousness. He has a blue throat which is a result of him swallowing a full cup of mans sins. Worship of Shiva includes fertility rites and veneration of the symbols of male and female sex organs. Most Hindus imagine Shiva as being in deep meditation high in the Himalayas. Shiva is the ultimate god who holds in divine tension the preservation and destruction of the cosmos, both its birth and death. At times he is portrayed as the great ascetic. He is often depicted as the reconciler of dualities such as good and evil, eroticism and asceticism, his creative energy is depicted in the Lingam and Yoni. Shiva is frequently shown in loving union with his consort Parvati (another form of the great goddess)

Shiva devotees are called Shaivites, and devotion usually takes the form of Yogic practice. Shiva is often pictured, in one of the best known religious images from India, as the lord of the cosmic dance. Shiva "LORD OF THE DANCE". He is surrounded by flames (energy of the universe) and snakes (representing creative power). His upper right hand is holding a drum (to beat the rhythm of the time) while the upper left hand holds a flames (element of destruction). His second right hand is raised for blessing, while his second left hand points to the raised left foot (symbolizes release). The right foot treads on a dwarf that represents ignorance and spiritual blindness.

Life Before and After Death

A Hindu believes and hopes that eventually his soul will join with Brahman. They welcome death as a step towards gaining this everlasting union with him. They believe that their souls were never born and therefore never dies, but it moves on from one body to another. This movement form one body to another in the cycle of birth death and re-birth is called reincarnation. This belief that a person will be born again following the death is linked with the law of karma. They also believe that the type of existence a person will experience in the next...
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