October 24, 2010
Hinduism derives from the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is not a religion in the normal sense, but it is a set of traditions and beliefs that progressed over a long period of time. Sanatana Dharma is the preferred label today. The meaning; “Sanatana reflects that these beliefs have always existed; and Dharma, often is translated as “religion” encompasses duty, natural law, social welfare, ethics, health, and transcendental realization (Fisher, 2005, p.69).” Though there are different sects of Hinduism, they all admire the ancient script or texts called Vedas. The concept of Hinduism is the belief in the ultimate reality called Brahman (universal soul) and its identification with the Aatman (individual soul). All individuals or creatures go through a cycle of birth and re-birth. Karma determines each creature’s status in each birth. This can only be destroyed by self realization.
Brahman is the ultimate God; the absolute reality, which is formless and infinite. For the sake of worshipping Brahman with the limited human minds, Gods had been personified and associated with different attributes. The most worshipped Hindu deities are Shiva, Vishnu, and Shakthi (Devi). The practice of the Hindu religion includes seeking an awareness of God as well as looking for blessings from different Gods. There are different practices that Hinduism has developed that can help individual relate with the divine. Hinduism is actually based on idol worship and they also hold the cow to be sacred; most Hindu’s are vegetarians.
Cultural and societal influences made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated by numerous traditions and social systems that were adhered by the people of India or fellow adepts of Hinduism. Culturally, Hinduism contains various myths that imply the countless faces of the divine to interact in various forms with people. Cultural traditions explain... [continues]
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