November 21, 2010
Rev. Jocelyn C. Thornton, M. Div.
The Hindu religion is made up of the Indian religious ways that are not categorized with either Buddhism, Jainism, or Sikhism. The term “Hinduism” is derived from a name applied by the foreigners to the people living in the region of the Indus River. (Fisher, M. P.) Hinduism was first introduced in the nineteenth century under colonial British rule as a category for census-taking. (Fisher, M. P.)
An alternative label preferred today is Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana means “eternal” or “ageless”. (Fisher, M. P.) It reflects the belief that these ways have always existed. Dharma typically means “religion”. (Fisher, M. P.) But it can also translate to encompasses duty, natural law, social welfare, ethics, health, and transcendental realization. (Fisher, M. P.)
The extreme variations within Sanatana Dharma are just reflections of its great age. Very few myriad religious paths have been lost. (Fisher, M. P.) The myriad religious paths continue to co-exist in present-day India. (Fisher, M. P.)
In villages, the worship of deities is quite diverse and does not necessarily follow the more refined and philosophical Brahmanic tradition that is typically referred to as Hinduism. (Fisher, M. P.)
The main system that has been a major influence is the caste system, as well as the discipline that the Hindu maintains, which includes things like, maintaining proper culture, doing all religious things. (Uttoransen) These things influence the Hinduism to the region it originated. You may find these things like caste and society, anti-social, but in actual practice it's not. This caste system, made the Hindu stay more in discipline and it maintained it's state, as it was, and it is vital for the region as culture is mainly differences, and this make our culture alive for 4000 years, and it is vital for Hinduism to stay as it is. (Uttoransen)
In Hinduism the soul... [continues]
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