Studies of Religion
Religions of the World: Hinduism.
“Describe one significant practice within Hinduism and demonstrate how this practice expresses the beliefs of Hinduism. Further, analyse its significance for both the individual and the Hindu community.”
Hinduism could be described as one of the world’s oldest religions, dating back to some 3,000 – 6,000 years ago. The name ‘Hindu’ was given to portray the people who lived near the River Indus in India – the word ‘Indus’ became ‘Hindu’. Hinduism is a very varied religion with many ways of practicing. Most Hindus, however, share the same basic beliefs. Many Hindus prefer to call their religion ‘sanatana dharma’ which means ‘eternal teaching’. They believe that this teaching applies to everyone, at all times and in all places. Hindus believe that beyond the material world we live in someone called Braham (spirit). The material world is always changing and does not last however their spirit is unchanging and eternal. The spirit cannot be seen but is considered to be everywhere. Today, there are millions of Hindus, and most still live in India where Hinduism began.
Many people in the Hindu religion believe that arranged marriage is the traditional form of marriage in India and that love in marriage is a modern form that is currently becoming more and more acceptable. Hindus often do not choose their own marriage parents, even though there are more love marriages taking place, many Hindus will have an arranged or ‘assisted’ marriage. In other parts of the world, marriage is the union of a man and woman, conversely in India it is the joining of two groups of people. People in India believe marriage is for a different purpose, and have different expectations to other parts of the world. In an arranged marriages, when a woman is old enough to get married word passes through a close-knit network or relatives, friends and associates that she is looking for a husband. Her parents will then consult a priest and a...
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