Introduction to the Humanities
Religious Belief Systems of Hinduism, Daoism, Buddhism
Ancient India religious belief was that of Hinduism. In Hinduism, Pantheism, the belief that divinity inheres in all things, is basic to the Hindu view that the universe itself is sacred. Hinduism embraces all of the Vedic gods. Hindus believe in the oneness of Spirit, but worship that Spirit through a multitude of deities, who are perceived as an emanation of the divine. Hinduism is best understood through the religious texts known as the Upanishads, some 250 prose commentaries on the Vedas. The Vedas is India’s oldest devotional text. Vedas is a collection of prayer, sacrificial formulae, and hymns. While they teach worship through prayer and sacrifice, the Upanishads teach enlightenment through meditation. Hindu’s believe in Brahman, the concept of the single all- pervading cosmic force. Brahman is infinite, formless, and ultimately unknowable. Also, in Hinduism there is the force know as Atman soundless, formless, intangible, undying, tasteless, odorless, without beginning, without end. Atman seeks to be one with the Brahman. Nirvana is believed to be the reunion of the Brahman and Atman. Nirvana is the goal of all Hindu’s. Once one reaches nirvana he or she is released from the endless cycle of death and rebirth, or reincarnation. Reincarnation, is the fate of Hindus until they achieve nirvana.
Ancient China venerated an assortment of local spirits associated with natural forces, and with rivers, mountains, and crops, but the most powerful of the personalized spirits of ancient China were those of deceased ancestors. Chinese, believed that deceased ancestors...