Religious Life on Earth

Topics: Hinduism, Religion, Jainism Pages: 2 (706 words) Published: November 1, 2012
Religion is a particular response to dimensions of life considered sacred, as shaped by the institutionalized traditions. Religion is a complex and an indescribable subject that many have studied. Many scholars have posed questions of where religion has come from, why people believe in religion, why it is so important, and how can we understand it better. There might not be concrete answers to these questions. It is extremely difficult to describe what religion looks like, but in many cultures, religion has been known to be the basic establishment of life. In all type of religions, there are many rituals, narrative stories, beliefs, and sacred customs that shape everyone’s life. People on Earth practice their religion through all of these aspects, through teachings, through their daily habits, and through faith. Even those who do not believe in a religion are still affected by religion.

Aside from the major organized religions of the world, there are still indigenous peoples that follow local sacred ways handed down from their remote ancestors and have adapted to contemporary circumstances. Through globalization, much of the ancient teachings and wisdom has disappeared. However there are still indigenous societies that practice communal rituals and ceremonies. In Mesoamerica, the ancient teachings have remained hidden for 500 years since the coming of the conquistadores, passed down within families as a secret oral tradition. Indigenous spirituality is a lifeway, a particular approach to all life.

On the other end of the spectrum, organized religion has dominated the majority of the world. The oldest of these religions is Hinduism. The Hindi word “dharma,” refers to a broad complex of meanings, encompassing duty, natural law, social welfare, ethics, health, and transcendental realization. Ancient and modern rituals with fire are significant and are conducted by Hindu pundits to invoke the blessings of the Unseen. There are many rituals in Hinduism that come...
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