Sacred Elements in Hindu Religion

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  • Topic: Hinduism, Vedas, Rigveda
  • Pages : 5 (1935 words )
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  • Published : November 20, 2009
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Hinduism is a vast and profound religion. Some of the sacred elements that characterize Hindu religious traditions are the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the main deities. One of the most important beliefs in Hinduism is acceptance. They have scriptures, mythologies that deal with many elements of life which are considered unacceptable. For example, Gita (considered to be main scripture which tells way of Hindu life, its duties) has story about Dropadi who is married to 5 brothers. Gita has story about Lord Krishna who married 30,000 wives who were widowed in war. Ramayana (story of Lord Ram) who is has one wife and he is faithful to her. Through many stories they are taught about accepting evil in world because there is always good in it. There is story about a prince who proves to his evil father that god is everywhere, in everyone, in every living and not living elements. Arshan (2006) stated, “The Vedas form as the basis for sacred element of Hinduism. The word Veda literally means wisdom or knowledge. It is the term applied to the oldest of the Hindu scriptures, originally transmitted orally and then subsequently preserved in written form. The Vedas contain hymns, prayers and ritual texts composed over a period of one thousand years. The term Vedas refers to the entire collection of these wisdom books, also known as the samhitas, which include the rig-Veda, the samaveda, the yajur-veda and the athara-veda. Each of these texts consists of three parts: (1) the mantras, hymns of praise to the gods; (2) the brahmanas, a guide for practicing ritual rights, and (3) the upanishads, the most important part of which deals with teachings on religious truth or doctrine. The samhitas are the basis of Vedic Hinduism, the most significant of the group being the rig-Veda. This collection of hymns, originally composed in Sanskrit, praises the various Hindu deities, including Indra, Soma, Varuna and Mitra. Based on the course readings, as well as to my understanding, they are the major Deva, based on Vedic scriptures, which include Indra (god of thunder and bringer of welcome rains), Agni (god of fire), Soma (associated with a sacred drink), and Ushas (goddess of dawn). The devas included both opaque earth gods and transparent deities of the sky and celestial realms. But behind all the myriad aspects of divinity, the sages perceived one unseen reality. This reality, beyond human understanding, ceaselessly creates and sustains everything that exists, encompassing all time, space, and causation. (Living Religions) Naylor (1999) depicted, “In Vedic times, Indra was the supreme ruler of the gods. He was the leader of the Devas, the god of war, the god of thunder and storms, the greatest of all warriors, the strongest of all beings. He was the defender of gods and mankind against the forces of evil. He had early aspects of a sun-god, riding in a golden chariot across the heavens, but he is more often known as the god of thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightning bolt. He also employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle. He shows aspects of being a creator god, having set order to the cosmos, and since he was the one who brought water to earth, he was a fertility god as well. He also had the power to revive slain warriors who had fallen in battle. Indra is described as being very powerful, with a reddish complexion, and with either two or four very long arms”. Naylor (1999) stated “Agni is one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire, the messenger of the gods, and the acceptor of sacrifice. Agni is in everyone's hearth; he is the vital spark of life, and so a part of him is in all living things; he is the fire which consumes food in peoples' stomachs, as well as the fire which consumes the offerings to the gods. He is the fire of the sun, in the lightning bolt, and in the smoke column which holds up the heavens. The stars are sparks from his flame. He was so important to the...
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