The Distinctiveness of Hinduism
In this paper I will explain what Hinduism is. I will discuss history of the origins of Hinduism. I will show the difference of Hinduism to the beliefs of more well known religions. How Hinduism is a distinct or unique religion will be presented.
What is Hinduism?
Hinduism is the dominant faith of India. Hinduism is known as Sanatana Dharma to its followers. The basis of Hinduism is the teachings of ancient sages and scriptures and is considered a way of life. “Hinduism can best be defined as a way of life based on the teachings of ancient sages and scriptures like the Vedas and Upanishads” (Das, How Do You Define Hinduism?, 2010, para 2) The Vedas are a collected works of ancient sacred hymns in four parts. Samhitas is the earliest; they are hymns of praise worshiping deities. The second part is the Brahmanas, directing people how to carry out ritual sacrifices to the deities. “The Brahmanas explain the symbolic correspondences between the microcosm of the ritual process and the real world in which the rituals are performed” (Fisher, 2005,p 72, para 1). Some people went to the forests to deliberate by themselves and came up with the third part of the Vedas. The Aranyakas or the forest treatises were a formal written work. The fourth part was the teachings of highly realized spiritual masters known as the Upanishads. Some people believe that the Vedas go beyond human time and because of this, they are as significant today as they were in ancient times.
History of Hinduism
The Brahmanic tradition goes back thousands of years to the Vedic age. Philosophers and sages took the metaphysical beliefs in the Vedas (ancient scriptures revered by Hindus) and introduced them into various schools of thought. “These beliefs were brought forth experientially by various methods of spiritual discipline” (Fisher, 2005, p. 70).
The origin of Hinduism dates back 5,000 or more... [continues]
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