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By mattthompson15 Apr 08, 2014 1005 Words

Hinduism as a whole is a simple yet complex religion that has had a great impact on the region of its conception. The Hindu religion as a whole has one ultimate goal and that is to become liberated from the earthly existence we know and to be without worldly limitations of this earth. Even though Hinduism lacks a uniting belief system there are many aspects that make Hinduism a religion. There are also many cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism a vital influence to many across the world but most notable in the region it was originated in. In the religion Hinduism or also referred to as Sanatana Dharma “eternal religion” followers acknowledge that there is good in all and a link that good to the cosmos. Sananta Dharma’s foundation is set in the Vedas which is the religious text of the key principles of Hinduism. All though the followers of Hinduism have over 330 million deities the Devas are the controlling forces in the cosmos. Even with all of the deities the sages perceived one unseen reality. This reality is beyond human understanding and creates and sustains life and everything that exists. Hinduism may lack a unified belief system but it is undoubtedly a religion by definition. A religion can be translated as a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by. One of the beliefs that are a crucial part to how Hindus follow their religion is concept of reincarnation. In reincarnation when a being dies the soul leaves the dead body and enters a new one. Karma is another key belief that is intertwined with the reincarnation process of life and death. The literal translation of Karma is action and in Hinduism with action comes consciences. This is the belief that determines if one can become one with Absolute Reality or begin a new life with limitation. The ultimate goal in Hinduism is to be liberated from our current earthy existence. This is done by obtaining a clean escape from the wheel of rebirth, death, and rebirth by living a good life. Samsara is the name of this wheel that is ran by Karma that every being is on till they are one with the Absolute Reality. This transition from life on earth to the immortal Absolute is called Moksha. The desire to be liberated from earthly existence is the liberation from limitations of space, time, and matter. This escape from many of earth’s miseries can only be obtained through many lives of incarnations striving to reach the Absolute Reality. There are many cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the region in which it was originated. A key epic that has had a huge effect on the Hindu religion and the region Hinduism was created is the Mahabharata. This is a Sanskrit poem that is said to have been written between 400 BCE and 400CE. The plot of this poem concerns the struggles between two sons for a royal family’s control of their kingdom. This poem teaches those of the Hinduism the importance of sons, the duties of kingship, and the qualities of the gods. This story is said to been taken from historical events in the region of the time. This poem has also influenced a song that is still sung in the region called Bhagavad-Gita (“The Song of the Supreme Exalted One”). Another societal influence that has affected Hinduism is the cast system. This is still a huge influence in India and many other societies all around the world. The cast system can be seen throughout the religion as a whole. The four major casts in the region were Kshatriyas, Vasishyas, shudra, and the untouchables. Even within the religion those who study and perfected the acts of maintaining the high standards of ritual purity became higher than just regular followers. These follows that have reached a high level of spiritual strength are called Gurus. Within Hinduism Gurus are followed and are upheld as role models for those in the religion. The Hinduism religion has not only been impacted by its followers but also by the region it was created in. With the religion coming from such a rich culture and society it has grow to be a true belief and following all over the world. The followers of Hindu not only believe that they should be good to others but believe that life is not only beautiful but has a great purpose. This purpose is to be one with the Absolute reality. In conclusion, Hinduism might be lacking a unified belief system but it is indeed a religion with a great impact on its followers. Hinduism is also a belief that took lessons from life and applied it to many areas throughout the religion as a whole. This is a key principle in the main goal of Hinduism which is to become free of this earthly existence to free one mind and soul.

Fisher, M.P. (2005). Living religions (6th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall

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