Response Paper #1
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It encompasses many religious traditions and beliefs and includes people from all over the world. There are many stories, hymns, passages, rituals, and sacred texts in Scriptures Of The World’s Religions about Hinduism and its beliefs of moksha, or liberation, and how to attain it. Sacrifice is very prevalent in Hinduism. Many passages from the reading contain stories and doctrine about how, when, and why to perform sacrifices. The hymn To The Fire Altar, is used to prepare for sacrifice and speaks of the fire god Agni who encompasses everything. Yama’s Instructions to Naciketas teaches about sacrificial fire and other important Hindu beliefs. Yet another passage, Sacrifices Cannot Lead to the Ultimate Goal, does not speak as highly of sacrifice and warns against relying solely on sacrifice to reach moksha. In these passages, sacrifice is considered and related closely to other fundamental Hindu beliefs. Four of the fundamental beliefs of Hinduism found in this reading are Brahman, dharma, moksha and ātman. Truth and Transcendence talks about how Brahman created dharma and that dharma is truth and a way to attain moksha. Self-Effort and Liberation teaches that a person must gain moksha individually. Maya explains the relationship of Maya to Brahman. That is You and Qualified Dualism: Ramanuja’s Interpretation consider the relationship between Brahman and ātman as unified or not. Despite some variances in beliefs, everything in Hinduism is believed and done so that one can end their cyclical existence and reach moksha. As moksha is the ultimate goal in Hinduism, it makes sense that many of the practices would revolve around how to reach moksha. Whether it is leaving society to focus on realizing the ātman as taught in Instructions on Renouncing The World, or practicing the correct techniques of yoga to have a calm mind and spiritual perspective as taught in the section Yoga, there are many...
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