World History and Civilization
Lee Rademacher (P3)
October 29, 2014
What is Hinduism?
Hinduism has been originated by the beliefs of the Aryans. It is a monotheistic religion with their god being named Brahma. It’s one’s duty to seek an ultimate reality and this is called Atman. Each is free to find his or her own way but all reality is permeated by God. Reincarnation, Karma and Dharma are also supporting parts in this religion.
Reincarnation: the soul is to be reborn after death. One is required to live new lives until that life reaches the ultimate understanding.
Karma: the force generated by someone’s actions that determines how the person will be reborn in the next life. A person’s current status is not an accident; it is a result of a person’s actions in the previous existence. Basically, “what goes around comes around”.
Dharma: this is divine law, which requires people to do their duty. It’s a person’s responsibility to find your purpose or your duty in life.
There are many important gods within this religion. There is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They can be considered as the “Holy Trinity” of Hinduism.
Brahma the Creator: traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. He is originally shown with a white beard to symbolize the eternal nature of existence.
Vishnu the Preserver: traditionally depicted with a human body with blue skin and four arms. His arms are holding four symbolic objects; the conch, lotus flower, the chakra and mace. He is the protector of the universe and he is to come back to earth in troubled times and restore the balance of good and evil.
Shiva the Destroyer: traditionally depicted with three eyes and a crescent moon on his head. He is normally decorated with serpent ornaments and a skull necklace.
Within Hinduism, there is no hell or eternal damnation. There is no such thing as demons or any type of satanic force (no intrinsic evil). Hindus are tolerant of other faiths. The holy text