Hinduism is one of the most important religious and cultural tradition in South Asia, developed from Vedic Religion and considered the oldest religion in the world. Hinduism id believed to have started 4000 years ago in India. Aryans had Hinduism as their religion, therefore recorded their customs and way of thinking through texts known as Vedas (3000 years old). During that time period the way to teach was communication from teacher to student. Many years later came then the written version. The Vedas are made up of: The Rig Veda, The Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. The sacred texts were written in Sanskrit which is India’s ancient Hinduism has been so influential that in today’s society there is almost one billion believers or that practice some aspects of Hinduism.
Hinduism main belief is the eternal spiritual path of your person, meaning that humans basic nature is not mingled to the body or the mind. The main belief is that there is a spirit full of piece, wisdom and joy that is always within us and are aware of everything we do. It is believed that if we train and practice you can actually experience it. The training is mainly based on doing meditation or yoga with is what gives you peace and takes you into your deepest essence. There are four main types of yoga: Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, Raja which are meant to four main types of human temperaments.
Who is God in Hinduism? In this religion the name for God is Braham, but the divine essence that is always within us is Atman. However, God is said to be involved in all creation therefore has many names, for example: Shiva and Divine Lord and as the Divine Mother: Kali and Durga. God can also be manifested in human form which is basically reincarnation. Hinduism celebrates the organic, nature and the multileveled. In this religion the truth must be sought in order to clear your mind and have internal peace. All of this are reasons that led many people to consider Hinduism as a way of life and not a religion.
When it comes to Hinduism there are five tensile strands that are what makes Hinduism a religious tradition, which are: practice, doctrine, society, story and devotion. Every strand has a meaning, therefore has a connection and develops a history of communication, elaboration and a certain challenge. In the 20th century, Hinduism became more popular in the West. Although the essence of the religion is the same, many people worldwide made it more attractive to traditional Western Religion. Hinduism became more popular and different interpretations and people adopting the religion as a way of life has helped many people into becoming a better version of themselves.
Henotheistic are mostly the forms of Hinduism, they worship one deity in this case Brahman but still accept the recognition of other gods. Practitioners of this religion believe that there are many paths that they can take in order to reach their god. In addition Hindus believe in the doctrine of the “samsara” which is the continuous circle of life, reincarnation and death and “karma” which is the universal law of cause and effect. In addition, some of the main thoughts in this religion is “atman” which means the believe in your own soul. This believe hold on to the thought that every living thing has a soul and that they are all part of a much bigger soul. When it comes to this the main goal is to reach “moshka” which means salvation and is the mark the cycle of rebirths to become part of the absolute soul.
What I consider most interesting about Hinduism is that its fundamental principle is based on how people’s action and the way they think directly determine their life and what the future holds for them. Following this religion encourages people to behave good and have moral qualities which is what will help them achieve the state of dharma. In addition, Hindus care for all living creatures and consider specifically the cow to be sacred which means they cant eat it, they need to be treated as a divine identity. Sine they care deeply about animals most don’t eat pork and are mostly vegetarians. Hinduism is very similar to other Indian Religions considering Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The Om and Swastika are symbols of Hinduism. The Swatiska represents goo luck, later being associated with evil when the Nazis made it their official symbol in 1920.
Hindus practice the “puja” which is known as their way of worshiping which takes place in the Mandir temple. Followers can visit they place whenever they want or can. Another way of worshiping is at home when they have a shrine dedicated to certain gods and goddess. The act of giving offerings is very important to the believers, they often gift flowers or oils. In addition, Hindus have a cast system which is a social hierarchy that divides Hindus based on their karma or dharma. For many years the caste system has determined all aspects of an individuals social, professional and religious status in India. However, when India became an independent nation, its constitution made illegal to discriminate an individual based on the caste system. In today’s society many of the old ways of practicing the religion are being overlooked but some traditions are still being embraced, for example: only marrying within a specific caste.
When it comes to today’s society Hinduism has influenced not only the practitioners of this religion, but also the non-religious side of the society and other religions as well. Furthermore, Hinduism has not only impacted on the way people think, but also in medicine, an example of this is ayuvedic healing which can be referred as to as “holistic treatments”. This treatment is based on the belief that health and wellbeing is based on the overall balance between mind, body and spirit. In addition, Hinduism impact has gone way beyond philosophy, art, literature, fashion and religion and all of this is because Hinduism is a highly adaptable religion and makes it accessible for everyone to choose their way of believing and to have peace within themselves.
Many Hindus paintings contain one or more of the Gods that are being worshiped. It is usually bright colored which brings lots of warmth, light and happiness. In addition, traits ans influences from this religion are found in the instruments and on the lyrics of the Indian music. This are more examples that portraits how Hindus express their style of living and how they spread that positive mind set.
Hinduism is a peaceful religion that preaches calmness, their afterlife is a state of calmness and tranquility, this is a reason why their prayers include meditation and yoga. Many people have adapted these ways of preaching adapting it to their needs. Non-Hindus use it as a way of exercising, an escape from reality where they can just relax and try to be the best they can and communicate with that inner peace that is so hard to reach. A very important Hindu leader in the early 20th century was Ghandi that taught respect, tolerance and the equality of love. Ghandi was one of the most important influencers among the world, bringing people the ability to have an option to become better and think about their life.
Although Hinduism has many positive things and has had an amazing impact on. The world, there are many things in which I disagree on. As mentioned before Hinduism contains a Caste System in which people are being ranked, when you are born in your cast you cannot leave it. Situations like this are what makes people think twice, because it is not fair that individuals won’t get a chance to become who they want to be or demonstrate their abilities and capabilities just because they are born into a certain family. In addition, another negative aspect of Hinduism is that considers women inferior to man because supposedly they are evil and cannot achieve Moshka.
In conclusion, every religion has its positive and negative things…it is incredible how the fact of practicing a certain religion can affect what you eat, how you dress, who you will become, how you socialize, but no matter what religion is being practiced, what ,matters is to always be the best version of yourself, to always try do good and help as many people as you can. It will be only then when we can construct a better world.