Essential Questions of Hinduism

Hinduism Hinduism sees to put an origin for all things in the natural world. Everything must be treated with respect and seen as a part of ones self. It is observed that everything in the universe was created by Brahmas, including himself. At the time of creation, Brahmas emanated outward Into the world and became the world. He became every rock, animal, river, and anything else we see. Stories of the creation and all the gods and events that follow, are passed down In the Purina’s and the Veda, through the scripture or crust and smart.

Crust is the scripture while smart is the tradition. These are passed down with great precision as the Veda. Furthermore, Purina is all the myths and legends of Hinduism that are widespread unlike the crust and smart. In the Hindu religion, there are three main gods, Brahmas, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahmas Is the creator, Vishnu Is the sustainer, and Shiva is the destroyer and regenerator. Abraham’s doings are done and world has already been created so he Is not as worshipped, while Vishnu and Shiva are often seen with their consorts as there many avatars in the Purina’s.

These 3 main gods spread out to millions of efferent avatars while at the same time being all one. Since Brahmas created the universe and is the universe at the same time, he is all of the gods together. Whom one chooses to worship whether Is be Brahmas or an avatar of any of the other gods, is completely up to the follower. Brahmas, Shiva, and Vishnu are seen as their avatars that further represent a different more specific aspect of their greater being. These avatars are then worshipped in ceremonies called pups where blessing are received. This includes prayer, offerings, and meditation to become in harmony with the gods.

What does It mean to be human? In the Hindu religion every living being has a soul and a position on the circle of life. After death the soul is reincarnated in another life in accordance to how well dharma was followed in the past life. The person may be reborn in the caste system or even lower amongst the insects or untouchables. Where one is reborn is determined by how well dharma was followed and if they lived their life positively with good karma. The caste system is broken Into 4 sections; the Brahmins, the starkly, the valleys, and the sutras.

There Is as well a 5th group, the untouchables which are outside of the caste system unworthy of it. The Brahmins are the highest in society and are the priests and teachers of the others. Brahmins study the Veda and perform the sacred rituals. Next are asterisk, which tend to be the royals of the society and the Visa whom are the back bone of society as business people, farmers and merchants. Then there are sutras who are the laborers and servants. Lastly, there are the untouchables that are left to the worst conditions of life often Each caste is expected to follow dharma closely to achieve atman.

Atman is the true self, when one realizes that everything is one in the same. When atman is achieved, the soul becomes at peace with Brahmins and is removed from the cycle of rebirth. Actions are Judged by the extrasensory karma. Karma cannot be perceived but is a universal tally on the good and bad someone performs. Karma then dictates reincarnation and how close one is with atman. The higher up one goes through the caste system the closer they get to peace within themselves. How do humans interact with the sacred? The human interacts with the sacred amongst all levels in the Hindu religion.

This can be achieved in many different ways; firstly, through sacrifice, purity, and ritual. As previously mentioned, many Hindus practice pups but as well there are festivals and celebrations. The pups allows the individual to connect to the gods and goddesses but then there are holidays that are celebrated among the community on a daily basis to show that everyone is on the same path. As well, the high priests perform sacrifices to the gods, procuring blessings and happiness. Each individual attempts to keep a ritual purity. A cleanness, which will help them, become closer to the gods.

This is sometimes similar to hygienic cleanliness but goes beyond that as to avoid anything that may stain their karma, such as change since Brahmas means permanence. Secondly, there is the path of devotion where the devotee focuses his energies towards a specific god or deity. This can be observed when temples are built in the names of an avatar of one of the gods and many of the rituals performed. A devotee may draw strength from Just being with the statue of his deity. In addition, mantras may be performed to the gods bringing the performer closer to the gods.

Finally, there is yoga. This is the path of knowledge where through meditation and understanding, one can strive to achieve atman and connection with the gods. Yoga is the development of the physical and spiritual connection towards the goal of chivalry. Chivalry is the experience of ultimate timelessness and peace. How does the sacred become a community? Sacred becomes the community through the many rituals and festivals performed by the people. As Hindus go through life there are many rituals that are performed at different points in life.

In these rituals, the sacred becomes part of the life and community of the people. After birth at around the age of 8-12, a second birth is performed where a boys head is shaved only leaving a topknot at the top of the head. At this point, the child has entered the time of learning. From here on the child will learn of the Hindu life and ways. This is when he gains many responsibilities and is now looked at differently by the community then he was before the ritual. Marriage is another important ritual faced in the life of a Hindu.

Typically, the parents arrange the marriage. Marriages occur within caste systems and mixing of castes is seen as a at both the husband’s and wife’s house. Upon death, loved ones clean the body and it is then wrapped. Very few Hindus are buried as most are cremated. A “death priest” leads a ceremony at the foot of a ever where the body is released adrift while burning. Any ashes that are left are collected and then released at a later time amongst the waters. Anyone who has encountered the dead must later purify oneself and cleanse of the dead.

The death priests who were once Brahmas can be moved to untouchables because they are always around death. Part 2: Religion and geography: Briefly describe how Hinduism interacts with geography. Hinduism believes that all things originated from the same source; Brahmas. Brahmas then became the rocks, the rivers, and the mountains. These places are all part of Brahmas and all holy. The rivers are often used for rituals. Upon death the dead is burned and set adrift in the river. Further, their ashes are also dispersed into a river at a later time.

Some rivers hold even higher recognition such as the Ganges, which is thought to bring life, rejuvenation, and blessing. Many people come down to the river to bathe and wash themselves of their sins, to be cleansed. It is also deemed the best place to be cremated at death. Part 3: Religion and Internal Conflict: Briefly discuss how Hinduism interacts with outside forces such as science, technology or religion. Hinduism does not interact well with outside forces. This is so, because the meaning of life in the Hindu religion is becoming at peace with the world, and realizing that everything is one.

This is very difficult to do in an ever-changing world where technology pushes boundaries where nothing stays the same; this is a direct contradiction to Brahmas that is eternal permanence. On the other hand, Hinduism will openly accept other religions as other paths of devotions. Since the three main gods have so many different avatars the many other gods of the other religions are seen as different avatars of the same gods. Buddha is just another avatar or Vishnu and has his own devotee in Buddhism.

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