Hinduism Essay: History, Beliefs and Culture
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Published: Fri, 30 Jun 2017
Hinduism is the world’s oldest organized religion existing for 4500 years. Based on the prehistoric Vedic text, it is a faith in constant change. Populated by an infinite amount of gods, the belief system is open to adopting any of the gods produced by younger religions. Reincarnation and Karma are the primary mechanisms of Hinduism. The Hindu religion also consists of a belief that man has seven principles; these principles consist of the Dense Physical Body, the Etheric Double, Prana, The Desire Body, Manas, Atma, and Finally Buddhi.
The Indian Subcontinent is home to some of the world’s largest religions. Some of the religions are Jainism, Sikhism, and Hinduism. The word “Hinduism” is not found anywhere in scriptures, and the term “Hindu” was introduced by foreigners who referred to people living across the Indus or Sindhu River, in the north of India, around which the Vedic religion is thought to have originated.
Hinduism believes that there is only one absolute called Brahman. Nevertheless, it does not advocate the worship of one God. Hindu’s believe that one characteristic of God is human, and their different Deva’s are nothing but various characteristics of nature, each recognized and worshipped. Sanatana Dharma which also means everlasting religion is a label preferred today for Hinduism. Sanatana reflects the principle that these ways have always existed, while Dharma includes duty, natural law, social welfare, morals, wellbeing, as well as transcendental awareness. Dharma is then a holistic approach to the good of all, subsequent to order in the cosmos. The holy language of Sanatana Dharma ranges from great simplicity to extreme sensuality, from the heights of individual dedication to the heights of intangible beliefs, from metaphysical proclamations of oneness behind the physical world to adoration of images representing a variety of deities.
The cultural influences that have made Hinduism essential to the region in which it originated is that thousands of years ago, the beliefs in the Vedas were broken into various schools of thought by philosophers. These values were brought forth experientially by methods of great spiritual discipline. Unlike many other religions, Hinduism is a way of life; Therefore people who practice the Hindu religion attempt to teach their religious values by passing the word to their children and others. There are many sacred teachings that relay the word of Hinduism; the first is called Samhitas, these were hymns of praise to the gods. Soon after there was the Brahmanas, this was a book of guidelines regarding ceremonial sacrifices to the deities, finally, the last of the sacred teachings was the Upanishads, and this was a collection of teachings from highly recognized divine masters. These teachings explained the transformation that results from psychic contribution to the rituals. The Sanatana Dharma honors the divine in numerous forms; As a result, there is a religious celebration in India almost every day. There are sixteen religious holidays that are recognized by the Indian Government. Most Hindu celebrations articulate theology in its happiest parts, these festivals keep the religion alive.
Every individual that practices Hinduism typically finds a way in which to place him or herself to a “Guru”, also known as a saintly educator. The label “guru” is applied to admired holy guides. Gurus do not declare themselves as teachers; followers are drawn to them because they have achieved the spiritual status the seekers aspire. Gurus are frequently regarded as enlightened individuals. A guru does not provide scholarly training; they offer guidance, good examples, and encouragement to those in search of enlightenment or self-realization.
Easwaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita. Trans. Eknath Easwaran. 2nd ed. Canada: Nilgiri P, 2007. The Bhagavad Gita, Prince Arjuna asks direct, adamant questions of his holy guide on the eve of a great battle. In this expanded edition of the most renowned of Indian criptures, Eknath Easwaran analyzes and explains the key concepts of Hindu religious thought and the difficult vocabulary of yoga. Accordingly, this translation uses simple, comprehensible words to convey the poetry, universality, and timelessness of the Gita’s teachings.
Besant, Annie. The Seven Principles of Man. 2nd ed. London: Theosophical Society, 1892. Besant lays out in specific terms the theosophical doctrine of our multidimensional being. Besant claims that mans nature has seven aspects that can be studied from many different points of view, with seven principles consisting of the Atma, Buddhi, Manas, Kama Rupa, Prana, Linga Sharira, and Sthula Sharira.
Bhaskarananda, Swami. The Essentials of Hinduism. 2nd ed. Seattle, WA: Viveka P, 2002. Bhaskarananda’s book, “The Essentials of Hinduism” explains the philosophical ideas of Hinduism in a clear and easily understandable way, with many excellent analogies. The book covers the foundation and goal of Hinduism, concepts of God; the four yogas; creation and the three Gunas. The book explores the different spiritual paths, the holy books and doctrines of karma, reincarnation, and predestination.
Panikkar, Raimon. A Dwelling Place for Wisdom. Trans. Annemarie S Kidder. Louisville, KY: Westminster, John Knox P, 1993. The title of this book is taken from the first chapter: “Prepare a Dwelling Place for Wisdom,” a lecture given in Munich by the Panikkar in 1990. The following three long chapters are lectures or essays given at various times and places, now translated into English. Panikkar draws on his broad understanding of Hinduism and Buddhism to present the reader with his unique insights into Wisdom.
Wright, Leoline. An Anchient Basis for a New Psychology. Pasadena CA: Theosophical UP, 1998. Leoline Wright looks deeper into each principle of man, like Besant she explores mans nature in seven aspects, and thoroughly investigates the qualities of each principle.
Easwaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita. Trans. Eknath Easwaran. 2nd ed. Canada: Nilgiri P, 2007
Besant, Annie. The Seven Principles of Man. 2nd ed. London: Theosophical Society, 1892.
Bhaskarananda, Swami. The Essentials of Hinduism. 2nd ed. Seattle, WA: Viveka P, 2002.
Panikkar, Raimon. A Dwelling Place for Wisdom. Trans. Annemarie S Kidder. Louisville, KY: Westminster, John Knox P, 1993.
Wright, Leoline. An Anchient Basis for a New Psychology. Pasadena CA: Theosophical UP, 1998.
Hinduism and the Seven
Principles of man
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