World Religions Report
September 4th, 2011
World Religions Report
Hinduism refers to the civilization if the Hindus, the inhabitants of the land of the Indus river. This term was introduced in about 1830 and it denotes the Indian civilization of about the last 2000 years by British writers. In the last century of the second millennium BC was when the Indo-European people settled in India and their religion was Vedism and Hinduism evolved from that. By incorporating all forms of worship and belief Hinduism does not necessitate the selection or elimination of any. Hinduism does not have a beginning or a founder it is both a civilization and ...view middle of the document...
You are not allowed the wear shoes in Hindu temples and usually people will bring food offerings with them. Some of the things I saw people bring were coconut on a tray with flowers and a little oil light. You sit on the follow in a Hindu temple and bow to the statue on your knees with your head touching the floor. Sometimes in a temple women will do holy dances to worship gods as well.
A Hindu is a follower of Varnashram Dharma (the Universal Truth). This means someone who seeks harmony with the universal truth through the methods given by a Guru of the temple. To become a Hindu one finds and accepted by a spiritual master and requests initiation. There are two main levels of initiation Siksha (Student) and Diksha (Disciple). Hindus may have a lot of Sikshas' but normally only have one Diksha. Usually when accepted by a guru as a Siksha then you are a Hindu. The various traditions have rites and include fire sacrifices to Lord Agni (god of fire). But these and the usually reflects that one has become Hindu.
Some Hindus do not even consider themselves Hindu at all because of the challenges they face being out of India. In the west one of the biggest challenges is the diet. Most Hindus are vegetarians and this can be hard to follow in America. There are also some religious prejudices to face at times as well. It is also hard to find Temples some times because even the ones that they do find can belong to sects or money making enterprises rather than places of worships. Hinduism is a very communal religion and in America individualism is promoted so it is difficult to follow the traditional togetherness cherished by Hindus in India.
One of the things that Hindus believe in is called Mukti, it means that they believe that material universes (Saguna Brahman) are temporary reflections of the spiritual universes (Nirguna Brahman). This world is real but only temporary and to attain liberation they must develop love of and devotion to God in different ways. They believe what keeps the soul trapped to material existence is Karma or action. All actions result in a re-action. So if someone does good things they shall receive good, but if someone does bad things then they will receive bad. So to attain Mukti you must acquire neutral Karma, by devoting all actions to serving God.
This can be achieved only by God’s grace and mercy. One must chant spiritual hymns, and reading sacred writings. Hindus have lots of sacred writings each sect has its own. There is the Srimad Bhagvad Gita this is the most commonly used one. There is also the Ramayana, Soma Veda, Ajur Veda, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Devi Gita, the Mahabharata and many more. There are also many different gods and goddesses that they pray to. To name a few there is Vishnu, Jagannatha, Ram, Krishna, Shiva and Kali.
Hindus have sacraments and rituals for various passages of life, they call these holy sacraments Sanskaras. The first one is when a child is born giving them their name which is...