Central Beliefs of Hinduism

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Central Beliefs of Hinduism

Ita C. Edem

HUM/130 Religions of the World

January 29, 2012

Dennis Ford

The Vedas, though obtuse and difficult to trace, can be defined as a revered collection of ancient sacred hymns which comprise of Samhitas, hymns of praise in worship of deities, and the Brahmanas which is directions about performances of the ritual sacrifices to deities. It also includes the Aranyakas or loosely translated as forest treatises, the writing of people who went to the forest to meditate. The final piece to the Vedas is the Upanishads, a collection of teachings from highly spiritualized masters that explains the personal transformation that results from psychic participation in the ritual process. These teachings have been transmitted orally, from generation to generation, as opposed to most other religions which tend to have a written collage of teachings and parables. The Vedas are not believed to be a work of humans, it is widely believed that they are the breath of the eternal as received by ancient sages or rishis and ultimately compiled by the Vyasa who are known as collectors.

The Brahmans have been discovered to be the subtle self or the atman by the rishis and it is believed that when one discovers the atman and which also means the discovery of the Brahman there is an amalgamation of self into the transcendent source which is considered to be the path to pure bliss and happiness. Karma and reincarnation are intertwined because it is taught that whatever one does in life has consequences, and those consequences help shape the future. That is the essence of Karma and the relationship that it shares with reincarnation is that the teachings also teach that when one dies, the soul enters a new body but that body is not limited to human beings. It is believed that people may reincarnate as animals or some other life form but the ultimate goal is to be rebirth as...