Understanding Hinduism

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Date Submitted: 09/25/2012 03:46 PM

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A. We found it very hard to define Hinduism on our own terms and we eventually came across this definition/statistic and thought it made the most sense when trying to define or describe Hinduism in a ‘nut shell’ –

‘’Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, with a billion followers, which makes it the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices that originated in India, characterized by the belief in reincarnation, one absolute being of multiple manifestations, the law of cause and effect, following the path of righteousness, and the desire for liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.’’ – About.com

The Hinduism religion does not have one founder and is not one book (text) and is not controlled by a church or institution. It evolves with people and time and exposure to differences.

Hinduism is in a constant process of change, absorbing and reacting to a tremendous variety of influences, and traditions and freedoms of beliefs. This religion is more of a ‘way of life’ than a religion that is acted out. Hinduism has been around long before there were texts to prove its existence. This religion was passed down orally from generation to generation SHRUTI (heard) and SMIRITI (memorized).

Brahman (single deity) but view other gods and goddesses as manifestation of the supreme god as well as worshiping gods Hindus also worship spirits, trees, animals and plants have an appreciation for all life and energy(being part of the supreme energy)

Purpose of the Hindu life: “To obtain liberation from the cycle of reincarnation” Simply put, this mean that they strive to live right by the rules and ethics of the Dharma and to live clean and cause no reason for them to have to come back and do life over again until they get it ‘right’. Doing it ‘right’ allows them to stop the cycle of reincarnation from happening and instead they dissipate to join the greater ‘Supreme Being’...