Hinduism Paper HUMANITIES 130 Hinduism is a diverse body of religion, philosophy, and cultural practice native to and predominant in India, characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils (GodWeb, n. d. ). In this paper I will further explore what the Hindu religion is encompassed of. And delve into what makes the religion of Hinduism vital to the region it is originated in.
Hinduism differs from Christianity and other monotheistic religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single concept of deity, a single holy text, a single system of morality, a central religious authority, the concept of a prophet. Hinduism is not a religion in the same sense as Christianity is; it is more like an all encompassing way of life (Robinson, 1995-2010). Because Hinduism has such a vast amount of traditions, freedom of belief and practice are notable factors of Hinduism.
Hinduism is generally regarded as the world’s oldest organized religion. Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 950 million followers, about 14 percent of the world’s population. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamil in Sri Lanka (Robinson, 1995-2010). It consists of “thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE “. (Levinson, 1998). Overall, Hinduism is an umbrella term for many different traditions.
Cultural and societal influences made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated by numerous traditions and social systems that were adhered by the people of India or fellow adepts of Hinduism. Culturally, Hinduism contains various myths that implied the countless faces of the divine to interact in various forms with people. In cultural traditions the divine or deities would bless, punish, and protect the people depending on how well they were venerated (Cimpean, n. d. ). The religion of Hinduism expresses a desire of liberation from earthly existence.
In Hinduism the soul is immortal while the body is subject to birth and death. Samsara is considered to be a state of wandering and is caused due to being ignorant of one’s true purpose. This idea is directly linked to karma which means action, and also the consequences of the action. It is said that every action has a reaction and it is believed in the religion of Hinduism that it determines your next incarnation, which is basically being reborn. When the cycle of rebirth comes to an end, a person is said to have attained liberation which is moksha.
In other words karma is the results you bring upon yourself, good or bad, based on your actions. And also reincarnation which is the belief that the soul, upon death, comes back to earth in another body or form which gives the soul the chance to resolve all bad karma that it puts out so the soul can eventually be free and gain liberation from the cycle of rebirth. In this paper the religion of Hinduism has been further explored. The societal and cultural influences that have made it vital to the region where it originated have also been touched upon.
I have gained major insight into the Hindu religion form this experience. Before this class I never knew that karma and reincarnation were a part of the Hindu religion. And I never thought I would have anything in common with the religion or share any of the same beliefs. I strongly believe in karma and now I know it is a belief of Hinduism. Although I do not believe in reincarnation I now know that there is a purpose behind it which is basically giving one a chance to come back in another life to right there wrong’s.
Overall, Hinduism is more like a lifestyle or a way of life than a religion. Works Cited GodWeb. (n. d. ). What is Hinduism? One God or Many? Retrieved from http://www. godweb. org/whatishinduism. htm Robinson, B. A. (1995-2010). Hinduism: The world’s third largest religion. Retrieved from http://www. religioustolerance. org/hinduism. htm Cimpean, A. (n. d. ). A brief history of Hinduism. Retrieved from http://www. helium. com/items/953157-a-brief-history-of-hinduism?