What Is Hinduism


exactly? A straight answer is almost impossible because of its complexity. Most of the definitions are either too narrow or too generalized. Hinduism is the name Europeans gave to the religious, cultural, social, political and philosophical beliefs that contribute to the Hindu way of life. Hindus define their religion as Sanatan Dharma or Eternal Faith which has existed for over thousands of years. While India is home to 93% of the world’s 816 million Hindus, nearly 60 million are scattered widely across the world with approximately 600,00 in the United States.
The name “Hinduism” originally had a geographical connotation. The Aryans who invaded India through the northwestern ...

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revealed to them over thousands of years in the Vedas. The sanctity of the four Vedas—Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda—is the ultimate authority for all Hindus.
While the Vedas is a very important aspect of Sanatan Dharma, the Bhagavad Gita is Hinduism’s most widely read literary work. It is basically a dialogue between Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu) and the charioteer of Arjuna who refused to kill his own relatives in battle. According to my source, the Bhagavad Gita contains the same principles as the Vedas. However, the Bhagavad Gita is more easily understood.
Unlike the major religions of the world Islam, Judaism and Christianity, Hinduism does not advocate the worship of a single divinity. Hindus believe in one all-pervasive Supreme Being. This Supreme Being came to be revered as the Supreme Triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It is manifested in three forms to carry out the three main tasks of creation, preservation and destruction respectively.
One ...

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He goes on contrasting the sacred and profane. In a footnote he pointed out the escatology of sacredness and projected sacredness as a relative term, “So the more sacred repels the less sacred; but this is because the second is profane in relation to the first.”
Hindus recognize the four goals of man as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moshka. Dharma generally mean righteousness and mortality. To lead a virtuous life is the first goal of every Hindu. Artha or wealth is the second goal and Kama or love is the third. It is very interesting that Hinduism acknowledges the human desire for love and material possessions. Yet, it confines it with the principles of observing religious duties. ...

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Added: 2/13/2005 05:52:27 PM
Category: Religion
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3613
Pages: 14

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