Hinduism

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by DenetraSneed
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Religious Studies
Grade:
9

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Hinduism

Hinduism

Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide.In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it. It is also closely associated conceptually and historically with the other Indian religions Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

What is Hinduism?

Pratices

Most Hindus respect the authority of the Vedas (a collection of ancient sacred texts) and the Brahmans (the priestly class), but some reject one of both of these authorities. Hindu religious life might take the form of devotion to God or gods, the duties of family life, or concentrated meditation. Given all this diversity, it is important to take care when generalizing about "Hinduism" or "Hindu beliefs."The first sacred writings of Hinduism, which date to about 1200 BC, were primarily concerned with the ritual sacrifices associated with numerous gods who represented forces of nature. A more philosophical focus began to develop around 700 BC, with the Upanishads and development of the Vedanta philosophy. Around 500 BC, several new belief systems sprouted from Hinduism, most significantly Buddhism and Jainism.

Religion

The religious life of many Hindus is focused on devotion to God (perceived as Brahman, Shiva, Vishnu, or Shakti) or several gods. This devotion usually takes the form of rituals and practices associated with sculptures and images of gods in home shrines. More philosophically-minded Hindus ignore the gods altogether and seek Realization of the Self through intense meditation. Still others focus primarily on fulfilling the social and moral duties appropriate to their position in life.

Examining the historical evidence from the major Hindu eras, the Vedic, classical, medieval, and modern periods, Sharma’s investigation challenges the categories used in current scholarly discourse and finds them inadequate, emphasizing the need to distinguish between a missionary religion and a proselytizing one. A distinction rarely made, it is nevertheless an illuminating and fruitful one that resonates with insights from the comparative study of religion. Ultimately concluding that Hinduism is a missionary religion, but not a proselytizing one, Sharma’s work provides us with insights both about Hinduism and about religion in general.

Missionary

http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduismhttp://www.sunypress.edu/p-5025-hinduism-as-a-missionary-religi.aspxhttp://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/p/hinduismbasics.htm

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