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Jessica Redding

on 4 October 2012

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Transcript of Hinduism

By: Jessica Redding Hinduism Hinduism is generally regarded as the world's oldest organized religion. It consists of thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE. The reason is because of the wide variety of Hindu traditions, freedom of belief and practice are notable features of Hinduism. Hinduism is diverse; no set of beliefs can represent its numerous traditions. BELIEFS:
-The three-in-one god known as “Brahman,” which is composed of: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).
-The Caste System.
Karma. The law that good begets good, and bad begets bad. Every action, thought, or decision one makes has consequences – good or bad – that will return to each person in the present life, or in one yet to come.
-Reincarnation. Also known as “transmigration of souls,” or “samsara.” This is a journey on the “circle of life,” where each person experiences as series of physical births, deaths, and rebirths. With good karma, a person can be reborn into a higher caste, or even to godhood. Bad karma can relegate one to a lower caste, or even to life as an animal in their next life.
-Nirvana. This is the goal of the Hindu. Nirvana is the release of the soul from the seemingly endless cycle of rebirths. Hinduism is the oldest and one of the most complex of all religious systems. It is difficult to provide adequate history of Hinduism because it has no specific founder or theology. The development of this religion was influenced when nomadic Aryan Indo-European tribes invaded Northern India from Russia and Central Asia attacking the Harappan people who lived there in 1500. The word, Hinduism, comes from the word, Indus, which is the name of an Indian River that existed about 5000 years ago. The Aryan group developed the caste system, which ranked society according to occupational class.
That system is as follows: Brahmins are priests; Kshatriyas are soldiers, king-warrior class; Vaishyas are merchants, farmers, Sutras laborers and craftspeople; Harijahns are "untouchables" -- those thought to be descended from the Harappan aboriginal people who are extremely poor and discriminated against. The higher the person's caste, the more the person is blessed with the benefits and luxuries of life. Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 950 million followers -- about 14% of the world's population. 2 It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic religions. They recognize a single deity, and view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God. Henotheistic and polytheistic religions have traditionally been among the world's most religiously tolerant faiths. As a result, India has traditionally been one of the most religiously tolerant in the world. Hinduism has traditionally been contained in the place of its origin. Throughout most of history, Hindu adherents remained in South Asia, particularly in India. Most Hindus are Indians or of Indian extraction. However, as Hinduism spread throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia, other ethnic groups adopted Hinduism and added their own ethnic characteristics. The countries with the highest concentration of Hindu population include India, Nepal, Malaysia, and Guyana. Area Adherents Population Percentage
Africa 1,475,000 0.2%
Asia 728,118,000 22.5%
Europe 704,000 0.1%
Latin America 884,000 0.2%
Northern America 1,269,000 0.5%
Oceania 360,000 1.3%
Eurasia 2,000 0.0%
World 732,812,000 13.4% There are two types of sacred writings in the Hindu scriptures: Shruti (heard) and Smriti (memorized).
Sruti literature refers to the habit of ancient Hindu saints who led a solitary life in the woods, where they developed a consciousness that enabled them to 'hear' or cognize the truths of the universe. Sruti literatures are of two parts: the Vedas and the Upanishads. There are four Vedas:
•The Rig Veda -"Royal Knowledge"
•The Sama Veda - "Knowledge of Chants"
•The Yajur Veda - "Knowledge of Sacrificial Rituals"
•The Atharva Veda - "Knowledge of Incarnations"

There are 108 extant Upanishads, of which 10 are most important: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taitiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, and the Brihadaranyaka. Hinduism differs from Christianity 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, and the concept of a prophet. In 1998, a Hindu nationalistic political party called the Bharatiya Janata Party controlled the government of India. The linkage of religion, the national government, and nationalism led to a degeneration of the separation of church and state in India and a decrease in the level of religious tolerance in that country. An escalation of anti-Christian violence was one manifestation of this linkage. With the subsequent change in government, the level of violence has diminished, and India is once more a country of relative religious tolerance and peace. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism.htm http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/pamphlets/GodAndGodsOfHinduism.html
http://www.allaboutreligion.org/history-of-hinduism-faq.htm SITES USED:
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