hinduism 2 - Joseph Hrinda Religion 181 October 21, 2005...

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Joseph Hrinda Religion 181 October 21, 2005 Hinduism: In the Beginning What is Hinduism? Hinduism is much more than rituals, concepts, and divisions by castes. Hinduism is a different way of understanding life, to which the Western values are alien. Hindus see life as a self-repeating cycle in which human history holds a small margin of importance. A priestly hierarchy or a governing agency does not govern Hinduism; there is no definite creed. “Hinduism is the whole complex of beliefs and institutions that have appeared from the time when their ancient and most sacred scriptures, the Vedas, were composed until now.” Others clarify that Hinduism is adherence to or worship of the gods Vishnu or Shiva, or the goddess Shakti, or their incarnations, aspects, spouses, or progeny. Hindus claim to have among 330 million deities or gods, yet Hinduism is not polytheistic. Hinduism speaks of one God. The different gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are mere representatives of the powers and functions of the one supreme God in the manifested world. Hindu's faith or Santana Dharma, which means eternal law or order. Hinduism is really a loose term that describes a host of religions and sects that have developed and flourished over the millenniums under the umbrella of the complex ancient Hindu mythology. “Indian mythology is an inextricable jungle of luxuriant growths.” The roots of Hinduism extend deep into the Before Christ Era, yet the term originated in the nineteenth century when a group of Aryan people migrated down from the northwest into the Indus Valley, now located mainly in Pakistan and India. From there they
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2008 for the course RELG 151 taught by Professor Walker during the Spring '08 term at Kent State.

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hinduism 2 - Joseph Hrinda Religion 181 October 21, 2005...

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