Religions Journal - Journal Ent ry # 1 H induism W hile H...

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Journal Entry # 1 Hinduism While Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions dating as far back as 2000 BC, it is not one most widely practiced. It is considered one of the “Eastern Religions,” originating in India and most commonly practiced there as well to this day. Hinduism, in contrast to many other religions acknowledges and accepts that there are many paths to God, each suited to a particular time, location, and group or individual. It also states that there are four basic things that human beings seek in life; Pleasure (Hedonism), Worldly success (wealth, power, and fame), Community, and Liberation (Moksha: Liberation of the soul). The Hindu asserts that these four desires are met by one, or a combination of the four following paths; Reflective Path (Knowledge, observance), Emotional Path (Love, adoration), Active Energetic Path (Labor), Experimental Path (mind and body, consciousness and unconsciousness). In addition, there is a specific form of Yoga that applies to each of the Paths, respectively; Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, and Raja. Along with these aspects are many other elements to Hinduism including; the four stages of life, the Caste system, The Doctrine of God (Brahman), the Doctrine of Man, a Cosmological World
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View, as well as many symbolic fables which usually involve animals (i.e. especially Elephants and Cows) and various gods. Upon reading this chapter on Hinduism, I was at times overcome by the beauty of its images, the tenderness and wonder of its fables, as well as its deep recognition of the simultaneous tragedy and beauty of life itself. I also appreciate how Hinduism, unlike most religious which I find to be abstentious and suppressive, encouraging (within reason) the seeking of pleasure without imposing legalistic guidelines for each soul’s (aka Jivas) route or preference to such pleasure. I find many of the scriptures to be profoundly true and moving; “. ..everything that appears to be good in this world is finite. ..and once worn out, leaves necessity exposed in all its nakedness.” The author also summarizes that “It is the people who place “things” first in their life who cannot be satisfied, and for a discernable reason. These are not the things people really want . ..you can never get enough of what you do not really want.” As I am maturing in my life, I have learned to become less and less of a materialist. I have witnessed many people in my life trying to fill a void or distract themselves from pain or rumination through material processions. Overall, I find Hinduism to be a very interesting faith, but like most religions (and I do mean nearly all) I find it to be once again very complicated, prejudicial
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(Caste-system), divisive, mystical and once, perhaps another device for conformity and societal control. What I find most appealing about Hinduism are its basic principles and deep underlying sense of humanity and liberation (at least in the end). I am at a very difficult time in my life and one thing I feel that I am missing is
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This note was uploaded on 08/09/2011 for the course REL 2300 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at Seminole State College.

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Religions Journal - Journal Ent ry # 1 H induism W hile H...

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