Hindu Religious Traditions

Hindu Religious Traditions

Length: 1173 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Hindu Religious Traditions
Hinduism is easily the oldest major world religion that is still in use today. It has not only survived countless attacks but has also thrived and has changed little to none in the last 2500-3000 years. "The Aryans are said to have entered India through the fabled Khyber Pass, around 1500 BC. They intermingled with the local populace, and assimilated themselves into the social framework. The Aryans did not have a script, but they developed a rich tradition. They composed the hymns of the four vedas, the great philosophic poems that are at the heart of Hindu thought" (The Aryans and the Vedic Age, 2004, par. 2).
The Aryans began to write down their ideas and methods of worship that were originally orally passed. In order to pass these lengthy stories orally, they had been put into rhymes and hymns. The first book of the Vedas, the Rig Veda, consists of 1028 hymns to various deities.
Other books began to join the Rig Veda in the set of the Vedas. Books such as Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda showed that the Aryan culture was changing the way that it viewed its gods, as well as the way that they viewed themselves. The final addition to the Vedas in the classical period, the Upanishad, was added around 800 BCE. This is where terms like samsara, moksha, dharma, and karma first emerged in writing.
"In Hinduism, salvation is achieved through a spiritual oneness of the soul, atman, with the ultimate reality of the universe, Brahman. To achieve this goal, the soul must obtain moksha, or liberation from the samsara, the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. As a result of these basic teachings, Hindus believe in reincarnation, which is influenced by karma (material actions resulting from the consequences of previous actions), and dharma (fulfilling one's duty in life)"(Teachings and Beliefs, 2004, par. 1).
The idea of samsara is roughly that of reincarnation. All souls are trapped in a cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The goal of each of these souls is to escape the cycle of samsara and obtain moksha. Moksha is a reincarnation with a god. In recent Hinduism the moksha that you obtain is with the god of your choice, or whomever you worshipped as your patron deity. The terms of dharma and karma are the tools that we must use in order to obtain moksha and escape samsara.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Hindu Religious Traditions." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=163144>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Hindu Religious Traditions Essay

- Hinduism is a complex religion that has a variety of beliefs and traditions. In the nineteenth century, the British had to categorize the people living in the region of the Indus River for census purposes thus getting the name Hindus by foreigners. Today they have a preference of being labeled as "Sanatana Dharma (eternal religion)" (Pg 79) There are many sacred elements that characterize the Hindu religion. The Vedas are considered to be the religious texts of Sanatana Dharma. However, "their origins and antiquity are still unknown; the Vedas themselves can be examined....   [tags: Religion Hindu]

Free Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Hindu Religious Traditions Essay

- Hindu Religious Traditions Most people in the world derive their religious beliefs and traditions from their parents and peer influences. From a religious point of view, “There are many definitions for the term ‘religion’ in common usage. [Broadly defined], in order to include the greatest number of belief systems: ‘Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life’” (Robinson, 1996). However, in examining Hinduism, it is difficult to label the practices as a religion....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
919 words (2.6 pages)

Buddhist Religious Traditions Paper

- Buddhism is a philosophy/religion that was created by Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) over 2500 years ago, founded on Hindu beliefs. There are two major divisions: Mahayana and Theravada, and many subdivisions. Fundamentally, Buddhists believe that one must rise above desires, to reach a state of enlightenment. Buddha was idolized, and subsequently deified, but he never claimed to be anything more than a man (dictionary.com, 2005). The goal of this paper is to answer the following questions based on the assigned readings for week two: What scared elements characterize Hindu religious traditions....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
378 words (1.1 pages)

Hindu Identity : A Modern Phenomenon Essays

- Communal Hindu identity is a modern phenomenon. Prior to the colonial era, India displayed greater religious fluidity and pluralism on the popular level. But, as a result of the colonial encounter, Indians were increasingly forced to think along religious and communal lines. The structure of society had been reshaped on the basis of religious community. As the world progressed into modernity, Hinduism (a variety of independent traditions) had to redefine itself. The assertion of a unified and centralized Hindu identity had to subsume the rich and diverse Indic traditions under a larger umbrella category....   [tags: Hinduism, Religion, Islam, Swami Vivekananda]

Research Papers
1576 words (4.5 pages)

Essay Ancient Religious Traditions: Hinduism

- Religion is best defined as “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs” (Religion). The oldest religion that is still practiced today is called Hinduism. Those who follow the Hindu religion spend their lives pursuing the knowledge of truth, reality, and moral order....   [tags: morals, values, beliefs]

Research Papers
1021 words (2.9 pages)

The Religious Traditions Of The East Are All Older Than Western Religions

- The major Eastern religious traditions have had a shaping effect on their societies by the way they look at the world and the “hope” they offer their followers. Their traditions and beliefs are different than those in the West. The four major religious traditions in the East are all older than Western religions. Each religious tradition can be examined for common concepts and differences. Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism have several common concepts and several differences: their worldviews, their views on the nature of reality as a whole, the nature of persons, the perspectives on the “human dilemma,” human spiritual goals, the significance of moral values and the hope each offer...   [tags: Buddhism, Hinduism, Religion, Reality]

Research Papers
1795 words (5.1 pages)

Essay World Renunciation in Indian Religious Traditions

- World Renunciation in Indian Religious Traditions World renunciation is a major theme in Indian civilization, seen by the fact that all major Indic Religions deal with it in one way or another. The ancient Vedic texts laid out a cosmic and social hierarchy – a conception of ‘the world’ – and taught people how to act in accordance with their varna in a way that kept the world in harmony and kept the gods appeased. In the 6th century BCE, world renunciation emerged as a component of religious teachings that would become the heterodox traditions, the two most long-lasting of which are Buddhism and Jainism....   [tags: India Religion God Essays Gods]

Research Papers
2216 words (6.3 pages)

Visual Dimension Of Hindu Rituals Essay

- Kathy Vu Visual Dimension of Hindu Rituals India is well known for its rich culture, environment, and is home to some of the most interesting traditions and images. In most countries around the world, people are raised in a household of religion. However, Hindu religion is especially intriguing because of the multitude of deities that exist and the certain aspects which make their religion distinct from others. Hindu rituals are especially enthralling because of Darsan which refers to a “religious seeing, or the visual perception of the sacred” (“Seeing The Divine Imagine in India”)....   [tags: Hinduism, Deva, Deity, Religion]

Research Papers
949 words (2.7 pages)

Exploring the Hindu Religion Essay

- Exploring the Hindu Religion The statement "everyone is a Hindu" is an extremely broad one that is open to much interpretation. This owes partly to the fact that Hinduism itself is a broad and vast religion with many ways of following. In this paper I seek to explain that the statement "everyone is a Hindu" is a worthy one because Hindus have a sense of interconnectedness in all organisms and life on earth, and that the ultimate goal of a person is to join the rest of the universe in "moksha." Additionally, the attribute of the Hinduism that lends well to the statement is that Hinduism is a very hospitable religion that not only requires no specific adherence or conversion, it stresses the...   [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]

Research Papers
1621 words (4.6 pages)

Hinduism Essay

- Hinduism Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion and was originated in the Indian subcontinent. Is rare that a big religion like Hinduism don’t have a single founder, religious organization, specific theological system and don’t even a system of morality, but it is a religion that has evolved over thousands of years. Hinduism has a diverse body of cultural and philosophical practices. Hinduism consists of belief and tradition. The most recognized belief and traditions of the Hinduism are Karma, Dharma, Samsara and Moshka....   [tags: Hindu Religion Religious India]

Free Essays
703 words (2 pages)

Your position in life is due to the karma that you had in your previous life.
In ancient times, to create order the rajas, or kings, of villages and towns would assign jobs and positions to everyone in the area. This was the original idea behind the system to caste. "There is the intelligent - the priestly Brahmins, the advisories, the heads of society" (Indian Culture in the Modern World, 2002, par. 37). They could be referred to as the head of the body of Hindu culture.
The next class were the kshatriyas. "They were the kings, warriors, the vassals" (Fisher, 2003, p. 87). The kshatriyas could be called the "arms of the body of Hindu culture"(Indian Culture in the Modern World, 2002, par. 37). They contained the strength of the warriors and vassals, and had the ability to use it.
The third class was the class of the vaishyas. This class was constituted of farmers, merchants, and other important industry men. "The vaishyas are the stomach of society, acting as providers"(Indian Culture in the Modern World, 2002, par. 37).

The last class was that of the shudras. This was the lowest class and was eventually looked upon with great disdain. "A shudra enjoyed no rights or privileges. He was not permitted to perform any sacrifices or homa, read or learn the Vedas or recite the mantras. A shudra could marry only another shudra. He was not allowed to enter temples and could only serve the upper three castes as a slave, barber, blacksmith or cobbler" (Beliefs and Concepts, 2004, par. 3). The shudras "are the legs and feet of society, supporting the three other castes in service" (Indian Culture in the Modern World, 2002, par. 37).
There are also many different ways that a Hindu can find moksha. Some of the most popular paths, or yogis, to find liberation are jnana, raja, karma, and bhakti.
Jnana yoga is a knowledge-based yoga. It is based loosely upon learning the Upanishad. "The seeker just also develop spiritual virtues (calmness, restraint, renunciation, resignation, concentration and faith) and have an intense longing for liberation" (Fisher, 2003, p. 99).
Raja yoga is like the royal road to liberation by moksha. It also involves many mental and physical exercises and is therefore closely related to hatha and jnana yoga. Raja yoga students are very focused on the practice of meditation, extreme self-control. Meditation involves breath control, posturing, and concentration, usually on a mantra. The goal is to achieve a "samadhi, a super-conscious state of union with the Absolute" (Fisher, 2003, p. 99).
Karma yoga is really just a school of yoga based on karma. Your place in life depends on what you do and what you do depends on your sex, your caste, and your stage in life. You can find out how you should act by studying the Vedic rituals. If you study Karma yoga just to get a better birth in the next life, then you are still considered selfish and will be punished for your selfishness.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of deity devotion. This yoga hopes for a rebirth into a heaven of the worshipped god. This form involves much idol worship and many rituals like "decorating an image with flowers and garlands, rings the bell, offers Naivedya (food-offerings), wave lights; he observes rituals and ceremonies"(Sivanada, 1996, par. 6).
In conclusion, I believe that Hinduism is an extremely powerful religion. So far Hinduism does far better than any other religion to explain the nature of life and the path to happiness. Hinduism has attained a firm hold on its followers and they will not easily yield it to outsiders, if ever at all. Hinduism as a way of life has caused its followers to excel in all aspects of life and brings out the best in everyone it touches.


References
The Aryans and the Vedic Age. Retrieved from the World Wide Web February 8, 2004:
http://www.tourindia.com/history/aryans.htm
Beliefs and Concepts. Retrieved from the World Wide Web February 8, 2004:
http://www.gurjari.net/ico/Mystica/html/shudra.htm
The Caste System: An Overview Indian Culture in the Modern World. Retrieved
from the World Wide Web February 8, 2004:
http://www.ochs.org.uk/publications/papersarticles/iklecture03.html
Fisher, M. P. (2003). Living religions (5th ed.) [University of Phoenix Special Edition Series]. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Sivanada, S.S., Bhakti Yoga. Retrieved from the World Wide Web February 8,
2004:http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/teachings/bhaktiyoga.htm
Teachings and Beliefs 2003 Retrieved from the World Wide Web February 8,
2004:http://regentsprep.org/Regents/global/themes/beliefsystems/hinduism.cfm
Return to 123HelpMe.com