Hinduism Essay

Hinduism Essay

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Hinduism


Introduction

Hinduism - stands for the faith and the way of life most of the people who live
in India.

     Hinduism is such an ancient religion that it had many types of beliefs
and religious practices. Around 1750 BC Aryan invaders from central Asia
settled in North - West India and introduced their own religious ideas.

     Slowly the Hindu came to accept the idea of the existence of an eternal
supreme being. They called this being, Brahman. Hindus also worship different
gods which individually represent one particular aspect of Brahman. The most
popular one of the lesser gods are Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver),
and Shiva (the destroyer)

Hinduism has no founder. It is a religion that has slowly developed over a
period of time.

     Hindu Beliefs

     Hindu Gods

     The Hindus have four gods Brahman, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. There
main god is Brahman. He is the origin and the sustainer of all life, and the
goal of all things. He is eternal and omnipotent and only he is real. They
believe that Brahman is so great that he cannot be explained in human words
because all humans are imperfect and Brahman is perfect.

Shiva
     Shiva is usually depicted with six arms each one representing a
different function to preform. He is known as the destroyer and restorer of
life, symbol of the reproductive force of nature, philosopher and sage. He has
a third eye which signifies wisdom or higher consciousness. He has a blue
throat which is a result of him swallowing a full cup of mans sins. Worship of
Shiva includes fertility rites and veneration of the symbols of male and female
sex organs. Most Hindus imagine Shiva as being in deep meditation high in the
Himalayas. Shiva is the ultimate god who holds in divine tension the
preservation and destruction of the cosmos, both its birth and death. At times
he is portrayed as the great ascetic. He is often depicted as the reconciler of
dualities such as good and evil, eroticism and asceticism, his creative energy
is depicted in the Lingam and Yoni. Shiva is frequently shown in loving union
with his consort Parvati (another form of the great goddess)

     Shiva devotees are called Shaivites, and devotion usually takes the form
of Yogic practice. Shiva is often pictured, in one of the best known religious
images from India, as the lord of the cos...


... middle of paper ...


...in January-February and
lasts thirty-six hours. The name of this festival means "night sacred to Shiva",
because worship goes on throughout the night. Compared to other festivals it is
a solemn occasion marked by fasting. Some devotees of Shiva do not sleep, eat
or drink for the thirty-six hours. During the night Shiva is worshiped with
singing and dancing in shrines dedicated to the god. In the shrine is a small
stone pillar representing the god Shiva around which people assemble and perform
puja. Offerings are made by pouring milk, honey and melted butter over the
linga. When the fast ends at about four o'clock much feasting follows with
sweet potatoes and cucumbers among the many foods eaten. The people remember a
story which helps to explain why they fast and keep watch throughout the night.
The story tells of a hunter who was once chased by a tiger, he climbed a tree to
escape, and he had to perch the whole night as the tiger crouched below. To
make sure he did not fall asleep he plucked the leaves one by one and dropped
them on the ground. There was an image of Shiva under the tree, as the leaves
fell Shiva felt he was being worshiped and blessed the hunter.

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