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Hinduism
HUM/ 130

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Hinduism is one of the worlds oldest religion, which has no beginning, it precedes recorded
history. It has no human founder. It is a mystical religion, leading the devotee to personally
experience the Truth within, finally reaching the pinnacle of consciousness where man and God
are one. Hinduism has four main denominations--Saivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and
Smartism. Sanatana Dharma, meaning Eternal or Universal Righteousness is the original
name of what is now called Hinduism. Sanatana Dharma comprises of spiritual laws which
govern the human existence.

SIGNIFICANCE OF HINDUISM
Hinduism is unique among the world's religions. It is proclaimed to be the oldest religion
in the world. To begin with, it is mankind's oldest spiritual declaration, the very fountainhead of
faith on the planet. Hinduism's venerable age has seasoned it to maturity. It is the only religion,
to knowledge, which is not founded in a single historic event or prophet, but which itself
proceeds recorded history. Hinduism has been called the "cradle of spirituality," and the "mother
of all religions," partially because it has influenced virtually every major religion and partly
because it can absorb all other religions, honor and embraces their scriptures, their saints, and
their philosophy. This is possible because Hinduism looks compassionately on all genuine
spiritual effort and knows unmistakably that all souls are evolving toward union with the Divine,
and all are destined, without exception, to achieve spiritual enlightenment and liberation in this
or a future life.
Here is a look at the nine facts that offer a simple summary of Hindu spirituality or about
Hinduism.

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1. Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme being who is both immanent and
transcendent, both Creator and Un-manifest Reality.
2. Hindus believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture,
and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the
bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
3. Hindus believe that the universe undergo endless cycles of creation, preservation and
dissolution.
4. Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates
his or her own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds committed
5. Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all
karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a
single soul will be deprived of this destiny.
6. Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship,
rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas (divine
beings) and God.
7. Hindus believe that an enlightened master, or sat guru, is essential to know the
Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-
inquiry, meditation and surrender in God.
8. Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice
ahimsa, non-injury, in thought, word and deed.
9. Hindus believe that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but
that all genuine paths are facets of God's Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.
Gods and Lords in Hinduism
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From the Christianity standpoint we understand God as being one single entity, yet we
understand Him in three perfections: Absolute Reality, Pure Consciousness and Primal Soul. As
Absolute Reality, God is un-manifest, invariable and divine the Self God, timeless, formless and
space less. As Pure Consciousness, God is the manifest primal substance, pure divine love and
light flowing through all form, existing everywhere in time and space as infinite intelligence and
power. God is all and in all, great beyond our conception, a sacred mystery that can be known in
direct communion.
Hindus believe in one Supreme Being. In the Hindu pantheon there are said to be three
hundred and thirty-three million Lords (divine beings). The plurality of Lords are perceived as
divine creations of that one Being. So, Hinduism has one supreme God, but it has an extensive
hierarchy of Lords. Hinduism views existence as composed of three worlds. The First World is
the physical universe; the Second World is the subtle astral or mental plane of existence in which
are devas, angels and spirits live; and the Third World is the spiritual universe of the
Mahadevas, "great shining beings," the Hindu Lords. Hinduism is the harmonious working
together of these three worlds. These intelligent beings have evolved through eons of time and
are able to help mankind without themselves having to live in a physical body. These great
Mahadevas, with their multitudes of angelic devas, live and work constantly and tirelessly for the
people of the Hindu religion, protecting and guiding them, opening new doors and closing
unused ones. (Monastery., 2014)
HINDU HOLY BOOK
(Vedas)
The Veda is the Hindu holy book. The four books of the Vedas are Rig, Yajur, Sama and
Atharva -include over 100,000 verses. The knowledge imparted by the Vedas ranges from earthy
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devotion to high philosophy. Their words and wisdom permeate Hindu thought, ritual and
meditation. The Vedas are the ultimate scriptural authority for Hindus. Their oldest portions are
said by some to date back as far as 6,000 BC, and where orally transmitted for most of history
and written down in Sanskrit in the last few millennia, making them the worlds longest and
most ancient scripture. The Vedas open a rare window into ancient Indian society, proclaiming
lifes sacredness and the way to oneness with God. (Monastery., 2014)
Karma
Karma literally means "deed or act," but more broadly describes the principle of cause
and effect. Simply stated, karma is the law of action and reaction which governs consciousness.
In physics-the study of energy and matter-Sir Isaac Newton postulated that for every action there
is an equal and opposite reaction. Push against a wall. Its material is molecularly pushing back
with a force exactly equal to yours. In metaphysics, karma is the law that states that every
mental, emotional and physical act, no matter how insignificant, is projected out into the psychic
mind substance and eventually returns to the individual with equal impact.
What are the cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the
region in which it originated?
1. Hinduism is the world's oldest surviving world religion. It is incredibly complex
but in brief it consists of hundreds of deities who control everything. It also
consists of reincarnation; the belief that your soul will return to earth in another
body. It is my belief that this component was manipulated by the elite of ancient
India to legitimize a rigid caste system where people are not allowed to talk to,
marry, or eat with anyone outside of their narrow classification. The elites
justified keeping the surplus of power and money this way. It was justified in the
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minds of Indians by the fact that your caste by birth was determined by your
actions in a former life and was thus a reward or punishment for past actions in a
former life.
2. The Religious leaders kept hereditary influence by teaching reincarnation. This
was threatened by the Jainists and Buddhists in ancient India. The Buddhists
believed that you could reach Nirvana after only one life thus undermining the
caste system. Hinduism thus changed of the next few centuries to become more
user-friendly and thus once again became the dominant religion of India. The
many gods is perhaps due to the greatly varied geography of India's many regions.
3. Hindus and Buddhists wish for liberation from want and the constant will to
improve your conditions. This is achieved by Nirvana after a series of reincarnations.
Explain the desire for liberation from earthly existence.
Hindu's desire for liberation from earthly existence is very much the same as people
from other faiths. The primary teaching of Hindu is self-realization. People may
believe in spiritual blessing if they are not dependent on tangible items. Even as a
continuation of life and existence after death. (V., 2000-2014)







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References
Monastery., K. H. (2014). Himalayan Academy . Retrieved from Himalayan Academy :
http://www.himalayanacademy.com/
V., J. (2000-2014). Hindu website. Retrieved from Hindu website :
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_enlighten.asp