February 27, 2011
Hinduism is the worlds oldest surviving world religion. Hinduism is not a traditional religion, in that they don??™t have a uniting belief system. Instead, Hinduism is a set of traditions and beliefs that have changed and grown better over time. There are many different sections of Hinduism and they all believe in the ancient scriptures called Vedas. According to ygoy.com, ???Upanishads are more philosophically inclined Vedic texts. The ancient Indian scholars called Rishis search for the knowledge, that would make man kind to be free from the cycle of reincarnation can be seen in Upanishads??? (para. 1). Hinduism is very complicated, but in brief it is made up of hundreds of other deities who control just about everything. It is also made up of reincarnation, which is the belief that once you die you will be brought back to life in another body, human or animal. It is the belief that this component was manipulated by the elite of ancient India to legitimize a rigid caste system which didn??™t let people marry each other or even talk to each other. It was justified in the minds of Indians by the fact that your reincarnation back to earth had to do with karma of your past life. This means that if you did good things and were good that you will come back as something good, but if you were bad you would come back as something not as good.
One big social influence is that India is one of few last bastions of the ancient worlds culture. Hinduism is actually an umbrella term referring to the people living on the other side of the Sindhu River. The actual name is the Sanatana Dharma or Universal Truth or Way. One of Hinduisms strengths is its able to unite the diverse beliefs and practices of its people in a way that is necessary for India to continue historically as it has. This is one reason why the government of India is so aggressive in its opposition to Christian and Muslim missionaries. Religions like Christianity or Islam call for a degree of doctrinal uniformity that would not work well for the Indians because they destroy the historic traditions and beliefs of those who come under their dogmas. Indias rich traditions are their nations greatest treasures. For example, consider the differences between modern India and Pakistan, formerly part of India, separated by Islam. India allows Muslims to live peacefully, while Pakistan makes it all but impossible for Hindus to live there.
Culturally, Hinduisms vegetarianism shows an important reality. Ancient Indias lifeline was its cows. In its villages, it is still true to this day. They use the cattle to their advantage as well. They use the bulls to plow for them so they can grow food. They get all of their milk from the cows and the milk is a great source of protein for them. They even use the cow??™s feces for heat and cooking as well as some medicines. The caste system was also very effective and made sure that Indians worked together in an organized fashion. The system eventually was abused and became a racist system, bramanas usually have a light skin color and mudhas have a darker skin color. The others get darker in color as they get to the lower the castes. In the past, the system worked great and allowed Indians to get along. Hinduisms biggest strength still remains its diversity. It??™s obvious that one can argue that Christianity, Islam and other religious systems claim to be part of the Sanatana Dharma or Universal Way of spiritual practice. India would be such a different place if it didn??™t have the Hindu dharma and it goes with the region perfectly.
In Hinduism, they believe that when you die you are reincarnated into another body and then born again. The ultimate goal of any religion is to eventually get to a world free from prejudice and pain or suffering, an ultimate place of joy. Hindu??™s believe to escape Samsara, or the karma run wheel of birth, death, and rebirth, is to achieve Moksha, or liberation from the limitations of space, time, and matter through realization of the immortal Absolute. This kind of liberation, however, takes many life times of death and rebirth.
YGO Hinduism. (2011). What Makes Up Hinduism. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from www.ygoy.com
John Of All Faith. (2011). Hinduism. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from