Hindisum Essay, Research Paper
January 14, 2000
World History 7th
Hinduism is the worlds oldest religion. It started with the Hindu people. The word Hindu comes from the Sabakrit word sindu, Meaning river. The Perians in the 5th centuray Called the Hindus this because they were the people of the land of the Indus river- where they first derive from. After awhile they started moving around. migreting to other parts of the world taking hinduism with them, spreading it around to places likes East Africa, South Africa, Southeast Asia, the East Indies, and even England.
“The Hindus define their community as “those who believe in the Vedas” (see Veda) or “those who follow the way (dharma) of the four classes (varnas) and stages of life (ashramas).”i1 Hinduism is a major world religion, having many followers, An estimated at more than 700 million. It also has had many influence on many other religions during its long history, which dates from about 1500 BC.
To define Hinduism it is basically defined by what people do rather than what they think. Very few of the hinduism followers practices or belief in all the same things. They believe or follow atleast one of these beliefs or partices listed here if say they are a part Hinduism reigion:
1. Worship the Brahmans and cows.
2. They do not eat meat (especially beef).
3. Marriage within the caste (jati), in the hope of having a male children.
Most Hindus sing the ceremonial song of the gayatri hymn to the sun in the morring, but different views on what should be practices through out the day, these vary depending on the family to whom they may whorship. Most Hindus worship Shiva, Vishnu, or the Goddess (Devi), but they also worship hundreds of other things depending on where they are from, like what particular village or even to a particular family. Hinduism is a free type of religion where everyone believes in what they want to, in sense of what gods, or what payers they say and to whom they say them too.
The influence for all Hindus is the Vedas. There are four different Vedas that they follow. The oldest of the four Vedas is the Rig-Veda. It was composed in an form of the Sanskrit language in northwest India. The text, was composed between 1300 and 1000 BC and holds 1028 hymns to each of the hindu gods. It has been memorized word by word and and has been orally past down from generation to generation to today. To addition to The Rig-Veda, the two other Vedas, the Yajur-Veda (the book for sacrifice) and the Sama-Veda (the hymnal). A fourth book, the Atharva-Veda (a collection of magic spells), was added about 900 BC. At the same time, the Brahmanas-a lengthy Sanskrit texts holding ritual and the myths behind it-were made too. In 600 BC, the Upanishads weremade. They had to do with, “the meaning of existence and the nature of the universe.”i2
“Hindus believe that the universe is a great, enclosed sphere, a cosmic egg, within which are numerous concentric heavens, hells, oceans, and continents, with India at the center.”i3
Hindus can be place into two groups: those who want good of the world (health, wealth, children, and a good rebirth), and those who want out from the world. The first way of life comes from the Vedas and are used today in the teachings of the temples which use Hinduism and in the religion of Brahmans and the caste system. The second way, comes from the Upanishads, is showed and praticed in the cults of renunciation (sannyasa) but also in the minds of most Hindus.
Most believe that each person is born to fulfill one job in life, marry one specific person, eat certain food, and “beget children to do likewise and that it is better to fulfill one’s own dharma than that of anyone else (even if one’s own is low or reprehensible, such as that of the Harijan caste, the Untouchables, whose mere presence was once considered polluting to other castes).”i4 The main goal of the Hindu is to have and raise a son who will make offerings to the “ancestors” (the shraddha ceremony).
Although all Hindus believe and respect the existence and importance of their gods, a lot of them are individual worshipers and worship one god or goddess, of whom Shiva, Vishnu, and the Goddess are mainly. Shiva is the most important and admirable god. Shiva is the central shrine of all Shaiva temples and the main personal shrine of all Shaiva believers. Shiva is known to have showed up on earth in many different human, animal, and vegetable forms. Vishnu is almighty and superior; he is the god give birth to the creator (Brahma). Vishnu made the universe by diving heaven and earth. And he has been said to of saved it many of time. Even with these two great male gods, but there are a few goddesses are whorship too. Godesss like Devi, “who commands the male gods to do the work of creation and destruction.” i5 Other goddess like Durga, Shaktas, Shakti, Tantrists, Radha are popular for worship. A lot of this female gods are wives of the great gods, like Lakshmi, the meek, is the wife of Vishnu.