Chapter 15 Hinduism By Anthony and Bennett

No one knows for sure how Hinduism came to be. It is a very old religion that developed over 1500 B.C.E by the Aryans, or possibly, the original Indian settlers. Hinduism is guided by the vedas, or sacred texts and deities, which shaped Hindus' many beliefs. Brahman, Dharma, Karma, Deities and Samsara were important factors as well within the Hindu religion.

Hindus believe that Brahman is always creating, destroying, then recreating the universe in a never ending cycle. Brahma creates it, Vishnu preserves it, and Shiva destroys it. Brahman is believed to be everywhere, including people's souls. To show the Hindu worshippers' love for this force, Hindus create temples in which they worship inside them. Also, Hindus incorporate their beliefs about Brahman into their jobs and lifestyles.

Deities are the different faces of Brahman. Many deities had different aspects of power that played a part in Hindus daily lives, like Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva who were mentioned before. Some deities are stories such as Ramayana. In this sacred text, Rama beats the evil spirit, Ravana, and is also the inspiration for many holidays such as Divali, the festival lights and the New Year.

Each social class had to follow their duties to dharma. Some of the duties that Hindus had to acquire were reciting vedas which were a common Brahmin duty. A few rules that Hindus live by are marriage, sharing food, and caring for others. Another concept of dharma is nonviolence because of the Hindu belief that all lives are connected. A good example of this is that Hindus don't eat meat, they are vegetarian because for their respect to animals, and again, nonviolence.

Hindus believe that when you die, you will reborn into a new body. The body you got depended on how good you were in the past life– or your karma. Karma meant that the universe was fair and responsible for your social class. But over time, Indian rights protects all people because of the much less strict caste system, otherwise known as the Hindus' social class.

Samsara is the belief of the cycle of death and rebirth which ends when the soul escapes the cycle and reunites with Brahman. Reincarnation is stopped when one follows the Hindu beliefs, has good karma, and tries to connect with Brahman. They did this on long journeys, or pilgrimages, to worship on sacred grounds. Some of the people who do this very frequently are the monks who devote their entire lives to worship Brahman.

Brahman is the supreme force of nature, Deities are sacred texts and gods, Karma is the value of the soul, Dharma is law, obligation and duty, and Samsara is the cycle of death and rebirth. Hindus beliefs in these had large effects on their lives, dictated what jobs they had, what they ate, who they married and many other things. Overall, Hinduism is a complex religion that in some ways, can be related to others.


Created with images by king-sword - "malaysia temple the hindu"

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