I have always said on this platform and elsewhere that, until you understand people never criticize them or discriminate against them. Many Africans, Americans and Europeans, and other cultures who are mostly Christians,Moslems and other religions not specified here, have this misconceptions about their religion being the best, and therefore they don’t need to understand or know others’ religion. Let us assume that we want to have a smooth relationship with Hindus, the best way we can do this is to understand their religion and if necessary tolerate them. The best way to understand people, are their religion. Since INFINITY THINKERS is a website for all people, we will like to delve into the Hindu Religion, understand how they think and will criticized them,if possible, when the time is due. Let get down into the HINDU RELIGION and let get informed about this great religion of nearly 1 billion population.
Hinduism is derived from an Ancient linguistic roots that mean” to flow”, and rivers have indeed been and have remain a central feature in the religious life of nearly a billion Indians. There are many diverse traditions that have come together to form Greater Hinduism of our day. Hinduism has no founder. Hinduism started on age known as a VIDIC period as early as 4000BC. Archaeological evidence from Harappa Daro point to highly developed civilization in the Indus River valley around 2700 to 1500BC.Early text suggest a religious culture centered on worship of numerous deities associated with forces of nature.
The Earliest Hindu Text
The name Veda comes from a Sanskrit root meaning vision or wisdom or video.Its just like the book of Revelations in the bible. The Vedas evolved over a period of centuries and religious specialist eventually wrote down in ancient form Sanskrit. The far most important Hindu scripture (1) Rig Veda-contains thousands of hymns (2).Same Veda (including some materials from Rig)-Used for ritual purposes. (3)Yajur Veda-Collected by the ancient priest (4) Antharvia Veda-ritual incantations.
Major Hindu Scriptures
(“hard”) containing all four Vedas
(“Remember”)-containing poetries, stories of their various deities.
Hindus have two major deities that they worship
The devotees of deity Vishnu are called Vaishnavite.Mahatma Gandhi is Viashnavite.Viashnavite tradition developed the structure of Vishnu-Ten Avatars or descendants, that gives a description of God’s involvement in man’s affairs. The first three avatars are non-human intervention in the birth of the cosmos, Matsya(the fish),Kurma(the Tortoise) and Varaha(the Boar).Three avatars represent divine confrontation with evil and demonic confrontation with evil and demonic forces:Nara-Simha(The man lion),Vanama(The dwarf), and Parashurama(Rama with the Axe).The two most popular avatars are those of RAMA AND KRISHNA,BUDDHA,KALKI.KALKI,the only Avatar yet to come, whose task is to brink revelation of the end of the world. Mahatma Gandhi is purported to had been one of the Avatars.
The devotees of deity Shiva are called Shaivites.Unlike Vishnu, Shiva has children: Ganesha and Skanda
Basic Beliefs Of Hindus
to hold together: This law manifest itself on the level of individual beings as a potentially endless succession or cycle of birth and rebirth. The human predicament consist in getting stuck in the cycle, which is called Samsara, “Cosmic flow, endless wondering. “All action (Karma) has spiritual consequences. To break the cycle, human beings must gradually purify all action of ego-centeredness, seeking to act only in accord with their personal Dhamar.According to law of course and effects, of Karma, all deeds are out inappropriate motivation chain the individual to the wheel of Samsara. What Dharma meant here is that of the belief of reincarnation. The Hindus belief that when one dies, he will be reborn.Until he corrects himself from all evil and do good, the cycle will continue.
Liberation or breakage from the cycle of rebirth from which Hindus seek.This means that every Hindus wish is to be able to stop the cycle of death and reborn.So when you succeed of breaking this cycle you have attained the status of moksha.
SWASTIKA:Comes from Sanskrit term means “all is well” is a symbol of auspiciousness and good fortune. SWASTIKA is associated with VISHNU, but eventually become important in BUDDHISM as well. NAZI Germany adopted this right handed SWASTIKA because of its association with ARYAN ethnicity which is said to have ruled India and have migrated from there to Europe, and thus with their ancient racial purity. Hindus and Buddhists continue to use this symbol in many context.
The Caste System
India’s ancient Hindu social system combines several complex element; four principal Varnas or social Classes. The term Varna means”color or appearance”
The Top Class: Brahmin Priestly Class
-they’re responsible for maintaining integrity of ritual practice and traditional teaching and it’s by inheritance (Kshatriya class).
Next lower rank: Merchant, Financiers, Agriculturalist and industrialist (Vaishya class).
Both class of vaishya and Kshatriya are now obsolete in the cities but its very live in the Indian rural and traditional areas
Labours and crafts men who perform basic services.Jati means birth or species and refers to the countless local social groups defined by occupation and language.
Finally people considered outcasts, untouchables, “unscheduled” classes or the Dalits, called Harijans, or “children of God,” by Mahatma Gandhi. Those who don’t fit in the great system (are about 200-400million in the population). As India transforms, one might expect caste to dissolve and disappear, but that is not happening. In India the issue of Caste is not important when it comes to education and jobs but very alive in politics and marriage. Six decades of democratic statehood have attempted to correct the imbalances of the past through “reservation” (It just like affirmative action) — job and education quotas for backward castes, like the Dalits. This program has been effective, in a fairly hit-or-miss fashion. Some say that nearly all university seats are reserved for lower castes, effectively blocking Brahmins from higher education. Others point out that the vast majority of high paying jobs are still in the hands of the top three castes.
Greater part of Hindus cremate their dead bodies. They normally wear white attire in their funerals. Some Hindus bury their dead bodies.Those who bury their dead bodies are from the Hindu sect called: Lingayats or virashaivas, the possibility of Islamic influences. They cremate their bodies within 24 hours. In the Hindu religion there are some classes of Hindus who are not cremated;saints,holymen and children.
We will love to hear from our fellow INFINITY THINKERS from India to throw more light on their religion and especially the caste system.
BY YOUR MAN
DON C. HARDER