Hinduism Paper
HUM/130


Hinduism Paper
“The spiritual expressions of Hinduism range from extreme asceticism to extreme sensuality, from the heights of personal devotion to a deity to the heights of abstract philosophy, from metaphysical proclamations of the oneness behind the material world to worship of images representing a multiplicity of deities”(Fisher, 2005, pg. 71) .While Hinduism lacks a uniting belief system, one belief held by almost all variations of Indian religion is an openness and acceptance for all beliefs and practices. In addition, it is clear that Hinduism is much more than a traditional religion; rather it is way of life. One way in which this concept is exemplified is by the popular Hindi term, dharma. Dharma “refers to a broad complex of meanings, encompassing duty, natural law, social welfare, ethics, health, wealth, power, fulfillment of desires, and transcendental realization” (Fisher, 2005, pg. 71). The foundation of Hinduism can be linked to Vedas. Vedas are the religious scriptures believed to transcend human time. Reincarnation and karma are also doctrines sacred to all forms of Hinduism.
Originating in India in 1500 BCE, Hinduism has evolved into a collaboration of many different belief systems. The religious tolerance held by all Hindu people has been a uniting factor and strength used by all Indian people when faced repeatedly with adversity throughout the years. In early years, Hinduism played the role of peacemaker in a country rich with racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity. While there is no uniting belief system, freedom of belief encouraged tolerance throughout the land. Today, Hinduism remains a vital part of Indian life. Religious rituals and beliefs are not only beneficial to the way of life but provide protection for necessary earthly resources. Hinduism seeks a goal of liberation from Earthly existence. In order to achieve this goal a sense of duty must be followed that has provided India protection against violence and warfare, allowing the culture to survive.
The concept of Karma believed by all forms of Hinduism dictates that, “every act we make and even every thought and every desire we have, shapes our future experiences” (Fisher, 2005, pg. 77). In turn believers in Hinduism follow a code of ethics outstanding to most humans. These future experiences are not only affected in this earthly life but will follow through future reincarnations. Rebirth takes many forms, not just as humans. Throughout each form the inner self remains intact. Rebirth in the form of a human is a rare opportunity to advance one’s self towards the ultimate goal of liberation. Liberation provides a stop to samsara, also known as the constant cycle of life, death, and rebirth. When one’s self has been liberated rebirth will stop and one’s self will be merged with an absolute reality. At this point, moksha is achieved providing “liberation from space, time, and matter through realization of the immortal Absolute” (Fisher, 2005). Hinduism life is viewed as a constant journey towards the ultimate liberation from Earthly existence. It is as if Hinduism describes Earthly life as an undesirable test. If the self can demonstrate control and ability to stay positive, one day Earthly suffering will come to an end and the self will be free and only then true happiness occurs.
This constant search for liberation fully demonstrates how Hinduism is much more than a religion; rather it is a way of life. Every moment of a Hindu believer’s life is spent working towards liberation. While followers of the Hindu religion widely range, all Hindu people possess a sense of sensuality that calls for a non-violent way of life. Hinduism promotes religious tolerance and freedom of choice. The only stipulation encouraged is to be true to oneself and kind to others. Hinduism is much bigger than an organized religion. Rather, it is about finding and encouraging the best self one can, by encouraging a sense of selflessness. It is clear that Hinduism provides a positive way of life and influence on society that others could learn from. By lacking unifying beliefs, Hinduism has created a harmonious balance among humans for many years, demonstrating how a diverse and open belief system can act as a peacemaker in society.




Reference
Fisher, M. P. (2005). Living religions (6th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.