Essay on Hindu Religious Traditions

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Hindu Religious Traditions

Most people in the world derive their religious beliefs and traditions from their parents and peer influences. From a religious point of view, “There are many definitions for the term ‘religion’ in common usage. [Broadly defined], in order to include the greatest number of belief systems: ‘Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life’” (Robinson, 1996). However, in examining Hinduism, it is difficult to label the practices as a religion. This paper will expound upon the Hindu traditions, taking into account the characteristics of sacred elements, their meaning, and significance.

Hindu Traditions

“For thousands of years people
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The oldest Hindu writing is the Rig Veda, which is a collection of songs and hymns composed over 3,000 years ago. Many are the gods and goddesses described in the sacred Hindu writings” (Windows Team, 2000, Surya). “Another important text is the Ramayana. It is ‘a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes’. It is dated to the first century CE and has been attributed to the poet Valmiki” (Robinson, General Introduction, 1995).
Second, comprised of other group of texts include the Upanishadas. “They are ‘a continuation of the Vedic philosophy, and were written between 800 and 400 B.C. They elaborate on how the soul (Atman) can be united with the ultimate truth (Brahman) through contemplation and mediation, as well as the doctrine of Karma-- the cumulative effects of a person’s actions.’ The Mahabharata, were written 540 to 300 BCE, and have been attributed to the sage Vyasa. They record ‘the legends of the Bharatas, one of the Aryan tribal groups.’ The Bhagavad Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata. It is a poem describing a conversation between a warrior Arjuna and the God Krishna. It is an ancient text that has become the main sacred text of Hinduism and other belief systems” (Robinson, General Introduction, 1995).


Proving whether Hinduism is a religion or culture, study of the sacred texts used in worship is

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