Consideredas one of the world’s oldest religions, in the article by Mohammed(n.d, p. 1), has been in existence for quite a while. Theusage of the term is much recent, and the term in fact datesback to the 19thcentury (Mohammed, n.d, p. 44). The Hindus, however, refer to theirreligion as SanatanaDharma(Mohammed, n.d, p. 44). It is worth to note that in present time, is widely practiced both as a religion and a lifestyle,worldwide, particularly in India and her neighboring countries(Mohammed, n.d, p. 44). In the bid to garner more insight into theoverall perspective of , the paper will seek to addresscertain characters that identify the religion.
Someof the features that set apart include scriptures, deities,and the belief system. The scriptures that are employed in are considered as being either ‘revealed things’ (Shruti)or ‘remembered things’ (Smriti)(Knott, 2016, p. 3). Mohammed (n.d, p. 44) confirms that the sacredwritings have been noted to have their focal points on worship,rituals, charms, spells and even sacrifice. Hindus believe in theexistence of a supreme being, who is represented by the deities.Speaking of deities, a significant number of these beings are prettymuch upheld in . The gods, as identified by Knott (2016, p.4) have been noted to trace their genesis to the non-indigenouspeople of the non-Aryan sects. Mohammed (n.d, p. 44) identifies theacknowledgment of about thirty-three gods. The aforementioned ‘deityrepresentation` is defined by the divine realities that the deitiesare believed to possess (Mohammed (n.d, p. 44).
Anothercharacteristic that distinguishes the views of is the beliefsystem in as far as the existence of human beings is concerned. acknowledges the cycle of life as commencing with birth,followed by death, which is in turn followed by rebirth (Mohammed,n.d, p. 45). Hindus believe that the soul is immortal, despite thetransitions throughout the various stages of life existence. Also,there is the belief on the summation of the deeds of an individual,throughout his/ her lifetime, a phenomenon dubbed as Karma(Mohammed,n.d, p. 45).
Havinglooked at the characteristics, which define , addressing thedevelopment of the religion, in brief, as well as the identificationof other critical information, is of the essence, as the sectionbelow will affirm.
:Other Critical Facts
Thematuration of is linked to developments in the social arena,plus the changes that have taken place in the political scene(Mohammed, n.d, p. 45). religion development identifies thefollowing progressive stages (name and period only) The Indus Valley(prior to 2000BCE), Vedic (1500-500BC), Classical (500BCE- 500CE),Medieval (500CE-1500CE), Moghul Period (1500-1757), the British Raj(1757-1947), and the Post-partition of India (1947- Now).
Asidefrom the development of , it is obvious to note how visualdepictions are widespread in the religion. Mohammed (n.d, p. 55)confirms that the artistic depictions are meant to simplify humanlife. Moviing on, it is worth to acknowledge that the philosophy of is centered on ethics and metaphysics, with the presence ofsix philosophies. The essential philosophies, as mentioned byMohammed (n.d, p. 62) include Vedanta and Sankhya. Similar to otherreligions, has important days, dates and periods within agiven year. The special periods confirm the celebrated Hindufestivals, with the major ones being Diwali,Holi, andGuru Purnima.
Whenlooking at the Hindu stages of life, it is notable that the stagesare based on the Lawsof Manu,where the roles of Bramchari,Grihasta, Vanaprashta, andSannyasinare molded (Mohammed, n.d, p. 59). Additionally, the goals of lifeare based on Dharma,Artha, Kama andMosha(Mohammed, n.d, p. 60).
Anothercritical aspect is that is connected to other religionsnamely (Sikhism,Buddhism, andJainism),which are widely practiced in East Asia (Mohammed, n.d, p. 63-64). Asmuch as differences manifest, similarities in the religions revolvearound the areas of beliefs, practices, and philosophies, which areconsidered to be the Dharmaconcept.
Finally,it is important to note that Hindu movements, in Western societies,have been developed on the basis of . Significant movementsinclude the Theosophical Society (fostering freedom) as well as theHareKrishna(Based on the Bhagavad-Gita)(Mohammed, n.d, p. 64). The influence has been noted in themovements led by activists, particularly in the long walks tofreedom, with real of examples of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther.The aforementioned charismatic people embraced the concepts of AhimsaandSatyagrahaby Mahatma Gandhi, which were employed when Hindus were seekingindependence from Britain colonization (Mohammed, n.d, p. 65).
is a rather complex religion with many elements, some of which tendto be conflicting. The study has confirmed the views of O`Malley(2012, p. 1) that is both a religion and a social system.Despite the complexities in , the religion presents anexciting subject area that students and researchers can learn, in thebid to garner understanding into the members of the religious group.
Knott,K. (2016). :a very short introduction.Oxford University Press.
Mohammed,K. (n.d). An Introduction to World Religion Hindu.
O`Malley,L. S. S. (2012). Popular: The Religion of the Masses.Cambridge University Press.