From my research studies, it came to my full understanding that Hinduism is the third largest and oldest religion that can be traced back to the year 5000 B.C (Wallace, 2006). Despite the complexity and evolution of the religion with over 1 billion followers from different parts of the world, it is believed that Hinduism does not have a known founder member (Wallace, 2006).
Hinduism has various sets of philosophies, rituals, and beliefs that are mostly characterized by diverse beliefs of manifestations, reincarnation, as well as the law of the cause and its corresponding effects. Besides that, members of the religion also believe in following the path of righteousness and the desire to liberate themselves from the cycle of births and deaths. People from India and Nepal constitute a relatively high portion of the more than 1 billion people who believe in Hinduism. Surprisingly I think the fact that Hinduism does not have a single agreeable scripture that has doctrines and regulations to guide their practices also make Hinduism be a unique religion (Hay, 2006).
I also learned that members of the religion believe in the existence of one God called Brahman and that the other gods are just manifestations of him. Unlike other religious faiths that believe in one supernatural being, members of Hinduism believe in many gods and goddesses. In fact, each one of the gods and goddesses has specific roles that they play in the greater Hinduism community. In most religions, it is believed that being a good person is the only way of reaching their supernatural being which is not the case in Hinduism where the members of the religion believe that there are multiple ways of reaching Brahman (Hay, 2006).
he more I learned and researched about Hinduism, the more I found the religion attractive. According to the faith, our beliefs are responsible for determining our attitudes and thoughts regarding life that again determines the actions that we take in life. Most importantly, our destinies are pre-defined by the different sets of actions that we take in our lives. I also found the concept of reincarnation in Hinduism religion to be absorbing. They believe that when people die, they simply transform themselves and take different forms of lives. Thus, people evolve through many cycles of rebirths until all the karmas are resolved and the liberation from the underlying cycle of rebirths is attained, and that reincarnation is a destiny of all souls. In short, Hinduism believes in the samsara cycle that is famously known as the endless cycle of births and that the members of the religion have been seeking to be released from the cycle throughout their existence. Moreover, members of Hinduism believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds thus temples and other worshiping places are instruments for linking them to the spiritual world. I also learned that Hinduism believes in everlasting souls. The most common forms of Hindu deities include; Vishnu and Shiva and the trinity of Brahma. Apart from that Hindus also worship animals, spirits, planets, and even trees (Wallace, 2006).
It also came to my notice that in Hinduism, performing an actionless action leads to moksha whereas at the same time initiating actions result in karma. In other words, the actionless action is the involvement in actions or activities without an actual sense of performing them. Thus, it is essentially the act of surrendering to Brahman our actions, their fruits and the sense of our commitment to initiating those activities. Most importantly, actions can be instrumental in the purification of the mind, but they cannot guarantee the attainment of realities by themselves. Self-inquiry is the basic foundation of self-realization and not the actions that we tend to undertake in our religious paths. The members of the religion also believe that our past deeds impact our present and future existence (Hay, 2006).
- Hay, Jeff. Hinduism. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven, 2006. Print.
- Wallace, Holly. Hinduism. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series, 2006. Print.