Hinduism , unlike Christianity , Judaism or Islam , does not have a central founder , a single morality system , or a specific theology . In spite of these differences from Western religions , it is the third largest religion after Christianity and Islam . While there are many forms of Hinduism , most are considered henotheistic , where there is a central deity and gods and goddesses who represent some aspect of that God . Followers of Hinduism believe in Brahma (the creator , Vishnu (the preserver ) and Shiva (the destroyer . They believe in reincarnation , and for that reason , they strongly believe [banner_entry_middle]
in karma , or that one ‘s actions in this life will determine their fate for the next life . It is only through pure acts that a soul can be born into a higher level . Followers practice meditation and yoga , and they are generally tolerant of other religions (Hinduism : a general introduction , 2005
The societal influences affecting Hinduism involve the caste system This system was in place in to define the different levels of society , and included : priests , rulers , farmers and servants . This system determined one ‘s place in society , and individuals from different levels did not intermarry . It is an issue today because many Hindus believe that one cannot easily concentrate on the spirit if he or she is concerned with making money and raising one ‘s position in society Modern Hindus feel that the caste system promotes differences in religious education , and thus , They feel that the Hindu spirit is in need of renewal (Shattuck , 1999 ,
. 109 . Modern followers combine their religion with social concerns in to keep Hinduism at the forefront of their thoughts and actions . This has led to the rise of gurus , individuals who promote the religion and advise followers . The benefit of having a guru is that followers can worship wherever they are they aren ‘t tied down to finding a temple (Shattuck , 1999 ,
. 109 Women are becoming gurus as well , a change that reflects the advancement of women in Indian society Hinduism focuses on the spiritual world , which is why Hindus seek to liberate themselves from the shackles of an earthly existence . They have specific goals to meet , one of which is nirvana , the end of suffering and a state of peace and contentment . When one is in a state of nirvana he or she is free of lust , anger or craving and now have an eternal state of enlightenment . In to reach this goal , there are several paths that one can follow . Most of these paths involve yoga , a practice of body positioning and meditation . Bakhti yoga involves purifying the mind and treating all living creatures with compassion in to follow the path of love and devotion . The practictioners of karmic yoga seek to free themselves from the consequences (either positive or negative ) of their actions and instead dedicate these actions to God in to follow the path of right action . Raja yoga is the path of meditation , and it is intended to help… [banner_entry_footer]
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