Hinduism , or Sanatana Dharma to most people in the Indian subcontinent is actually a collection of numerous religious ways and practices found in the region which did not fall within the spheres of the unified religions such as Buddhism , Jainism , or Sikhism . The extreme variation which resulted from this process of lumping together countless religious beliefs is being explained by Hindu nationalists as an evidence of the age of Hinduism . Sanatana Dharma , which is translated as ageless religion , consists of religious beliefs handed down from generation to generation and speaks [banner_entry_middle]
of around 330 million deities (Fisher . 2005
In Hinduism , every man or woman is allowed to choose which deity to worship . Choice is usually based on personal concept of who among the myriads of deities can help them best . A housewife from Calcutta , for instance , may decide to choose as her object of devotion the Holy Mother , Sarada Devi , who is Ramakrishna ‘s spiritual bride and successor They are also instructed to set their own personal schedules of prayer called the puja . Most families in India have their own shrines of worship for their required daily prayers , because puja is supposed to be observed everyday . Dr . Karan Singh , a respected spokesman for Hinduism said : I have my own puja . I do it in the morning , again at night before going to bed , and in the course of the day . Ours is not a religion where you go once a week to a church and that ‘s it (Fisher 2005
Hinduism is a very ritualistic religion . Their scriptures prescribed various rituals to bless every step of their journey on earth . These include rites for conception the braiding of the hair of a pregnant woman births name-giving and a rite for a baby who is about to start eating solid foods . The other rituals are for a family-member who is about to start his or her education the conferment of a sacred thread to a Hindu boy one for a member of the family who leaves the family house for the first time and another for one who is starting to study the holy texts . Finally , there is a ritual for marriage and a ritual for death (Fisher . 2005
Sanatana Dharma has , as its foundation , a collection of sacred texts in four parts which have been handed down from generation to generation These texts are collectively called the Vedas and are believed to have originated sometime during the first millennium BCE . The first of these texts are the Sanhitas which are hymns of worship for the deities , and the second part consists of the Brahmanas , or guides on how to perform the ritualistic sacrifices to the deities . The third part is composed of writings done by Aranyakas , or those who meditate as recluses in the forest , while the last and final portion of the Vedas are the Upanishads . These are doctrines written by highly realized spiritual masters ‘ However , the origin of these Vedas has remained , until now a for… [banner_entry_footer]
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