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April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in other


I . Introduction

Hinduism is the religion of the great majority of the people of India The word comes from the Sanskrit sindhu , river , and originally referred to the Indus . Hinduism is actually a collection of many native Indian religions , past and present . It is responsible for the social structure of India , especially for the cast system ( a hereditary class system

Hinduism has some 648 ,000 ,000 adherents , most known live in India . The rest live in Pakistan , Sri Lanka , and countries with Indian settlements Amongst the of the world [banner_entry_middle]

‘s great religions , Hinduism is the only one without a founder . It has never tried to win converts by force and has always tolerated other religions and absorbed ideas from them (see Hinduism . Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia . January 22 , 2007

Hinduism has about 200 sects , with beliefs that range from primitive forms of animism to the highest reaches of mysticism and philosophy Many of the sects and cults seem to be separate religions . Yet all have a family relationship since they spring from common traditions and thrive on the conditions peculiar to India . Most have a mystic strain and all stress nonviolence

The intents of this are to (1 ) understand what Hinduism really all about (2 ) know the cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated and (3 ) figure out its desire for liberation from earthly existence

II . Background

A . Hinduism

A .1 History

Hinduism began to develop about 1500 B .C . while Vedas were being composed and collected . Vedic Hinduism or Vedism , had many nature gods who were appealed to and appeased by prayers and sacrifices . A second stage , called Brahminic Hinduism , appeared about 1000 B .C . In this stage , religion had fallen under the control of the Brahmins , or priests , who used magic rites in efforts to influence and control the gods (see Hinduism . New Standard Encyclopedia . Pp . H175-H176

A third period opened about 800 B .C . with the speculative philosophy of the Upanishads . Salvation was sought , not through knowledge . Six schools of Hindu philosophy arose , the most important being those of Yoga and Vedanta . In the sixth century B .C . Jainism and Buddhism arose as reform movements within Hinduism but both became separate religions (see Hinduism . Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge , pp . 243-246

Moslem invaders conquered India after 10th century A .D . Hinduism withstood the rival religion of Islam but absorbed a few features from it . The clash between the two religions led to the founding of Sikhism in the 16th century . In the 19th century Christian and Western ideas presented a new challenge . Several Hindu reform movements borrowed from Christianity and the West . When India became independent in 1947 , the conflict between Hindus and Moslems forced a division of the country the Moslem section becoming Pakistan (see Hinduism . New Standard Encyclopedia . Pp . H175-H176

III . Discussion

A . Cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated

Nearly all the sects and cults… [banner_entry_footer]


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