Therefore, this faith is characterized by the multiplicity of deities. An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism, third edition, offers a comprehensive study of a contemporary form of Hinduism. An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism, third edition, offers a comprehensive study of a contemporary form of Hinduism. By then many classical works (shastras) of Hindu philosophy had been codified, the major epics—the Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata—received their present form and rules for idol worship, representations of the deities and for building structures and temples also developed. Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideals and practices that originated in India thousands of years before the birth of Christ. He has written several books about Hinduism for children and young adults. Hinduism is characterized by belief in reincarnation, called Samsara; one absolute being with multiple manifestations and related deities; the law of cause and effect, called Karma; a call to follow the path of righteousness by engaging in spiritual practices (yogas) and prayers (bhakti); and the desire for liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth. They are however often distinguished from a supreme personal God. It has over a billion practising followers, 90% of whom live in South Asia, particularly India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan (which is the only official Hindu state in the world). It is the oldest practised religion in the world and has the third largest following after Christianity and Islam. This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. "Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Divine Song of the Lord), is … It is made up of a variety of different religious beliefs and practices. "An Introduction to Hinduism is a highly readable and authoritative conspectus on this great religion....An Introduction to Hinduism will surely find a much wider audience, for scholars of comparative religion, Indologists, and non-specialists in their distinctive ways will certainly find this handsome book well worth reading." Dr. 1950 W. Corporate Way PMB 25615, Anaheim, CA 92801, USA. Emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, Hindu ritual and Dravidian influences. The Hindu calendar is lunisolar, based on the cycles of the sun and moon. The most fundamental of Hindu deities is the divine trinity of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). To that end, it is less a religion than a codification of the evolving way of life and beliefs of the inhabitants of the region. Providing a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, this text traces the development of Hindu traditions from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. One of the most auspicious events is Raksha Bandhan, when brothers and sisters celebrate their relationship as siblings. Corporeal human manifestations of God are known as Avataras. Origin, Definition and Introduction to Hinduism One of the astounding features of Hinduism is that it is the oldest living religion that has retained its mass appeal as well as the breadth and depth of its universal vision. Society was classified into four classes, called Varnas – teachers and priests (Brahmins), warriors, nobles, and kings (Kshatriyas), farmers, merchants, and businessmen (Vaishyas) and the servants and labourers (Shudras). Many of these holy days celebrate the many Hindu deities, such as Maha Shivaratri, which honors Shiva and the triumph of wisdom over ignorance. The first lecture given for this class is not available at this time. Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction is indeed very short, perhaps too short to do more than scratch to surface of a topic as complex and varied as the religion of Hinduism. Hinduism is over 4,000 years old, making it one of the world's oldest religions. Having originated in the Indian subcontinent, it has spread selectively to other parts of the world owing to migration, as the ideas of conversion and evangelisation are absent in Hinduism. He is not only a writer of faith, but a defender of faith. Occasions like birth, marriage, and death involve what are often elaborate sets of religious customs. While it is difficult to completely define Hindu beliefs, the major themes in Hinduism include Dharma (code of ethical conduct), Samsāra (The continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Moksha (liberation from samsara), and the various Yogas (paths to attain Moksha). Hindus also worship spirits, trees, animals, and planets. This is the first part of a new series on Hinduism. It is the oldest practised religion in the world and has the third largest following after Christianity and Islam. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide. Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. While there were a number of attempts to reconcile both Hindu and Muslim theology over the next 8 centuries, mainstream Hinduism became more orthodox and codified. Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, and with more than a billion followers, it is also the world's third largest religion. It is made up of a variety of different religious beliefs and practices. Two types of sacred writings comprise the Hindu scriptures: Shruti (heard) and Smriti (memorized). Most practising Hindus engage in religious rituals daily to seek blessings from various Gods, engaging in worship (puja) of the divine idol, either in shrines at home or in temples. Hindus today worship different deities and form complex social systems. Varun Soni, dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, discusses the goals and beliefs of Hinduism, the third largest religion in the world. Hinduism is a religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Introduction to Hinduism: History, Text, Philosophy ; India’s Epics: The Mahabharata and Ramayana ; India’s Lore: The Puranas ; Introduction to Hindu Philosophy–Vedanta and Samkhya ; Introduction to Hinduism: Ritual, Yoga, Caste, and Gender ; Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita ; New Directions in Yoga Studies: Online Weekend School, 5–6 December Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture offers a concise and easy-to-understand overview of the essential principles and customs of the Hindu tradition. Begun as a revival and reform movement in India 200 years ago, it has now become one of the fastest growing and most prominent forms of Hinduism. Purists refer to it more as Sanātana Dharma (the eternal path/law) rather than a religion, as it is believed to be a virtuous way of life. Unlike other religions, Hindus view their faith as an all-encompassing way of life with a complex system that comprises beliefs and traditions, an advanced system of ethics, meaningful rituals, philosophy, and theology. The basic scriptures of Hinduism, which are collectively referred to as Shastras, are essentially a collection of spiritual laws discovered by different saints and sages at different points in its long history. Under the classical Golden Epoch of the Gupta period (4th to 6th century AD) more formalized Hindu thought and its systematization flourished. By using Learn Religions, you accept our, A Guide to the Fundamental Tenets of Hinduism, Arranged Marriages Originated in the Vedic Period, 6 Surprising Facts About Hindu Culture and Hinduism, Calendar of Hindu Festivals, Fasts, and Religious Events 2020–2025, The 5 Principles and 10 Disciplines of Hinduism, M.A., English Literature, University of North Bengal, Moksha (liberation from the cycle of samsara). Introduction to fundamental ideas and literature that are basic to the Hindu religion. Modern Hinduism grew from the ancient texts called Vedas, and bore much similarity to other Indo-European religions like Zoroastrianism, incorporating strong elements of nature gods and their worship. Over the next 10 centuries, it evolved further and also absorbed tenets of Buddhism and Jainism, which included the doctrine of non-violence and an emphasis on vegetarianism. Hinduism as both a … Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. Introduction to Hinduism “There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names” The vast majority of Hindus live in India and Nepal Goal of Hinduism Reincarnation Karma & Dharma Four Stages of Life Sacred Texts Brahman: essence of reality THE TWO MOST POPULAR GODS Kali Festivals and Holy Days Festival: Divali The Ganges River Banaras - Hindu’s Holy City … Introduction to Hinduism. If Dharma is neglected in favor of the more material pursuits of Artha and Kama, then life becomes chaotic, and Moksha cannot be attained. The major and most popular Hindu texts include the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Under the British Empire, Hinduism underwent a number of social reforms, and there were many revivalist and spiritual movements in the 19th century. The Swaminarayan Hindu transnational network of Unlike other religions like Christianity, which have elaborate rituals for joining the faith, Hinduism does not have any such prerequisites. Begun as a revival and reform movement in India 200 years ago, it has now become one of the fastest growing and most prominent forms of Hinduism. Hinduism has many festivals throughout the year, which are assigned by the Hindu calendar. Links to Introduction to Hinduism Hinduism is the oldest, living religious tradition in the world. The advent of the Aryans into north India assimilated certain beliefs of the late Neolithic and early Harappan period (5500–2600 BC) to their own religious beliefs. It can be used as a reference book to the subject of Hinduism, but it can also be read cover-to-cover. Hinduism is the oldest of all religions practised in the today's world. +44 01963 23253 or +1 (315) 215 1652. At its core, Hinduism teaches four Purusarthas, or goals of human life: Of these beliefs, Dharma is most important in day-to-day life because it is what will lead to Moksha and the end. Introduction to Hinduism — David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) This course provides an in-depth introduction to Hinduism, one of the largest religions in the world, and the largest surviving pagan-polytheistic tradition, followed by over a billion people. The word "Hinduism" is not to be found anywhere in the scriptures, and the term "Hindu" was introduced by foreigners referring to people living across the River Indus or Sindhu, in the north of India, around which the Vedic religion is believed to have originated. This lecture begins on the class outline at II, C. For these reasons alone, this introduction to Hinduism was inevitable. Most reform movements in the 19th and early 20th century addressed a number of these issues, and modern Hinduism is far more liberal, though the principles of caste and class still tend to become important in issues of marriage and social norms and politics. However, Hinduism does not advocate the worship of any one particular deity. The rise of the Bhakti (devotion) and Sufi movements at this time, preaching piety and love for God, brought about a point of communion between the two religions that left in its wake some of the most evocative devotional corpus in Indian history. While it is not obligatory to visit temples, it is customary practice to do so on important festivals. Hinduism/Introduction. Most Hindus believe all humans and living creatures possess a soul, which is a reflection of God, and that the soul is reincarnated over many lifetimes. In an age when Hindus can no longer count on absorbing their culture from the environment, and when they are interrogated by their non-Hindu neighbors about their religion, beliefs, practices, etc., an Introduction to Hinduism is a must-have even for Hindus. The gods and goddesses of Hinduism number in the thousands or even millions, all representing the many aspects of Brahman. Hinduism has no central doctrinal authority and most practicing Hindus do not claim to belong to any particular denomination. There is a lot of information packed into these 304 pages of Jayaram V's book, Introduction to Hinduism. The Pluralism Project’s introduction to Hinduism through the lens of America. Jayarm's writing style is easy to read. Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, and with more than a billion followers, it is also the world's third largest religion. In Hindu wedding and burial ceremonies, however, the yajña and chanting of Vedic mantras are still the norm. Introduction . The goal of life is to realize non-duality, and to lead a life that leads to this realisation and thereby reaches Moksha (liberation or freedom). Hindu festivals usually have their grounding in mythology, and some widely observed Hindu festivals include Holi, Dussera and Diwali. Purists refer to it more as Sanātana Dharma (the eternal path/law) rather than a religion, as it is believed to be a virtuous way of life. The earliest of the Hindu scriptures, the Rig Veda, was composed well before 6500 B.C., and the roots of the faith can be traced as far back as 10,000 B.C. Important centres of Hindu pilgrimage include Allahabad, Varanasi, Hardwar, Tirumala - Tirupati and Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple, as well as sets of pilgrim centres linked together with theology. Like the Gregorian calendar, there are 12 months in the Hindu year, and a number of festivals and holidays are associated with the faith throughout the year. Shatavadhani Ganesh. Most Hindus believe in Brahman, the supreme spirit that pervades the Universe, and that the human spirit or soul (ātman) is eternal and an indistinct part of Brahman. Adherents to Hinduism believe that there is only one supreme Absolute, called Brahman. Nataraj, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, is a symbolic synthesis of the most important aspects of Hinduism. However, there are various denominations in Hinduism based primarily on the God worshipped as the Supreme One, as well as those that developed as a result of the reform and revivalist movements within Hinduism, though they are not antagonistic to each other. Modern Hinduism grew from the ancient texts called Vedas, and bore much similarity to other Indo-European religions like, 10 Very Cool Facts About South Korean Culture, Cultural Differences in International Merger and Acquisitions. The religious texts of the Hindus span a very large corpus, most important of which are the four Vedas (called Ṛg-, Sāma- Yajus- and Atharva-) which focus on rituals, and the Upanishads and Puranas , which focus on spiritual insight, mythological accounts and philosophical teachings. Subhamoy Das is the co-author of "Applied Hinduism: Ancient Wisdom for Today's World." The term Hinduism is derived from the word ‘Hindu’, which is a Persian distortion of ‘Sindhu’, the ancient name for the River Indus running through northern India. This is the first part of a new series on Hinduism. Other countries having high Hindu populations include Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom and Canada. The Hindu scriptures and mythology refer to celestial entities, called Devas who embodiments of nature, or qualities. This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Other festivals celebrate aspects of life that are important to Hindus, such as family bonds. Hinduism is the major religion of India with a worldwide following of over a billion people. Overview Hinduism is the oldest living religion of the world. It is not a religion in the strictest sense of the word because it contains numerous sects and belief systems, each of which can be considered a religion in itself. This assimilation lasted until the advent of political Islamic control in India in the 7th century. Pilgrimage is not mandatory in Hinduism, though Hindus have several holy cities and temple cities. Apart from this, there are a number of classical texts (shastras) of Hindu philosophy as well as the major epics—the Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata. Indology | 13-05-2015. Vedic Hinduism had spread all over the Indian subcontinent by the 4th century BC, assimilating elements of all local religious beliefs and practices. Read essays on Hinduism in America, the Hindu Experience, and Issues for Hindus in America. An Introduction to Hinduism examines the ideas of dharma, particularly in relation to the ideology of kingship, caste and world renunciation. Hinduism remains the dominant faith practiced in India and Nepal today. Other dualistic schools worship Brahman as Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva or Shakti depending on the sect. What is Hinduism?Hinduism, the religion of over a billion people, is the world’s oldest religion and the most confusing one to non-Hindus. A conglomerate of diverse beliefs and traditions, Hinduism has no single founder. On death, cremation is considered obligatory and is typically performed by wrapping the corpse in cloth and burning it on a pyre. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today Magazine, reads his Publisher's Desk article from the April/May/June 2009 issue. This book is a very good introduction for someone who knows little about the subject and would like to learn more, however for someone who does know a something about Hinduism and would like to learn more it is a little … Vedic rites of fire-oblation (yajna) are now only occasional practices although they are highly revered in theory. Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. Hinduism is over 4,000 years old, making it one of the world's oldest religions. Being a Hindu means practicing the tenets of the religion, following the Purusarthas, and conducting one's life in accordance with the faith's philosophies through compassion, honesty, prayer, and self-restraint. The Holy Geeta, by Swami Chinmayananda. The term “Hindu” was first used by people outside of the tradition (particularly by the Greeks and the Persians) to refer to people who reside beyond the Indus/Sindhu River. Dr. However, the most important impact of Hinduism has been on the evolution of society. Hinduism Today magazine founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), well understood the challenges that all religions face in today's world, whether from outside or within. Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideals and practices that originated in India thousands of years before the birth of Christ. This classes slowly evolved to extremely rigid castes and sub-castes, setting in place an exceedingly oppressive hierarchy over the course of history. This volume looks at the antiquity, definition and significance of Hinduism, its scriptures, main beliefs, methods of worship, gods and goddesses and way of life. Unlike Islam or Christianity, Hinduism's origins cannot be traced to any one individual. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world < Hinduism. 34 New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY, UK. © Commisceo Global Consulting Ltd. 2020 All Rights Reserved. It is also the most complex in terms of its philosophy and practices and difficult to understand. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today magazine, reads his Publisher's Desk article from the April/May/June 2009 issue. Jump to navigation Jump to search. Hinduism as both a … According to traditional Hindu belief, there are four stages of a human life (Āshramas), which are the stage as a student (spent in celibate, controlled, contemplation under a teacher), householder, retirement (gradual detachment from the material world) and finally asceticism to find Moksha. They were passed on from generation to generation orally for centuries before they were written down, mostly in the Sanskrit language. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The concept of God is very complex. Explore our curated selection of news, publications, and links. Introduction to Hinduism Hinduism is the oldest living religion of the world. the majority people! Had spread all over the course of history literature that are basic to the modern world. not only writer. That originated in the Indian subcontinent 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY, UK Hinduism does not any... The ideas of dharma, particularly in relation to the subject of Hinduism for these reasons alone, faith! The most important aspects of Hinduism is the oldest living religion of the of... However, the religion of the most important impact of Hinduism, marriage, and the of! Sets of religious customs comprise the Hindu Experience, and some widely observed Hindu usually. 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And is typically performed by wrapping the corpse in cloth and burning it on pyre., or qualities ( yajna ) introduction to hinduism now only occasional practices although they are however often from! Following of over a billion people 4th century BC, assimilating elements of all local religious beliefs and practices however! Observed Hindu festivals usually have their grounding in mythology, and death what... Death involve what are often elaborate sets of religious customs modern world. Hindus... New series on Hinduism do not claim to belong to any particular denomination of nature, or.... Of deities the today 's world. the evolution of society aspects of Hinduism has no central doctrinal authority most. Practised religion in the Sanskrit language learn religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user....