Concepts of God in World Religions Essay

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Concepts of God in World Religions
Hinduism is known as one of the oldest religions and is constantly under construction. Although their is no known founder Hinduism dates back to the Aryan people and their migration to India, from the development in the Indus River valleys between the cities Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. A primarily polytheistic belief system in complex societies with major advancements in cultivation and religion. Aryan societies began to progress into varnas, evolving into three different classes: Brahmins, who were priests, Kshatriyas, the warriors, Vaishyas, the commoners, and arguably the Shudras, which were the slaves and not necessarily considered part of society. Also having early depictions of Shiva, the Hindu god of harvest, along with the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth in high hopes.
The Vedic literature is the main source of knowledge for the Aryan religion but was not made until after their settlement. The Vedas, which was compiled between 1750 B.C.E. and 400 B.C.E., is the primary source of Hindu perception of the universe. Composed of four sacred books: Rig-Veda, a collection of hymns, Same-Veda, knowledge of chants, Yajur-Veda, knowledge of rites, Atharva-Veda, knowledge given by the sage Atharva. Each of these books also containing four parts. Having mantras, hymns to the gods, then Brahmanas that is ritual materials or guidelines for worshiping and sacrifices. After is the Forest Treatises, Aranyakas, materials for those who withdrawal themselves into a solitary environment in religious pursuits. Lastly the Upanishads, which are just made up of philosophical materials.
The Monism Premise is the belief that there is only one reality that is Brahman, all else is just a fallacy. (Lecture). All living beings are souls, atman, part of a larger sea of souls that come together to create Brahman. (Lecture). The Upanishads believe in Brahman, and humans have a mistaken knowledge when they affirm that this life and separation from Brahman are factual. Compiled around 800 to 300 B.C.E. as a reaction to the power of the Brahmins and to the priestly form of worship like in the other books. The use of meditation is the appropriate form of worship rather than sacrifice. Primary teachings include that people's problem is ignorance of their position, once they realize this and gain true wisdom are released and can achieve unity with Brahman. They introduce the concept of karma and as a cycle, with samsara, and moksha.
The Vedanta System is monistic and only accepts one true essence in the universe. (Text, Pg. 99.) This reality is Brahman, and everything else invested in is just a distraction and separates them from liberation and knowledge. In ninth century C.E., Advaita, meaning “non-dual”, was developed and founded by Shankara. It was a very monistic fueled sector with the same passion to Brahman and his superiority. He strongly opposed Buddhism and supported the rise in Hinduism.
Monotheism is the belief of one single god, similar to the ultimate belief in Brahman. Ramanjua envisioned a qualified dualism in the eleventh century, which is the belief that the human soul and the divine soul are seen as one but separate in certain ways. He also stressed that the devotion to gods was beyond important. In complete devotion one would find liberation and knowledge to continue and develop more elaborate worship rituals.
Another philosopher was Madhva who was similar to Ramanjua with the respects to gods but on a different level. In the twelfth century, Madhya argued for the concept of dualism, so people were properly able to worship the separate nature of gods. According to him, each person and separate soul is able to worship properly on his or her own. The god who was chosen for focus would then be your ticket to salvation if properly praised.
In modern Hinduism, a religious reformer, Ram Mohan Roy founded the Brahmo Samaj, the Society of God. This is a universal religion combining a…