January 12, 2011
Hinduism is not a religion in the same aspect as Christianity but rather multiple sects of beliefs. The individual can choose who or what they wish to worship, they can choose when and where they worship. According to Birodkar (2009), Hinduism has no formal priest or doctrine in this is why there is no uniting belief. “Throughout its long history[sic] there have been many reform movements in Hinduism, the best known of which were Buddhism and Jainism in around the 6th century B.C.E. and Sikhism in the 16th century C.E”(Birodkar, 2009 The pantheism of Hinduism par. 2). This has changed some of the Hindu sects but the original sects continued as well thus creating diversity in the religion. With no unity in the Hindu religion, what do those that follow the religion believe? According to Jayaram (2010), they believe that there is on God and that he or she is everything and everywhere, all things to everything. Jayaram (2010) also states, “The relationship between man and God is purely personal and each can approach him in his own way” (para 6). They also believe that this God can take one form or many forms. This is why they will worship many different Gods believing it is the one true God. According to Jayaram (2010) the Hindus believe that there are three ways to realize this god that is through devotion, renunciation and the path of knowledge. Social and Society Influence With the Hindus caste type society, most of the religious sect kept their way of worship hidden from the other caste. This kept the religion hidden from the public for many years according to Jayaram (2010). That practice has kept many of the original sects intact even during the reform periods. This created offspring religions that would take hold though out India. According to Birodkar (2003), Sikhism is an offspring of Hinduism and Islam. These new religions and the old sect would change the history of the area. With so many different religions in one area, it was difficult for everyone to get along. However, with the teaching of Hinduism they learned to co-hebetate and get along.
To a Hindu reincarnation is the rebirth of a being either in a human form or as an animal. Karma is what controls this cycle of birth and rebirth. Karma is the action and inactions of a soul that shape the life and death and the possible rebirth of that soul. This is what elevates a soul in the caste system or send the soul backward. Dasa (2004) writes, “As the real self (atman) remains unchanged throughout life, it likewise continues after death. This soul