June 1, 2014
University of Phoenix
Hinduism is considered one of the oldest religions, said to have evolved from several other religious group since 1500 BC (Robinson, 2012). One practices many rituals from yoga to fasting and prayer. Hindu’s consider religious symbols such as the lotus flower very important forms of worship. When one says they are Hindu the belief system is one of one deity of many forms of gods and goddess. According to Fisher (2014) Hindu beliefs encompasses seven core beliefs, worship, kindness and reincarnation. Hinduism evolves from India with no known founder. Those who practice Hinduism believe that the religion has always existed. A collaboration of several related religious doctrines make up the sacred text as Sanatana Dharma, The Eternal Teaching (Kinnard, 2014). Hindu traditions are generally divided up into three major sects:, Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta. One can read the text about Hinduism; however by talking to someone who is a follower and viewing a time of worship one is able to understand fully the Hindu Religion.
Sasha Seenath is a follower of the Hindu religion in speaking with Mrs. Seenath one is able to understand fully her own experience within the religion that she has followed since her birth. The interview took place in our office. We both work at a homeless shelter; however the programs in which we both work are different. When deciding to interview Sasha it started off with a conversation, because I thought I knew she was of a different religion other than Christianity because, she didn’t eat meat but I also was confused because I knew she had went to church with another coworker who was Christian. Therefore, I asked her about her religion one day in order to get clarification. She gave me a brief synopsis and when the assignment came up I knew that I was going to interview Ms. Seenath.
1. What are the important holidays and traditions of this religion? Hindu’s celebrate an assortment of holiday’s and festivals throughout the year and they differ from one region to another. Although it may be the same event it is often celebrated at different times depending on your geographical location. The most traditional Hindu celebration is called Diwali, it’s known as the festival of lights, this involves everyone, not just the spiritually practicing Hindu, it is always a major event every year throughout the entire country where this festival is celebrated. This is also known for being the most auspicious time of the year where many practicing Hindu’s will abstain from meat and alcohol throughout their time of “fasting” before taking part in a religious pray. (personal communication, May 9, 2014)
2. How has religion shaped your life? Religion has had an immense impact on my upbringing; I think being exposed to every religion available to an individual is a key element in understanding why we support religion, what it represents, and why. Although, I was raised a Hindu and still live a Hindu lifestyle I had experiences attending Catholic churches, Muslim Mosques, Presbyterian Churches, Baptism gathering, and a Buddhist temple. I think religion is something we all need to respect for what it is and not show criticism or show condemnation because we are unsure as to what it represents. (personal communication, May 9, 2014)
3. What are the challenges, if any, to practicing this particular religion? The challenges faced in being a practicing Hindu in America are locations, restrictions, and acceptance. Yes, there has been enormous growth from 10; even 15 years ago but that evolution took time for Hindu’s to have a safe environment to practice their religion and beliefs. (personal communication, May 9, 2014)
4. How do you and your family practice your religion? My family and I only take part in religious events when we visit family members that are…