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Hinduism and Christianity: An Experience and a Comparison - Research Paper Example

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Religion is important. Humans have an innate desire to connect with the spiritual. We have a need to feel connected to something greater than ourselves. We desperately want to know that there is a purpose and meaning to our life…
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Hinduism and Christianity: An Experience and a Comparison
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Download file to see previous pages Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam form the basis of the spiritual lives of a majority of the earth’s inhabitants. This paper will focus on Hinduism and Christianity, examine the similarities and differences, and seek to explain the importance of spiritual matters to the average layperson. People may commonly believe that Judaism is the world’s oldest religion, but it is quite interesting to discover that Hinduism actually owns this distinction. In terms of followers, there are over a billion of them. That makes it the third largest religion in the world, behind Christianity and Islam. It is difficult to pin down exactly what constitutes the Hindu religion, which is why there is so much misunderstanding about the belief system of a follower. The fundamental belief of a Hindu actually becomes a combination of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas. Each of these ideas originated in India and revolves around the belief in reincarnation. In addition, Hindus believe that they are one absolute being, manifested in multiple ways. They also believe strongly in the law cause and effect, in following the path of righteousness as prescribed in their Dharma, and they wish for eternal freedom from the cycle of births and deaths. There, of course, is more to the religion than this, but this particular knowledge will enable the average person to be able to attend and comprehend the basics of what is happening when visit a Hindu temple of worship. Hinduism is actually quite different than the other major religions of the world. More than a spiritual belief system, Hinduism is meant to be a way of life. This way of life is considered the Dharma, and it truly forms the basis for all actions that a Hindu focuses on during their life. The Dharma is, if you will, the government of Hinduism. It forms the foundation for daily life. This way of life has its own beliefs, traditions, system of morals and ethics, rituals that carry a deep meaning, philosophy, and theology. As one can see, Hinduism appears to be much deeper than the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Consider the spiritual arts that have all arisen out of Hinduism: Yoga, Ayurveda, Vastu, Jyotish, Yajna, Puja, Tantra, Vadanta, and Karma just to name a few. Ask anyone about the true origins of Hinduism, and you will likely get multiple responses. The religion itself is so old that it dates back before written records were kept. As such, it is difficult to attribute the religion to any one person or time period. Some scholars date the foundation of the religion all the way back to 10,000 B.C. Hindu scriptures appear to have been recorded as far back as 6500 B.C. Of course, from its foundation, the word Hindu was not used to name the religion. Foreigners who lived near the River Indus introduced this name later (Sundarajan, 2010, p. 83). Regardless of where it came from, or who formed the belief system, it is evident that it has a long a storied history. A visit to a Hindu temple will certainly be a mind opening experience that will be rich in not only spiritual value, but cultural as well. Before making a visit to a Hindu place of worship, it is important to understand some basic tenants of the religion. Because there are so many branches of the religion, it is important ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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