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Brahmanism as an Early Stage of Hinduism - Research Paper Example

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The paper describes the four stages of life are Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. The functions and objectives of these four stages of life have remained virtually identical in present-day Hinduism. Brahmanism obtains strong respect and worship for nature…
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Brahmanism as an Early Stage of Hinduism
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Brahmanism, which is also known as “Vedic Hinduism” dates back 4000 years and developed many of the beliefs and foundations for Hinduism. Although Hinduism did is clearly an extension of Brahmanism, many of the Hindu beliefs and practices were not established in Brahmanism tradition. The beliefs of Brahmanism were based of the sacred texts of the Vedas, hence the name “Vedic Hinduism.” Hinduism considers the Vedas a primary text of their religion but they do not limit themselves to the Vedas. In this way, Hinduism has taken their roots from Brahmanism and evolved into the third largest religion in the world.
Brahmanism is responsible for developing the stable and enduring foundation for the Hindu religion. One system deeply rooted Brahmanism that has been carried over into Hinduism is the existence of a caste system. There were four different casts in this system including Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. Of these castes, the Brahmins were the highest as priests and scholars (Brahmanism, 1). Hinduism recognizes and maintains these four hereditary caste systems but over the millenniums, has added many additional castes (Hinduism-Brahmanism, 1).
Both Brahmanism and Hinduism also have established a belief in four stages of life. The four stages of life are Brahmacharya, Grihasthya, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. The functions and objectives of these four stages of life have remained virtually identical in present-day Hinduism (Hinduism, 1). In Hinduism, within these four stages in life are four objectives of live (Kama, Artha, Dharma and Moksha) (Hinduism, 1). In Brahmin tradition, only Kama, Artha and Moksha are existent. Dharma was developed later as “a way to higher truths” (Hinduism, 1).
Brahmanism obtains a strong respect and worship for nature. Initially founded by the residents of the Indus River, a worship of nature became integral part of their religion as a result for their dependence on the land and the crops of their land. Many of today’s Hindus are vegetarians. This lifestyle was not derived from Brahmanism, but rather, is believed to be a result of Buddhist influences (Brahmanism, 1). Hindus today practice Ahimsa, which is a deep respect for everything that has life. As a result, the eating habits of Hindus have become extremely strict. Of the almost 1 billion Hindus worldwide, around 30% practice this strict vegetarianism (Hinduism, 1).
With the foundation of Hinduism laid in Brahmanism, the Hindu religion was strong enough to continue developing and endure throughout the millenniums. Hindus have developed six “Schools of Thought.” These six schools include Purva Mimamsa, Yoga, Uttara Mimamsa, Pure Monism, Qualified Monism and Dualism (Hinduism, 1). Yoga holds a special interest as it has also transcended Hinduism and become quite the popular exercise habit worldwide.
Brahmanism, also known as an early stage of Hinduism was a religion based primarily on the Vedas. From this religion developed what is commonly known as Hinduism. Throughout the years, elements of Brahmanism such as the caste system, four stages of life, and objectives of life have become a mainstay in Hinduism while beliefs such as the six schools of thought, the worship of icons and idols, and mantra have been new elements to Hinduism.
Works Cited
“Brahmanism.” Wikipedia. 19 November 2005. Wikipedia. 8 December 2005
“Hinduism.” Wikipedia. 8 December 2005. Wikipedia. 8 December 2005
“Hinduism-Brahmanism.” BELIEVE. MB-Soft. 8 December 2005 Read More
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