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Goals of Hinduism - Essay Example

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The main idea of the paper is to present the goals of Hinduism. The writer states that Hinduism is a major religion and cultural tradition of the Indian subcontinent, originally formed from the ancient Vedic religion. In Hinduism, there are many philosophical schools and diverse areas of devotional and ascetic cults, all of which share and spread the belief of reincarnation…
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Goals of Hinduism
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Download file to see previous pages The Vedic texts of Hinduism, also known as the Vedas, are the oldest scriptures of Hinduism and are essential to the practicing of Hinduism. The Vedic texts make up the four Saṃhitās: the Rigveda contains hymns and songs that are meant to be recited by a designated priest; the Yajurveda has various formulas that are also to be recited by a specific priest; the Samaveda also contains formulas, but instead of being recited, these are to be sung by the designated priest; the fourth and final text is the Atharvaveda, which is a collection of spells, incantations, charms, and hymns. In the songs and hymns, each individual verse is also known as a mantra, which can be recited for certain needs or occasions, much as a prayer would be recited in other religions.
These various texts are said to have been passed down from numerous gods and goddesses, as it is believed that humans had no part in their creation. Furthermore, they did not originate as texts, but as words that were heard and then written down. Many practitioners of Hinduism preferred, and still do, to memorize the Vedic texts rather than write them down or keep them as a book because they believe there is an importance of remembering sacred words as opposed to looking them up when they are needed. Since there are no direct origins of the texts, there are many branches of Hinduism that do not trust them, and therefore do not use them in their practices. In orthodox branches of Hinduism, the Vedic texts are regarded as their main spiritual authority.
Ritual is a very important part of Tantra, and is often seen in the form of yoga, which is a sacred practice in Hinduism. The implementing of ritual in the practices of Hinduism allow practitioners to become closer with their gods and goddesses, bringing them closer through a spiritual exercise. By using the divine power, which is also known as prana, that can be found in the Earth and in the bodies of human beings, Hindus are able to use the energy to achieve certain spiritual or physical goals. During these rituals to access the divine energy, it is common for practitioners to use yoga, as previously mentioned, as well as visualizations of specific deities and mantras. All of these tools are used to help center and focus the attention of the practitioner on the goal that they wish to achieve.
The sole purpose of tantric exercises and worship is to help a person attain complete control over themselves, as well as every force of nature, to become one with the divine rulers. Tantric exercises must be taught to followers of Hinduism, and their training usually begins with being taught how to meditate, which is often taught and overseen by a guru. Meditation will teach the practitioners how to control their breathing, their thoughts, and the ability to shut themselves off from their surroundings, allowing them to completely focus. After learning how to meditate, practitioners are taught yoga, which teaches how to exercise will over one’s body. From there, the practitioner is able to implement everything into a tantric worship ritual, bringing forth the energy from the Earth and their own body.
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