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Religons in India

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Religion in India

What is religion? Religion has always played an important role in man's existence. It is hard to define religion because every person has, his or her own way of defining religion. For some of us it might be a way of life, which determines what they ear, who their friends are, and it also makes up what culture they follow from day to day. For others, religion simply means going to church or temple and seeing religious festivals. India is the land of culture. This country is very rich of culture and religion, and this is the backbone of the social structure. India's fight for religion has been going on for decades, from the mogul empire to the British and now to the present day with Pakistan. In this day and age, anyone from around the world can practice and preach almost any religion known to man. Religion is one of the single most important reason for who we are and what we are, without the presence of the supernatural being we might no even be here at this point in time. With India being one of the top three countries populations wise, there are bound to be clashes within itself. India has had its share of different religions affecting its structure, but the three main religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. All three of these religions have evolved drastically and have left a lasting mark on where India stands right now.

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world. The history of Hinduism extends over centuries, and the lack of early documents makes it difficult to trace exactly. "Inwardly it changed from century to century, taking on new gods and forgetting old ones, acquiring strange rites and neglecting native ones, but at least in its caste structure and priestly character the old religion of the Hindus never wavered from first to last." Hinduism has been through it all, and still standing strong. Hinduism is not based around any one God. In fact anyone can be a good in Hindu and worship a number of gods or even no god at all. The system being vast and complicated, Hinduism cannot be put in one term because of the great variety of customs, forms of worship, styles of art and music, different gods, all this can be contained within the bounds of the Hindu religion. "He can have no dread of this material universal because he tells himself it simply isn't there Ð'- and means it. Matter does not exist for him. Only Brahma, the Over-Soul, the "it" the Infinite Sprit Ð'- only that exists." Brahma also known as Brahman is the Supreme Being, the God of all gods, and the source of ultimate universal life. In Brahma there is no sense of individuality, but only pure being, consciousness, and bliss. Sacrifices are also a big part of Hinduism. And it is practiced religiously in India. The most common type of sacrifices comes with plant life and the melting of butter. Although animals are also sacrifices, but this is doe very rarely, because such as the cow and the monkey are closely knit with the religion. Worship or also known as "puja" in India is done by prayer which includes singing and dancing to the gods. Worship was termed as praying to several different gods, but only two gods are looked at as dominant figures such as Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva. There are a lot of places that show the cultural practices of Hinduism, but the most important place is the Temples. Temples, which are built from solid rock, and are covered with hand carved artwork that define the Indian religion. A lot of them tell a story of an event that took place during the time when it was built. Most temples are covered with the images of the gods they were built for. Although Hinduism has a vast array of gods and cultures, most of them practice Hinduism the same way.

"Buddhism has been known to its followers as both a teaching and a way of deliverance." It is questioned as to weather or not Buddhism is a religion. But instead people look at Buddhism as a type of discipline. Gautama Buddha founded Buddhism, which was a reaction of the teaching of Hinduism. "There is also a certain plausibility in Whitehead's distinction if taken as applying to what is called the Therquada or Hinayana form of Buddhism, which tends to focus on a clearly stated body of doctrine." The order is made up of monks who have take vows, to wear the yellow robe, and live the monastic life. The monks have to follow rules that are laid out by the Hinayana doctrine. Followers of the Hinayana doctrine, look to the monks for instructions in the right living. These instructions are given in sermon form that include stories from Buddha's pervious births. "The Buddha is not God as distinct from man, nor does Buddhism, strictly speaking, have any "theology." It bases itself on neither a revelation from God nor a revelation of God." Buddhist followers observe ceremonies with the aid of monks when a child reaches puberty, attend the ordination ceremony when a young man enters the order and carry out the burial rites. One of the most religious festivals is Wesak, which combines the triple events of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and the death of the past Buddha's. Another one of the feast of the offering of robes and alms to the monks at the end of the rainy season. Works of art also provides a basis for religion, but does not play as big of a part as it does in Hinduism. A major place of worship for Buddhist, is a cliff near Rangoon, which is a pilgrimage for followers of the Buddhism religion to cling to their faith. The tip of the cliff has outlasted major natural disasters and was coated with gold as a symbol of Buddhism religion. The Buddhist gods are also created in different forms to show their affection and compassion for their followers. Buddhism is yet another religion which has affected India in a major way. Buddhism also expresses its appreciation of its own religion itself.

Islam and Hinduism are



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