World of Religions: Hinduism
- Author Eshley Durst
- Published September 18, 2020
- Word count 402
In the course of centuries, Hinduism has been considered the prevailing religion in India and other countries, bearing increasingly powerful spirituality. It is unusually diverse, distinguished by community, caste, language, and territory, which creates challenges for strangers to understand it. However, this diversity did not prevent this religion from becoming one of five major world religions. Currently, the major essence of Hinduism consists in the understanding of different philosophies and paths of life (Narayanan 9). It also includes an array of philosophies which are as well called Sanatana Dharma, which refer to the eternal path, which is taken by a person. All these concepts and ramifications create a balance between faith, religion, and philosophy of life which are presented in a synergetic combination. Specific attention should be paid to the meaning and functions performed by Hinduism, should it be viewed as a religion or a single set of beliefs and philosophies.
Some theories state that the idea of Hinduism as a single, unified system of beliefs was initiated by the British imperialists. Nicholson introduces an alternative perspective on the concept. Despite the fact that Hindu identity is not as ancient as the religion identity itself, it is based on the ideas of South Asian philosophy since fourteenth century (25). Now, for almost two centuries, the researchers have believed that such schools of philosophy as Yoga, Samkhya, Vedanta, Siva, and Vishu belong to one system of knowledge. However, more and more theories emerge, assuming that there are different understandings and beliefs, creating a versatile Brahman, the universe’s ultimate reality. The author, therefore, introduces a new vision of Hinduism focusing on the fact that this religion could be developed and advanced similar to the way the philosophy of life is developing. In fact, nowadays, there is an idea that all world religion could reach common understanding and unify one day, which would be logical due to the similarity of specific events, principles and values described in their sacred writings.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that Hinduism is considered one of five major world religions and the oldest of all religions. Due to its long history and diversity, numerous beliefs, systems of knowledge, philosophic schools and spiritual and self-development practices have emerged on the basis of this religion. Nonetheless, Hinduism should still be perceived as the path chosen by an individual with faith in the divine force as it is its main meaning and mission.
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