Essay on Hindu Religion

1118 Words Nov 18th, 2006 5 Pages
Hindu Religious Traditions Paper
Ike M. Hunley
REL/133
University of Phoenix
Dr. Theodrick Morton

Hindu Religious Traditions Paper
This paper will respond to the assignment requirements from the course syllabus based on the course readings. The first question was, "What sacred elements characterize Hindu religious traditions?" Based on the course readings, as well as to my understanding, they are the major devas, based on Vedic scriptures, which include Indra (god of thunder and bringer of welcome rains), Agni (god of fire), Soma (associated with a sacred drink), and Ushas (goddess of dawn). The devas included both opaque earth gods and transparent deities of the sky and celestial realms. But behind all the myriad aspects of
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Each emphasizes a particular aspect or function of the one reality. The forms are many, the reality is one; the principle is very deeply rooted in Hindu thought. (Hindu Wisdom)
The many Hindu gods and goddesses are not rivals but aspects of a single principle. Hindus have represented God in innumerable forms. Each is but a symbol that points to something beyond; and as none exhausts God's actual nature, the entire array is needed to complete the picture of God's aspects and manifestations. It has been said that images are to the Hindu worshipper what diagrams are to the geometrician. The Hindu devotee, while he will generally have one particular form of god - his or her ishta deva, or chosen deity - on whom his devotion centers, moves easily between one god and another. The same idea carries over into the human sphere. Krishna and Rama are not strictly speaking gods, but avatars, 'descents' - human incarnation of Vishnu - since he is the 'upholder' of the world. (Hindu Wisdom)
According to the text in Living Religions, Chapter three, there are sixteen rites, or traditions prescribed in the ancient scriptures to purify and sanctify the Hindu practitioner in his or her journey through life, including rites at the time of conception, the braiding of the pregnant mother's hair, birth, name-giving, beginning of solid foods, starting education, investing boys with a sacred thread, first leaving

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