Hinduism Essay

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Hinduism is most likely the oldest and most complex religion in the entire world. Traces of the religion go back as far as the third millennium B.C.E. The possible religious views of Hinduism are effectively infinite due to the number of gods both major and minor, priests and temples. Nearly 80 percent of the India population consider themselves Hindu and there are at least 30 million practitioners outside of India making this religion the third largest after Christianity and Islam. The word “Hinduism” is a collection of various traditions that are closely related and share common themes yet they do not constitute an integrated set of beliefs or practices. Hindu is a word derived from the Sanskrit name for the river Indus, Sindhu. The …show more content…
Around 700 BC the Upanishads along with the development of the Vedanta developed a more philosophical focus. After this near 500 BC, several new beliefs rose from Hinduism with Buddhism and Jainism as the most significant. The Upanishads are a gathering of stories similar in many ways to the Jewish Talmud. One story that is often told is about the father who had a conversation with his son. In this conversation the father gave instructions to his son to dissolve a piece of salt in a glass of water and look for the salt on the next day. The son could not see the salt but brought the salt water to his father where he was instructed to drink the saltwater. The salt still exists. This is how the father was teaching his son that the whole universe has its self, the self is real and you are the universe. The Bhagavad Gita is an epic Indian poem of culture and religion. This poem is compared to the Homeric poems of the Greek and Hellenistic cultures. This is a part of the Mahabharata, the story of two families battling form the beginning of Indian history. This story is believed to have been written over a long period of time starting as early as the eighth of ninth century B.C.E, with the Gita being written between the second and third centuries

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