There are a good number of religions in the world and one of the most popular is Hinduism . It is often described more as a philosophy than a religion, as there is no single guiding line that guides all Hindus towards a single deity or belief standards . In other words, they do not have a leader or base church to represent them.
It is a polytheistic religion (although it can also be non-theistic or pantheistic ) originated in India, which does not have a structured belief system, but where it is important to follow certain guidelines, such as the reading and application of sacred texts, Vedas and respect for social norms and others.
Practitioners prefer to call it Dharma, since the term “Hinduism” was coined by the English in the 19th century and not by members of that religion or the native country.
One of the foundations of Hinduism is its fervent belief in reincarnation. Hindus believe that there is a triad made up of Brahma (Creator God), Vishnu (Preserving God) and Shiva (Destroyer God). According to the myth, Brahma is the personification of Brahman (the supreme being or absolute being of Hinduism).
In general, Hindus believe in four vital truths or purushartha : dharma (religious duties), artha (riches), Käma (pleasures and desires) and Moksha (liberation from the cycle of reincarnation or Samsara).
There are kinds of “commandments” within Hinduism:
- It is forbidden to eat meat, especially beef, since for them it is a sacred animal.
- It is forbidden to marry people of different social castes.
- They must be denied the great luxuries and pleasures of the world, to avoid the eternal cycle of death and reincarnation called Samsara.
- According to their cult, offerings should be kept on the altar to the major and minor deities.
On the other hand, there are four types of cults within this religion:
- Gaudi Vaisnavism . Worship Vishnu.
- Shivaism. Worship Shiva.
- Shaktism . Worship Devi.
- Smartism . Worship the five main deities.
It is typical of the Hindus activities such as yoga, which was mainly created for meditation.
It originates from the 5th and 3rd centuries BC. C . Before Hinduism there was Brahmanism, which existed between 1500 and 700 BC
According to the Hindu myth , the three gods: Brahma, Visnu and Shiva, would be born from a cosmic egg from the goddess Ammavaru. Another myth describes that this Being came out of a lotus flower that floated in the ocean from the navel of the sleeping Vishnu (who visualizes the universe in her dreams).
Brahma has two wives, one called Sáraswati, who is the goddess of knowledge, and Savitri, the daughter of the Sun God. He only had children of the mind or called mana putra .
Brhama created four Kumaras, who are the first mental children of this God. These did not want to procreate, so they became Chatursana or “the four singles”. After this event, Brahma decided to create another ten children, who are known as Prayápatis, and a daughter named Shatarupa who has the ability to transform into whatever she wants.
Not every Hindu or Indian person is a Hindu, but today more than 80% of the inhabitants of India and Nepal are.
This religion is also part of the culture of thousands of people in Africa (mainly Mauritius), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia (especially Bali), Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and many people also practice it in the United States, Panama, several European countries, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is said that more than a billion people practice it.
Unlike other religions such as Christianity or the Muslim religion, Hinduism is not based on a single holy scripture. Practitioners have two sets of scriptures called Shruti (four Vedas and the Upanishads) and Smriti (Majabhárata, Ramaiana, 18 Puranas, and Ayur-veda texts).
Examples of Hinduism
Next, we will mention some of the traditions within Hinduism:
- Rishi Panchami Festival: women in Nepal worship Sapta Rishi to ask forgiveness for sexual and religious sins during their periods, especially since it is believed that during this period women do not engage in religious activities or engage in sexual acts.
- Ganesh Chaturthi Festival : for 10 days this deity is paid tribute, with the consumption of sweets by Nepalese women and the use of saris as clothing.
- Teej Festival: Hindu women avoid eating and drinking for the duration of the festival. They keep praying to ask for the welfare of their husbands.
- Samskaar Garbhaadaan : it is a ceremony with a previous preparation by the woman, in order to conceive a child with the best characteristics of her husband and devoted to God. Sexual intercourse must take place between 12:00 a.m. m and 3:00 am
- Pumsavan Samskaar: it is a ritual that is carried out before the third month of pregnancy. The goal is to ensure that the baby is born mentally and physically strong.
- Seemantonnayan Samskaar: Hindus believe in the power of the mind, that is why this ritual to pregnant women aims to cleanse the woman’s mind, provide positive and morally charged thoughts to transmit to her child, in addition to purifying her belly.
- Jaatkarm Samskaar: it is a ritual that is performed when a baby is born, just before cutting the umbilical cord: the baby is fed with a little honey and 6 drops of ghee (clarified butter), placed on a golden spoon or other utensil. The objective is to achieve their protection.