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Sacred Hindu Religious Traditions

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Hindu Religious Traditions

1) What sacred elements characterize Hindu religious traditions?
2) What are their significance and meaning?

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Hello - please remember that these answers are meant as a tutorial, not as a final paper. They are designed to help you with references, organization, important points - to uncover complex topics and simplify some of the major points. That said, here is an overview of Hinduism with focus on your two questions above. References are included. Good luck and thanks!

Behind Christianity and Islam, Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, And, unlike Islam or Christianity, it does not have a single belief system, a central religious organization, did not have a single Prophet/Messianic founder, or a single system of law/morality. Despite this, 13% of the world's population consider themselves Hindu, most located on or near the Indian subcontinent (Knott, 2000). It is often quite difficult for westerners to understand Hinduism, not just because of the number of sects that exist within its areas of predominance, but because it does not need the formulization and intellectual overlord that many western religions seem to require. This is why, according to some, Hinduism is seen as a philosophical belief system rather than a religion - but this is likely picking nits since it adheres to most of the formal definitions of "religion" (Michaels, 2004).

Because there is no central text, it is sometimes difficult to construct an overview of the context of Hinduism. There is controversy, for instance, as to whether Hinduism is monotheistic or polytheistic - Hindus recognize only one supreme God (Brahman) and that all things constitute an overall unified reality, but there are then many sub-deities that reflect belief in nature (perhaps they can be compared to saints). It does appear that most Hindus believe in one of two major contexts: Vaishavaism - Vishnu as the ultimate deity; or Shivaism - Shiva as the ultimate deity (Bhaskaranada, 2002).
The four principal beliefs of Hinduism are dharma, karma, samsara and moksha. Dharma means duty in life. It refers to all actions, attitudes and words in life. ...

Solution Summary

Hindu tenets are given.