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Teachings, Writings, Symbols, and Practices of Hinduism

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

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below. Supplemented with an article that provides an exceptional overview of the many elements and traditions of Hinduism over time.

RESPONSE:

Indeed, it would be difficult to completely list all the sacred elements that characterize the Hindu religious traditions because of the sheer vastness and depth of the Hindu culture and traditions that have evolved through thousands of years. In fact, Hinduism is a number of different religions based on the passing down of Indian traditions, with each religion taking different elements to incorporate.

However, some of the salient features of the Hindu religion are mentioned below, under the headings of one element, the sacred writings: The Vedas, the Upanishads and Vedanta, and the Bhagavad Gita. The sacred writings are associated with different religious elements (rituals, priests or brahmans, gods and goddesses worshipping, paths to liberation/salvation, etc.), which are discussed in each section in terms of meaning and significance. The supplementary article discusses in most detail each element and further expands the meaning and significance of some of the elements of Hinduism mentioned below, as well as others.

A. THE VEDAS (ca. 1500 - 500 BCE)

Hindu tradition traces its origins to the coming of "the Aryans," an Indo-European people who gained power over the indigenous peoples of India and replaced the "Indus Valley Civilization" (ca.1500 BCE). Their religion focused on sacrifices to a ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses Hindu religious traditions on several religious dimensions (e.g. teachings, sacred elements, writings, symbols, etc.) as well as their significance and meaning. Supplemented with a highly informative article on the history of Hinduism in Europe.

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