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Mahabharta is a family epic. In this epic the Pandva family and the Kaurav family who are cousins fight with each other for the control over a kingdom. Kaurav family, which consisted of 100 brothers rule an empire. The five Pandva brothers ask for a small kingdom which belongs to them. The Kauravs refuse to give the Pandvas the kingdom so there is a war between the Pandvas and the Kauravs in which it is believed that all the kingdoms of that period in India took part. In this war the Pandvas, with the help of Lord Krishna win the war. Before the commencement of the war, while the two armies are facing each other, one of the Pandva brothers Arjun gets depressed. Arjun is depressed because he has to fight against people whom he knows, loves and respects. At this point Krishna, (who was also a king of a kingdom, and participated in this war only as the chariot driver for Arjun) convinces Arjun to fight. Krishna lectures Arjun about life, human beings and their religious duties. He explains to Arjun that he belongs to a warrior caste and he has to fight for that's his destination in this incarnation. Those chapters in the Mahabharta which are Krishna's discourses on religious philosophy are called Bhagvad Gita. Because of it's importance the Bhagvad Gita is considered as a separate holy book. Another Hindu holy book that deals with religious duties is 'Law of Manu' or the 'Dharma Shastra'.

Original Essays on the principles and practices of Hinduism, explaining its beliefs, gods and philosophy Hinduism, tradition practices and beliefs.

Hindus believe in Brahman as the one true God who is formless, limitless, all-inclusive, and eternal. Brahman is not an abstract concept; it is a real entity that encompasses everything (seen and unseen) in the universe.

Religion Essays: The Differentiation Of Beliefs In Hinduism And Buddhism

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The ultimate salvation for a Hindu is based on the desire for liberation from earthly existence. This has arisen from the Hindu belief in reincarnation, a cycle of birth and re-birth. Reincarnation is one of the basic tenets of Hinduism. Hindus believe that when a person dies, only his body perishes but his soul and spirit is reborn in another life and sometimes in another life form. If an individual is good and pious in this life then he is reborn into a higher form of life and if not then he is born into a lower form of life. If in this present life, a person succeeds in adhering to the code of life as laid down in the Hindu scriptures and follows the path of true righteousness, then his soul gains salvation and unites with the Supreme Power, thus liberating him from the bondage of birth and re-birth. This is a powerful motivation for a Hindu to lead a life of righteousness that ensures escape from worldly sufferings and the attainment of spiritual blessings in the form of Moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth) and unification with one’s Supreme God. Thus salvation and liberation from earthly existence ensures a better afterlife, free from earthly sufferings.

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The beliefs of hindu thought are wide and varied, and have been expounded uponby saints and writers throughout the centuries. The two essays by Swami Vivekananda, and, provide tremendous insightsinto hindu beliefs. Vivekananda was very instrumental in removing the aura of mysticism that had surrounded Hinduism for centuries and bringing the authority of the Vedas to the forefront for the masses. He exhorted Hindus to and to seek the . His non-dualistic explanation of hinduism was an endorsement of the Advaita philosophy - man is not just made in the image of God but is God - all is Brahman. Vivekananda also preached that the way to salvation is that

There are many cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated. Hinduism can be traced to the Indus Valley Civilization that took place in 4000 BC to 2200 BC. India was a land of diverse cultures, religions, races and ethnicities. Hinduism was the unifying umbrella that brought peace to the land. The belief in Ahimsa or non-violence reduced warfare. In Ancient India, the caste system brought about social order but later this system decayed and gave rise to social ills. Many other cultures and invaders of the region influenced the development of Hinduism over the centuries. When the Indo-Europeans invaded India during 1500 to 500 BC, their religion of Vedas also greatly influenced the indigenous beliefs of Hinduism. Over 80% of Indians still practice Hinduism in modern India. The Hindus brought up in Hindu families are so steeped in the various Hindu traditions from infancy that they are totally imbibed into the Hindu religious system. The sages and seers over the ages held a prominent place in the religious beliefs of the region and their teachings of non-violence, unity, prayers and a life of righteousness have greatly influenced Hinduism.

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Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion and was originated in the Indian subcontinent. Is rare that a big religion like Hinduism don’t have a single founder, religious organization, specific theological system and don’t even a system of morality, but it is a religion that has evolved over thousands of years. Hinduism has a diverse body of cultural and philosophical practices. Hinduism consists of belief and tradition. The most recognized belief and traditions of the Hinduism are Karma, Dharma, Samsara and Moshka. Hindu people don’t believe in violence, but they do believe in prayers, honesty, truth, austerity, celibacy and penance. The Hindu scriptures are collectively referred to as the Shashtras. The Hindu scriptures were initially passed on orally from generation to generation until finally ancient scholars wrote them down; mainly in the Sanskrit language that was the prevailing language of the time. Some of the Hindu scriptures are the Shruti and Smritis. The Shruti primarily refers to the Vedas which represent eternal truths revealed to ancient sages but some other Hindu individuals associated the Vedas with a God or a powerful person. The Smritis are all of the other text different than the Shruti. The most know of the Smritis are the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Although the Hindus worship a large pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, they believe in the one Supreme Power that manifests itself in various forms.