Exploring The Hindu Religion Essay

1614 words - 6 pages

Exploring the Hindu Religion

The statement "everyone is a Hindu" is an extremely broad one that is open to much interpretation. This owes partly to the fact that Hinduism itself is a broad and vast religion with many ways of following. In this paper I seek to explain that the statement "everyone is a Hindu" is a worthy one because Hindus have a sense of interconnectedness in all organisms and life on earth, and that the ultimate goal of a person is to join the rest of the universe in "moksha." Additionally, the attribute of the Hinduism that lends well to the statement is that Hinduism is a very hospitable religion that not only requires no specific adherence or conversion, it stresses the understanding of other religions as well.

If one ascribes to a particular religion, surely that person believes that his or her religion holds for everyone. This person would feel that there is only one god or Supreme Being that rules over the universe and all its peoples. In Islam this god is known as Allah; in Christianity He is known as Jehovah. This is one argument that could apply to any religion however. In Hinduism on the other hand, the idea of a Supreme Being is much more of an abstract concept rather than a tangible being, and is known as "Brahman." The idea that Brahman is the "everything" or Supreme Reality is what makes the statement "everyone is a Hindu" a notably pertinent one in relation to Hinduism.

Hindus have a sense of interconnectedness that pervades throughout everything in the universe: all plants, animals, people, and the cosmos. Brahman is the sacred force that holds everything together is. It is the ultimate reality that is unseen in the karmic cycle of birth and death, called samsara, which Hindus believe we humans are entrapped in. The ultimate goal of religious Hindu life is to attain "moksha," which can be described as putting an end to the karmic cycle and liberating oneself to become a part of the universe or the Brahman just described. The Hindu concept of "Atman" is the individualized soul or real self that is eternal and formless. A person's true potential is revealed once his or her atman is liberated upon moksha, and is pure, omnipotent, and beyond restraints. Although it is the goal of Hindu religious life to attain moksha, the result of moksha is the joining of the soul with the entire universe. The entire universe contains all people, whether they are Hindu or not, and everyone's goal really is to become one with Brahman. By saying that "everyone is a Hindu" one is saying that everyone is a tiny part of the universe, that everyone has the same goal to be assimilated into Brahman following samsara.

More so than the presence of a particular practice that would relate to everyone being a Hindu, there is a lack of one ceremony that is quite notable. There is no ceremony required to actually convert to Hinduism, as there would be for Catholicism or Judaism. Because Hinduism is such a broad and vast religion,...

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