Hindu Religious Traditions Essay

1122 words - 4 pages

Hindu Religious Traditions PAGE 1
Hindu Religion is not a single religion, but derived of many religious systems. With a multitude of religious traditions within the Hindu culture perhaps this is why Hinduism seems like such a complex religion. Hinduism is not the traditional organized religion most of us know and practice but is considered to be a way of life.A ritual of devotion, or Puja, is a religious ritual where purity is emphasized. Puja is performed every day in the morning, after one has bathed and dressed but before a meal or drink, and every evening only after one has washed. The ritual of purity is often carried out in one's home where a holy shrine holds pictures or statues of assorted deities. If the family has a teacher or guru, his or her picture is placed in the shrine. These objects are considered receptacles of spiritual energy allowing the follower direct communication with his or her gods (Smithsonian, 1997). Orthodox followers believe when a woman has her menstrual cycle that she is impure and is not allowed to approach the shrine or enter the prayer room during this time.Bhajan is a deeply rooted Indian tradition. "Bhajans are simple songs in soulful language expressing the many splendored emotions of love for God, a complete submission of self-surrender to Him through singing" (Das, 2008). Songs or music is a form of worship or prayer offerings to the Lord. Bhajans trace back to the third Veda in the Hindu scriptures. Bhajan's today consist of different genres such as Nirguni and Madhura-bhakti to name a few, each with its own style of singing. As the different genres of music in America have developed into a modern and upbeat style so have the songs of Hinduism.Yoga as most Westerners are familiar is not the true yoga of Hindus. Bhakti and Karma yoga are the most common yoga practices and belief of Hindu religion. Bhakti yoga is practiced by most Sanatana Dharma Indians as the devotional yoga that is believed to be the natural path for those seeking well being and emotional fulfillment. The bhakta meditates by thinking and visualizing the Lord is there with him. By pouring out his hearts love with the Lord a continual flow of consciousness moves between the two bringing out a tremendous conscious state of awareness known as a mood or bhava (Bhakti Yoga, 2004). Karma yoga is known as action yoga where ones positive actions bring back positive things to the one who practices. If someone spends his or her life trying to accumulate worldly possessions to enhance ones social status then this act is said to bring the person bad karma. If one does good things for people and does not expect anything in return then he or she will be in harmony with God.A belief I found interesting yet strange is that Indians were taught at a young age that he or she were never to touch a book, papers, or people with his or her feet. The principle behind this belief is that the knowledge that came from these elements was sacred and must always be...

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