Hinduism. A) Describe The Sacred Stories And Writings. B) Four Principal Beliefs, Nature Of God, Significance Of Life After Death. C) Hinduism In Australia

1271 words - 5 pages

A) The Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayama, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Dharmashastras, Manusmrti are some of the most important sacred writings in Hinduism. The original language was in Sanskrit, meaning cultured or refined.The sacred literature of Hinduism can be divided up into two distinct categories: sruti and smrti. Sruti texts are those that are heard or divinely revealed, such as the Vedas and the Upanishads. The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism. The oldest is called the Rig Veda (hymns praising a number of gods), with the other three being the Yajur Veda (rituals for sacrifices), the Sama Veda (chants for ritual worship), and the Athara Veda (spells and charms for healing the sick). The Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, was composed around 1500 B.C. Vedas are ancient oral traditions that reflect the customs, belief and practices of the ancient Aryan people. It contains hymns, chants, incarnations and rituals from ancient India. Later additions to the Vedas were the Upanishads, which elaborates on how the soul (Atman) can be united with the ultimate truth (Brahman) through meditation. It was written around 700BC.The other type of Hindu literature is smrti, which is remembered or handed down texts. One of the most famous stories is the Ramayana. Written more than two thousand years ago, the Ramayana is a love story about Rama and Sita. The demonic king of Lanka, Ravana, captures Sita, who was eventually rescued with the help of Hanuman, the monkey king. Sita had to proved her fidelity by leaping into flames. Agni, the fire God, rescues Sita, telling Rama that Sita was indeed pure.The Ramayana has been a perennial source of spiritual, cultural and artistic inspiration, not only to the people of India but also to the people all over the world. It has helped to mould the Hindu character and has inspired millions of people with the deepest of love and devotion.The Mahabharata was written at about 300 BC and is the world's longest poem of 100,000 verses. The Bhagavad Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata and is a poem describing a conversation between a warrior Arjuna and the God Krishna. The Gita discusses selflessness, duty, devotion and meditation.The Dharmashastras are another group of writings that deal with the religious duty. The most significant of these is the Manusmrti, written around 200 AC, which dealt with Hindu law and conduct.The Puranas, written around 400-500 AC are mythological texts, which often told the stories of the gods and goddesses.B) In Hinduism, the divine soul is Brahman. Brahman is made up of three main Gods. Brahma (the Creator), Shiva (the Destroyer) and Vishnu (the preserver). The three together represent the primal forces of the universe.Shiva is the destroyer of life. But some interpreted this to mean that destruction creates new life. Shiva is often seen combining destruction with blessings.Vishnu is the preserver of life and his worshippers form one of the major variants of Hinduism....

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