Hinduism Vs. Jainism Essay

1102 words - 4 pages

     Many people believe Hinduism to be a polytheistic religion. This is due to the fact that there is so many gods that they can worship in. But in all actuality it is really a monotheistic religion that spawns off of one god to form many different gods or ideas to worship. The entire religion of Hinduism is based off of Brahman. Brahman is the idea that all reality is a unity. I will explain the concept of Brahman and four others and hopefully make Hinduism easier to comprehend.
     Some have viewed Hinduism as a monotheistic religion, because it recognizes only one supreme God: “the pantheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity, Brahman. Brahman is simultaneously at one with the universe and Brahman transcends it as well.” (www.relgioustolerance.org) Breaking Brahman down is essential, let’s look at the previous quote. First of all, pantheistic means that: there is a belief in and worship of all gods, which means that Brahman is not a singular concept. The quote then goes on to say that Brahman is throughout the entire universe. This means that Brahman can be found in infinite objects. This is why people may view Hinduism as polytheistic because of their belief in many objects and ideas. The last line says that Brahman not only at one with the universe but also Brahman transcends it. This means that Brahman may be found in on Earth, but he also greater than the concept of Earth. Brahman is on a bigger playing field than that of Earth.
     Vishnu, known as the Preserver, preserves new creations and comes down to Earth during critical times in the “cosmic cycles.” Vishnu is one of the main Hindu gods, worshiped as the protector and preserver of worlds. Vishnu is considered one of the main gods along with Brahman and Shiva.
Shiva, known as the Destroyer, is at times compassionate, erotic and destructive. One of the principal Hindu deities, Shiva is worshiped as the destroyer and restorer of worlds and in many other forms. Whenever dharma is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations. Shiva is considered a member of the triad also including Brahma and Vishnu.
Dharma is the law of the Hindus. Dharma is the individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law that the Hindus follow. Dharma could be referred to as their religion. But Dharma also encompasses many other aspects.
Karma, you hear Karma mentioned all over, don’t hate her, its bad karma. Karma is the entire sum of ones good and bad deeds. Karma determines how you will live your next life. Through pure acts, thoughts and devotion, one can be reborn at a higher level. Eventually, a follower of Hinduism can escape samsara and achieve enlightenment. Bad deeds can cause a person to be reborn at a lower level, or even as an animal. The unequal distribution of wealth, prestige, and suffering...

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