World Religions: Hinduism Essay

2304 words - 9 pages

The religious life of Hindus can be focused on devotion to God. Others try to achieve liberation through intense meditation. Traditional Hindus are expected to pass through the four stages known as ashramas. During these stages many Hindus perform rituals to achieve feeling of devotion, and closeness to God. The rituals can go anywhere from reciting mantras to doing charitable work. A devout Hindu is expected to perform prayer every single day.
Many rituals in Hinduism revolve around sacrifice to please the gods; this can be traced all the way back to the Vedic period. The concept of sacrifice has changed dramatically. Many modern sacrifices do not involve blood, but many have involved blood during the Vedic period. Many sacrifices involve strict governing rules such as purification, and preparation of offerings. Many people bring fruits, rice, and other fluids (mainly milk) as offering for God. Ghee also known as butter is the most used offering for the Gods.
Not all Hindu rites and ceremonies take place in temples; many pujas take place in individual homes. After performing pujas at home, fasting gets performed to appease the Gods. All 100 percent of my family consider themselves to be Hindus. We usually fast on Fridays; during fasting we do not eat any meat or food that contains salt. Fasting is very popular because it shows devotion to God, and lets us feel the pains of hunger which will ultimately make us more understanding of poor people. There are also health benefits that come along with fasting such as digestion of unprocessed foods.
Death is a very vital part of life to Hindus, and many do not fear death. Hindus understand that death is a transition of stage from one life to another life. The shraddha or known as funeral rites are one of the most important rituals in Hinduism. It is utterly important that the body gets cremated, and not buried. Cremation allows the soul to rise and become a part of karma. If the funeral is not done properly then the soul gets “stuck” between this life and the next and will haunt its surviving relatives forever.
A very important ritual associated with death is the pinda pradana. Usually the deceased are given small cotton rice balls; the small cotton rice balls are supposed to feed the dead before they are reborn. In addition, the family will usually take the ashes of the cremated body, and spread it over a very sacred river to ensure a safe passage on to the next life. The Ganges River is considered one of the most sacred rivers; hence, it is a very popular choice to spread the ashes.
Marriage is considered one of the most important aspects of life in Hinduism. The process of getting married is very different from other marriages around the world. The Hindu marriage is considered a significant samskara. A samskara is a purificatory ceremony or rite marking a major event in one’s life. Marriages are usually arranged according to caste. A Brahmin usually comes, and checks to make sure the two...

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