What is Hinduism?Hinduism is the third most popular religion in the world, and has about 900 million followers. People who follow this religion are known as Hindus. Around 80 percent of the population in India call themselves as Hindus. Hinduism is also called as the “Sanatana Dharma”. In Sanskrit, the original language of India, ‘Sanatana’ means Everlasting and ‘Dharma’, means Religion.Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is often referred to as Sanātana Dharma (a Sanskrit phrase meaning “the eternal law”) by its adherents. Generic “types” of Hinduism that attempt to accommodate a variety of complex views span folk and Vedic Hinduism to bhakti tradition, as in Vaishnavism. Hinduism also includes yogic traditions and a wide spectrum of “daily morality” based on the notion of karma and societal norms such as Hindu marriage customs.Who is the founder of Hinduism?Many philosophers came up with new systems in the Hindu religion. Because of the wide spectrum of Hinduism, it accommodated a lot of new ideas and philosophies. Because of its innovative nature it is a healthy religion that does not get stagnant. People who followed the religion had the discretion to find their suitable path through the propagation of one or more philosophers that was a real diverse system. In other words, there is no single founder of Hinduism and it existed from time unexplored, as a religion. Hinduism, is open to interpretation, and is a collection of a path to wisdom, which is based on reasoning more than a divine authority and does not have any specific founder.What are the basic reasons for establishing Hinduism?How Hinduism originated is a difficult question. The accepted theory is that Hinduism was evolved after the historical meeting between the Aryans and Dravidians. Some claim that Hinduism is mainly an Aryan culture whereas the others claim that it is mainly a Dravidian culture. Religiously the Vedas were given by Brahma.3Before Hinduism there existed another religion in India called Brahmanism and its followers were called Brahmans. The Brahmans were the spiritual and moral guides of the Indian society. The members of this religion were a close sect and others could not join it. The Brahmans slowly started accepting others into their religion and so was created Hinduism which included in it the customs which were not part of the Vedas. One of the reasons the Brahmans accepted others to their religion was the fear to lose their status as moral guides to priests of a new religion that started in India, namely Buddhism. The Brahmans even accepted Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and part of his teachings and philosophy like non-violence into their religion.What are the basic teachings of Hinduism?Dharma (individual ethics, duties and obligations). A comprehensive ordering of life according to principles and practices appropriate for one’s age and station (“caste”) in life.This includes the basics of the Indian caste system, which segments people from birth into certain levels in society, placing each person in the caste where they will live out their life. Although the caste system was abolished by national law in 1949, it remains a significant force throughout India . Samsāra (rebirth or reincarnation). According to the doctrine of reincarnation (Samsāra), the soul is immortal, while the body is subject to birth and death. Many Hindus believe in reincarnation and they believe the action in one’s life can determine one’s fate in a subsequent reincarnation. Virtuous actions take the soul closer to the supreme divine and lead to a birth with higher consciousness. Evil actions hinder this recognition of the supreme divine, and the soul takes lower forms of worldly life. Karma (fate or right action). The doctrine of karma relates to the law of cause and effect. It states that everything people do (karma) leaves impressions in their mind, which determines what kind of people they will be in the future, and hence their fate. Moksha (deliverance from the cycle of birth and death). When the cycle of rebirth comes to an end, a person is said to have attained moksha. All schools of thought agree that moksha implies the cessation of worldly desires and freedom from the cycle of birth and death, the exact definition depends on individual beliefs.4In whatever way a Hindu might define the goal of life – and multiple definitions are allowed – several methods (yogas) have developed over the centuries for people of different tastes and temperaments. Paths one can follow to achieve the spiritual goal of life include: Bhakti Yoga (the path of love and devotion), Karma Yoga (the path of right action), Rāja Yoga (the path of meditation), and Jñāna Yoga (the path of knowledge).What are Hinduism’s religious expansions?From about the 1st century, India started to strongly influence Southeast Asian countries. Trade routes linked India with southern Burma, central and southern Siam, lower Cambodia and southern Vietnam and numerous urbanized coastal settlements were established there.For more than a thousand years, Indian Hindu/Buddhist influence was therefore the major factor that brought a certain level of cultural unity to the various countries of the region. The Pali and Sanskrit languages and the Indian script, together with Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Brahmanism and Hinduism, were transmitted from direct contact as well as through sacred texts and Indian literature, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata epics.From the 5th to the 13th century, South-East Asia had very powerful Indian colonial empires and became extremely active in Buddhist architectural and artistic creation. The Sri Vijaya Empire to the south and the Khmer Empire to the north competed for influence. Langkasuka (-langkha Sanskrit for “resplendent land” -sukkha of “bliss”) was a ancient Hindu kingdom located in the Malay Peninsula. The kingdom, along with Old Kedah settlement, is probably the earliest territorial footholds founded on the Malay Peninsula. According to tradition, the founding of the kingdom happened in the 2nd century; Malay legends claim that Langkasuka was founded at Kedah, and later moved to Pattani.Later, from the 9th to the 13th century, the Mahayana Buddhist and Hindu Khmer Empire dominated much of the South-East Asian peninsula. Under the Khmer, more than 900 temples were built in Cambodia and in neighboring Thailand. Angkor was at the center of this development, with a temple complex and urban organization able to support around one million urban dwellers. The largest temple complex of the world , Angkor Wat , stands here; built by the king Vishnuvardhan , a king of the dynasty that believed themselves to be incarnations of Vishnu.5Hindu and also Buddhist religious and secular learning had first reached Persia in an organised manner in the 6th century, when the Sassanid Emperor Khosrau I deputed Borzuya the physician as his envoy, to invite Indian and Chinese scholars to the Academy of Gundishapur. Burzoe had translated the Sanskrit Panchatantra. His Pahlavi version was translated into Arabic by Ibn al-Moqaffa under the title of Kalila and Dimna or The Fables of Bidpai.61.) Environmental Issue Oil Spills Damage Beaches, Marshlands and Fragile Marine Ecosystems Oil spilled by damaged tankers, pipelines or offshore oil rigs coats everything it touches and becomes an unwelcome but long-term part of every ecosystem it enters. When an oil slick from a large oil spill reaches the beach, the oil coats and clings to every rock and grain of sand. If the oil washes into coastal marshes, mangrove forests or other wetlands, fibrous plants and grasses absorb the oil, which can damage the plants and make the whole area unsuitable as wildlife habitat. When some of the oil eventually stops floating on the surface of the water and begins to sink into the marine environment, it can have the same kind of damaging effects on fragile underwater ecosystems, killing or contaminating many fish and smaller organisms that are essential links in the global food chain. Despite massive clean-up efforts following the Exxon in 1989, for example, a 2007 study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that 26, 000 gallons of oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill was still trapped in the sand along the Alaska shoreline. Scientists involved in the study determined that this residual oil was declining at a rate of less than 4 percent annually.Hindus have a high respect on all forms of life whether human, plant, or animal. That is why many Hindus are vegetarian. The oil spill could affect the habitat of fishes and later on an ecosystem. Hindus are more likely to take quick action on the incident because by doing so, they are risking the chances of the oil spill to worsen. The Hindus must practice a cooperative endeavor or bayanihan in Filipino in order to fully rid the oil tampering with the ecosystem.2.) Social IssuePATNA, India (AFP) – At least 10 people died in a stampede at a temple in the eastern Indian state of Bihar where tens of thousands of devotees had gathered for an annual Hindu festival, police said Sunday.Another 15 people were injured in the stampede, which occurred late Saturday outside a temple in Banka district, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Patna, the state capital, senior police officer P.K. Thakur said. The victims had gathered to witness the traditional sacrifice of goats, Thakur said, adding 40,000 devotees had thronged the temple at the time of the stampede.Four women were among those killed.7The state government offered compensation to relatives of those killed at the temple, where celebrations were marking Durga Puga, one of the major Hindu festivals.Hindus supports and goes by the practice of non-violence or ahiṃsā. The stampede where four women died in front of a Hindu temple was because of the lack of crowd control. Rumors spread that the cause of the stampede was a portion of the temple was thought to collapse and that a snake was loose in the packed complex. This should serve as a reflection to them to improve the way their public officials control them because stampede incidents occur all the time in India.3.) Economic IssueWASHINGTON (AFP) – US retail sales jumped 0.6 percent in September, topping expectations in the third monthly gain in a row, government data showed Friday.Retail sales in September, marked by back-to-school discounts, were stronger than the 0.4 percent rise expected by most analysts. Excluding auto sales, which can be volatile on a monthly basis, retail sales rose 0.4 percent, in line with expectations. Adding to the good news that consumers are beginning to open their wallets wider, the department revised upward retail sales number for the two previous months: by 0.2 point in July, to 0.5 percent, and by 0.3 percent in August, to 0.7 percent. On a 12-month basis, retail sales were up 7.3 percent in September, sharply stronger than the 4.1 percent annual gain seen in August. Auto sales led the gains, rising 1.6 percent, followed by electronics and appliance stores, up 1.5 percent.The only declines were slight, in clothing and department store sales. The recent run of monthly retail sales gains showed newfound energy in consumer spending, which normally accounts for about 70 percent of US economic activity. Some analysts said the revival could encourage the Federal Reserve to hold off on resuming major asset purchases aimed at supporting the tepid economic recovery from recession.Some Hindus choose to live a life of simplicity. Hindus live in a country known for commercial and cultural success that is why it would be easy for Hindus to increase their GDP and retail sales. It wouldn’t matter to some Hindus if they are the country with the lowest money exchange rate, as long as they are able to sustain their needs, it would be alright with them.81. Obedience and Loyalty – Mind and sense control Respect2. Humility – Hospitality Compassion3. Christ-Centeredness Respect, Wisdom Celibacy4. Discipline Ahimsa Mind and sense control Tolerance Respect Austerity Honesty Cleanliness5. Simplicity Mind and sense control Wisdom Honesty Cleanliness6. Hospitality Hospitality Compassion Protection Respect7. Community Life (teamwork) is related to Ahims98. Silence Mind and sense control9. Responsibility Protection Celibacy Cleanliness10. Stewardship of Creation Protection Respect Cleanliness11. Ora ET Labora (Prayer and Work) Mind and sense control Wisdom12. Respect and Reverence Ahimsa Compassion Protection Respect Honesty CleanlinessAhimsa (non-violence) – based on the concepts of atman and reincarnation. Mind and sense control – considered essential for any form of morality Tolerance – necessary in order to deal with inconveniences in the performance of one’s dharma. Hospitality – demonstrating magnanimity, and the value of service (seva). Compassion – based on notions of atman, and the ability to feel for others as we feel for ourselves. Protection – an essential duty is to give shelter to others, especially those less fortunate. Respect – for all living beings and for the sanctity of all life. Wisdom – knowledge is contrasted with ignorance, the Hindu equivalent of the “good -evil” paradigm. Austerity – essential to gain wisdom in addition to mere theoretical knowledge. Celibacy – important for spiritual life. Only one of the four ashrams is permitted sexual gratification. Honesty – essential to build legitimate trust within relationships and to avoid self-deception. Cleanliness – includes external hygiene and inner purity; essential for Brahmans10Aleana BantoloHinduism is an interesting religion. It has many values that are also observed in being a Christian. There are things in Hinduism that I would want to apply to my Christian lifestyle and one of those is treating the environment, animals, plants, and humans equally. Hinduism practices equality among all living things. Second to the things want to add to my Christian lifestyle is ahiṃsā or non-violence. Christians also follow this but as to what I can see in the society, priests are getting shot by scary people or terrorists. The last Hinduism value I want to add to my lifestyle is simplicity. The simplicity they have in Hinduism is really strict to some. They make it a “must” to be simple. Hinduism really is interesting, it has values that are the same with the values we have as Christians.


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