Hinduism Essay

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1. What elements of earlier belief systems do you see integrated into Hinduism? What were the external conditions (environmental/societal/political/economic etc.) which gave rise to the origination of Hinduism? What was it about this time period? Location? Population? In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion since some elements of it date back thousands of years; Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings despite many key figures and numerous holy books that might indicate otherwise. Hence why Hinduism is often referred to as a “way of life” and why it makes sense that the religion was informed by so many external conditions around its “birth” (BBC Religion Profile,…show more content…
Moreover, the Vedas illustrate how much geography, culture, language, and politics were shaped by religion and how much Hinduism was shaped by it (BBC Religion Profile, Hinduism) 2. In what ways do the sacred texts of Hinduism continue to inform Hindu ritual and practice? How does Hinduism shape daily lives in a large population centers where it is practiced today? Think in terms of policy, education, commercial institutions, and security. The Bhagavad Gita is illustrative of how sacred texts continue to shape society. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most popular Hindu texts and is actually a sort of dialogue between prince Arjuna and Krishna, his charioteer. Arjuna in the end wants to withdraw from the battle but Krishna teaches him that he must do his duty in accordance with his class and he argues that death does not destroy the soul. You can see this concept played out in how people organize themselves even today in India, where everyone seems to have “a place, a reason, a duty.” (BBC Religion Profile, Hinduism) The caste system itself is a system of social stratification, based on two concepts, varna and jati. Varna
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