Hinduism Sociology

Better Essays Hindu Community
Hinduism is described as a major religious and cultural tradition of South Asia, developed from Vedic religion. One of the oldest religions in the world, Hinduism is most diverse, originating from multiple religions. The religion is polytheistic, meaning the people of Hinduism believe in millions of gods who control different aspects of their life. Prior to visiting the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan mandir, I had minimal information on Hindu’s and their way of life, despite having countless Hindu friends. Going in as an anthropologist, I objectively observed the customs and traditions they followed in an attempt to learn more about their community.
Before going in, I did some research
…show more content…
The highest deity for a Hindu would be a Brahman. Brahmans are the priestly class; they are virtuous and have a high moral sense. They take on one of the three main forms, which correspond to the three stages of the life cycle of the universe. The first of these is Brahma, the creator or the creative spirit from which the universe arises. Despite the religion being polytheistic and believing in millions of gods, Hinduism portrays Brahma has the highest supreme, being whom they look up to. The second is named Vishnu who is the preserver and is the force of order that sustains the universe. Through his exemplification, he preserves righteousness when the forces of evil threaten to succeed. The third and final form is Shiva who is the destructive concept of the universe. He is the force that brings the cycle to the end. Hindus of this level in the caste system show their devotion to this high deity through either prayer, ceremonies, pilgrimage, or just the simple chanting of the god’s name.
The next level of people in the caste system would be Kshatriyas who are the warrior class. They are to protect the people and worship the Brahmins who are above them. These people were looked upon to protect those who follow them and preserve the caste
…show more content…
I spent all day at the temple and talked to many people. I knew Diwali was a festival of lights but I managed to learn a lot more about it while I was there from a multitude of people of all ages. They told me Diwali celebrates the return of Rama and Sita, in the story from the Ramayana, which are considered different gods to them. The story of Rama and Sita shows how good wins over evil. The significance of the celebration is to call awareness to this goddess who symbolizes prosperity. For Hindu’s, light is a representation for prosperity while the dark signifies ignorance. All of India celebrates this festival, however most call it by its Sanskrit name, Deepavali. Since India is so large, they follow separate calendars, which causes the North and South to celebrate the religious festival at different times of the year. Usually it is celebrated on a day called "Amavasya," which is a new moon. The sky is dark and therefore the lighting is more noticeable; prosperity is shown more heavily. The northern part of India celebrates it as a holiday for the new year while the South continues to keep it more traditional by having the festival on the day when their god, Krishna, conquered the King who had imprisoned thousands of
Get Access