Sample Essay on:
An Overview of the Hindu Religion

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This 5 page paper explores some of the aspects of Hinduism including what it comprises, what influences have made it so important in India, and the liberation from earthly existence. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

Page Count:

5 pages (~225 words per page)

File: KV32_HVhnduis.rtf

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influences that have made Hinduism vital in India, and the desire for liberation from earthly existence that Hinduism espouses. Discussion What makes up the Hindu religion? Hinduism puzzles many in the West because it has no formal theology. That is, there is no unifying system of beliefs that all adherents "must" accept to be considered Hindu the way that Catholics are required to accept the Catechism, for instance. There is no supreme being (God, Buddha or Allah) or sacred city or temple like Jerusalem or Mecca. So what holds the religion together? Some clues can be found in the history of the religion, although scholarship about Hinduism has not reached a consensus. Classical theory suggests that the religion arose in the "Indus valley civilization circa 4000 to 2200 BCE. The development of Hinduism was influenced by many invasions over thousands of years" (Robinson, 2005). The most important of the invaders were the so-called "Aryan" tribes, Indo-Europeans who came from the north, bringing their religion of Vedism with them (Robinson, 2005). These beliefs mingled with those already established in the Indus Valley (Robinson, 2005). Emerging theory is different: the "Aryan Invasion view of ancient Indian history has been challenged in recent years by new conclusions based on more recent findings in archaeology, cultural analysis, astronomical references, and literary analysis" (Robinson, 2005). New thinking is that there was no invasion from the outside by Indo-Europeans, but a continuous culture in the Indus Valley by people who self-identified as Aryans (Robinson, 2005). Hinduism, then, according to this theory, arose along with the Indus Valley civilization, which was tribal; during this era, "many sects were created, each dedicated to a specific deity. Typical among these were the Goddesses Shakti and Lakshmi, and the Gods Skanda and Surya" (Robinson, 2005). Thus, the polytheistic system ...

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