The Great Hindu Tradition


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For educating a child Hinduism had the facility of 'Gurukul' the hermitage of a preceptor where a child could opt for learning the sacred texts or skill of archery or polity. The girls were, mostly, educated at their homes. After independence the scenario changed. In the nineteenth century social reformers brought change in situation and now women are in forefront in all fields. Since s Indian government and nongovernment organizations have undertaken several programmes to alleviate poverty. In India around 11 million children work as child labourers. This is due to the problem of illiteracy, which has been a serious issue.

In spite of government and NGOs' initiative we are not able to solve the problem with percent success. Whether religion can show us a ray of hope? An ignorant child does not become in an assembly as a heron does not become in the flock of swans.

Hinduism - World's Oldest Religion Explained - Origins, Beliefs, Facts

To be good and to do good - that is the whole of religion. Food is provided to students in order to put a brake to drop outs. Books, uniform, shoes and school bags are provided in the schools catering to the needs of the underprivileged. This service is provided by local bodies of government and also by charitable trusts. It is observed that in the history of mankind and also in the contemporary times on the one hand religions have been directly or indirectly used as instruments for sowing seeds of hatred, for waging wars, for persecuting followers of other religion destroying their sanctuaries and religious monuments while on the other hand they have contributed greatly to the wellbeing of mankind by inspiring people to undertake charitable acts such as building hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and have always extended a helping hand to the weak, the destitute, the victims of natural calamities from time to time, recognizing the fundamental unity of mankind.

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It is a fact that religions have a tremendous power to establish justice in the world. It has been rightly said, "Religions, in cooperation with one another, can do a great deal to rehabilitate mankind and give to life meaning, purpose, and value They can also do much for the establishment of peace in the world. Where politicians have failed, religions may succeed, provided they cooperate and recognize their mutual worth and potentialities; and provided they pool together the tremendous resources of religions and channel them in the direction of world peace.

The major world religions, in cooperation with one another, may bring out the latent treasures hidden in each religion and help humanity at a time when it is facing one of the most acute spiritual crises in history. Let us not just speak about it, let us join our hands in our endeavour of removal of suffering. Let us direct this tremendous force of religion to poverty stricken children and their burning issues. Main article: Sramana. Main articles: Islam in India and Bhakti movement. Main article: Hinduism by country. North America. Canada Mexico Panama United States.

South America. For a discussion on the topic, see: "Establishing the boundaries" in Flood , pp. They practice the world's oldest religion Over many centuries a fusion of Aryan and Dravidian occurred, a complex process that historians have labeled the Indo-Aryan synthesis. In: Sjoberg , p.

Volume I: to , Cengage Learning, p. Eventually 'Hindu' became virtually equivalent to an 'Indian' who was not a Muslim, Sikh, Jain or Christian, thereby encompassing a range of religious beliefs and practices. The '-ism' was added to Hindu in around to denote the culture and religion of the high-caste Brahmans in contrast to other religions, and the term was soon appropriated by Indians themselves in the context of building a national identity opposed to colonialism, though the term 'Hindu' was used in Sanskrit and Bengali hagiographic texts in contrast to 'Yavana' or Muslim as early as the sixteenth century".

Flood , p. In this text, 'Isami uses the word 'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word 'hindu' to mean 'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion". Garg , p. Balagangadhara , The Heathen in his Blindness These movements, particularly active in British and French colonies outside India, such as in Africa and the Caribbean, interpreted Hinduism to be a monotheistic religion and attempted to demonstrate that it to be similar to Christianity and Islam.

Their views were opposed by other Hindus such as the Sanatan Dharma Sabha of Numen Vol. Their accounts of Hinduism were forged in physically, politically and spiritually hostile surroundings [impoverished, famine prone Bengal — now West Bengal and Bangladesh]. Plagued with anxieties and fears about their own health, regularly reminded of colleagues who had lost their lives or reason, uncertain of their own social location, and preaching to crowds whose reactions ranged from indifference to amusement to hostility, missionaries found expression for their darker misgivings in their production of what is surely part of their speckled legacy: a fabricated Hinduism crazed by blood-lust and devoted to the service of devils.

John Henderson [] states that "Hindus, both in medieval and in modern times, have been particularly drawn to those canonical texts and philosophical schools such as the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta, which seem to synthesize or reconcile most successfully diverse philosophical teachings and sectarian points of view. Thus, this widely recognized attribute of Indian culture may be traced to the exegetical orientation of medieval Hindu commentarial traditions, especially Vedanta.

Patrick Olivelle [] and others [] [] [] state that the central ideas of the Upanishads in the Vedic corpus are at the spiritual core of Hindus. Achieving Cultural Competency. Three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and other deities are considered manifestations of and are worshipped as incarnations of Brahman. Because this is Hinduism, however, its practitioners see the profusion of forms and practices as expressions of the same unchanging reality.

The panoply of deities are understood by believers as symbols for a single transcendent reality. Orlando O. Nickoloff Liturgical Press. The devas are powerful spiritual beings, somewhat like angels in the West, who have certain functions in the cosmos and live immensely long lives. Certain devas, such as Ganesha, are regularly worshiped by the Hindu faithful. Note that, while Hindus believe in many devas, many are monotheistic to the extent that they will recognise only one Supreme Being, a God or Goddess who is the source and ruler of the devas.

These are collected from the pyre in a rite-of-passage called asthi sanchayana , then dispersed during asthi visarjana. This signifies redemption of the dead in waters considered to be sacred and a closure for the living. Tirtha locations offer these services. Caste-based discrimination fundamentally contradicts the essential teaching of Hindu sacred texts that divinity is inherent in all beings. It is the formative period for the Upanishads and Brahmanism [subnote 7] Jainism and Buddhism. For Smart, the "classical period" lasts from to CE, and coincides with the flowering of "classical Hinduism" and the flowering and deterioration of Mahayana-buddhism in India.

According to Muesse, some of the fundamental concepts of Hinduism, namely karma, reincarnation and "personal enlightenment and transformation", which did not exist in the Vedic religion, developed in this time.


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For nearly two millennia they and their culture gradually penetrated India, moving east and south from their original seat in the Punjab. They mixed with people who spoke Munda or Dravidian languages, who have left no traces of their culture beyond some archaeological remains; we know as little about them as we would about the Indo-Aryans if they had left no texts. Remarkable cave paintings have been preserved from Mesolithic sites dating from c. The worship of certain plants and animals as sacred, for instance, could very likely have very great antiquity.

The worship of goddesses, too, a part of Hinduism today, may be a feature that originated in the Neolithic. Witzel mentions a range between and BCE. The renouncer tradition played a central role during this formative period of Indian religious history [ First, it is apparent in the suggestion that the Advaita Vedanta philosophy of Sankara c. Second, in an Indian context, neo-Vedanta philosophy subsumes Buddhist philosophies in terms of its own Vedantic ideology. The Buddha becomes a member of the Vedanta tradition, merely attempting to reform it from within.

Finally, at a global level, neo-Vedanta colonises the religious traditions of the world by arguing for the centrality of a non-dualistic position as the philosophia perennis underlying all cultural differences. It was the areas which had been least exposed to the Brahmanical fold which showed the largest numbers of Muslims. Forced conversion did happen, though. According to Malik , p. Lorenzen , pp. Nicholson , p. The complexities of Asian nationalism are to be seen and understood in the context of colonialism, modernization and nation-building.

Suzuki , who conjuncted Zen to Japanese nationalism and militarism , in defense against both western hegemony and the pressure on Japanese Zen during the Meiji Restoration to conform to Shinbutsu Bunri. Yet, Rinehart emphasises that it is "clear that there isn't a neat line of causation that leads from the philosophies of Rammohan Roy, Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan to the agenda of [ Ghurye , p. In this process the rude, barbaric Aryan tribes were gradually civilised and eventually merged with the autochthonous Dravidians. Although elements of their domestic cult and ritualism were jealously preserved by Brahman priests, the body of their culture survived only in fragmentary tales and allegories embedded in vast, syncretistic compendia.

On the whole, the Aryan contribution to Indian culture is insignificant. The essential pattern of Indian culture was already established in the third millennium B. Sjoberg , p. Social Forces. Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. Deel , 1ste Afl.

Journal of Cultural Geography. This refers to the idea that its origins lie beyond human history". Hindu Scriptures. Penguin Random House. A Survey of Hinduism 3rd ed. State University of New York Press. The Continuum companion to Hindu studies. London: Continuum. See also Koller, John Philosophy East and West. In Lipner, Julius J. Oxford University Press. Bloomsbury Academic. History of Dharmasastra. See also Widgery, Alban International Journal of Ethics.

January Retrieved 29 May The Hindu Diaspora: Comparative Patterns. Retrieved 14 February Archived from the original on 1 February On Hinduism. Journal of the American Oriental Society. One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic,henotheistic, panentheistic ,pandeistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu. Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University press. Development and Religion: Theology and Practice.

Edward Elgar Publishing. Hatcher Hinduism in the Modern World. Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Case University of Illinois Press. Sharma; Usha Sharma Cultural and Religious Heritage of India: Hinduism. Mittal Publications. Retrieved 24 July A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism.

Oneworld Publications. Hinduism: A Beginner's Guide. The Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia. International Journal of Hindu Studies. Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved 19 February Duncan M. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. It is first recorded in , in the generic sense of "polytheism of India".

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary. Sontheimer and H. Kulke ed. Hinduism Reconsidered. Delhi: Manohar. Pennington , Was Hinduism Invented? Upanishads are the scriptures par excellence of Hinduism". One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu.

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The Great Hindu Tradition by Sri Sarma Sastrigal at Vedic Books

Archived from the original on 17 March Retrieved 5 July Paulist Press. University of California Press. Pearson Education India. A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Williams and Norgate, London. Translation 2 : Kenneth Kramer Translation 3 : David Christian Fort, Patricia Y. Wallin Nature and Identity in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Mabry New York: Morehouse. Samovar; Richard E. Porter; Edwin R. McDaniel; et al. Communication Between Cultures.

Palgrave Macmillan. Schmithausen, Lambert ed. Zur Entwicklung der Avataralehre in German. Otto Harrassowitz. Lindsay Jones ed. Gale's Encyclopedia of Religion. Thomson Gale. Krishna: A Sourcebook. The life of Hinduism. Kinsley Motilal Banarsidass. April , "Karma, causation, and divine intervention" , Philosophy East and West , 39 2 : — [], doi : Naturally the Sankhyakarikas do not mention God, Vachaspati interprets this as rank atheism.

The perfectibility of human nature in eastern and western thought. For the Mimamsa the ultimate reality is nothing other than the eternal words of the Vedas. They did not accept the existence of a single supreme creator god, who might have composed the Veda.

Hindu Rites and Rituals

According to the Mimamsa, gods named in the Vedas have no existence apart from the mantras that speak their names. The power of the gods, then, is nothing other than the power of the mantras that name them. They also thought there was no need to postulate a maker for the world, just as there was no need for an author to compose the Veda or an independent God to validate the Vedic rituals. Knut Jacobsen ed. Behanan Yoga: Its Scientific Basis. Columbia University Press. Stone; James Porter; Timothy Rice Penguin Books.

Fortress Press. Country Studies. The Library of Congress. September Retrieved 19 April Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion. Yale University Press. Denise Cush; et al. Encyclopedia of Hinduism. An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. Themes and Issues in Hinduism. Lochtefeld The Rosen Publishing Group.

Gale Encyclopedia of Religion. Volume 2. Thompson Gale. The brothers, in turn, give their sisters a token gift and promise protection. Lochtefeld , pp. Jacobsen , pp. Anthropological Dimensions of Pilgrimage. Northern Book Centre. Sessions Book Trust. Eck , pp. Quote: The earliest promotional works aimed at tourists from that era were called mahatmyas [in Puranas]. Sacred Place. The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. Eck India: A Sacred Geography. Random House. Klostermaier , p. Eck , p. Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power. The Illustrated World's Religions.

Acta Sociologica. The remaining 58 percent of households are less strict vegetarians or non-vegetarians. Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved 28 December Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Essential Hinduism. Westport: Praeger Publishers, The Theosophist.

Theosophical Publishing House. In this province, like nearly all Bengalis, they celebrate Durga Puja, but their ceremonies are bloodless". Nicholson Retrieved 16 June Archives of Asian Art.

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Woodard 18 August Princeton University Press. Kiss of the Yogini. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Johnston; Whitney Bauman Queen; Sallie B. King Witz This process was then carried further and brought to completion in the Upanishads. But in the Upanishads inner awareness, aided by major intellectual breakthroughs, arrived at a language in which Highest Goal could be dealt with directly, independent of ritual and sacred lore".

Exploring Alterity in a Globalized World. The new set of ideas contained the Nakasone Asian American Religious Cultures. Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence. The essense of ritual, their primary significance, the practical aspects and the required attitude of the performer have all been very nicely brought out in modern idioms by the learned author.


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This is. This is a hand-book on Vedic Dharma and is very relevant in today's context. The main aim of the book is to bring out more clarity about the ancient customs and traditions that are performed. This is an interesting book, indeed. Commencing with a brief sketch of Vedas and Upanishads and proceeding on to Maharishis, Mahabharata and some of the Samskaras, the book takes up many FAQs for answer.

The FAQs cover a wide range of subjects in the Hindu tradition. He presently resides in Chennai.

The Great Hindu Tradition The Great Hindu Tradition
The Great Hindu Tradition The Great Hindu Tradition
The Great Hindu Tradition The Great Hindu Tradition
The Great Hindu Tradition The Great Hindu Tradition
The Great Hindu Tradition The Great Hindu Tradition
The Great Hindu Tradition The Great Hindu Tradition

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