Team Paper 1
July 2, 2010
Finding Inner Peace
Being at peace with one’s inner self sounds inviting but some aspects of many different religions can be hard to grasp at times. While most religions influence others, some have ideas and beliefs from sources unknown. Hinduism and Budhism are two of many religions. Having many similarities, their differences are what make them unique. Hindus have many gods, polytheism, and Buddhist believe in finding one’s inner peace. They both focus more on one’s inner self rather than on religion it’s self. The word Hinduism came from a Persian word “Sindhu” that relates to the Indus River that is located in northwest India. Arabs, Persians, and Afghans were the first to use the word Hindu to describe those coming from the area around this river. (Tillman and Cason 09) Some historians say that Hinduism can be traced back to the ancient Indus Valley civilization which would make Hinduism over 4,000 years old, which makes it extremely hard to say when it actually began. Most historians divide Hinduism into many overlapping periods in history. The first period is pre-Hindu. Pre-Hindu dates around 2000 B.C. and not much is known other than evidence says that is religion was centered on fertility gods and water quality. Between 2000 and 1500 B.C., a new religion began to emerge in India, Vedas. This religion was sacrificed-based and centered around fire. They gave up animals as sacrifice for in turn their gods, devas, and would give good crops and wealth. The next era of Hinduism is called classical Hinduism and began sometime around 500 B.C. During this period is when many new gods, goddesses, and rituals emerge that are based on earlier practices. At this time is when being devoted to the god or goddess of ones liking started. (patheos.com, Hinduism Beginnings)
Hindus believe in multiple gods and reincarnation. With that said, a god can be any living
organism. A god can be even a fire or storm. It is said, that in the Hindu religion there are 330
million gods (Tillman and Cason 09). There is no one that can worship all these gods at once, so
the individual choose just one god to serve. Triune godhead is the name given to the three aspect
of the Supreme Reality. The Supreme Reality is the Brahma, Vishnu and the Shiva. The Triune
godhead is also known as the Trimurti or the trinity. The Trimurti godhead is the head of all the
gods because of what it represents. The Brahma is the creator god, Lord and Father of all things
and represents birth. Vishnu is the preserver of the universe and represents life and the Siva is the
creator of power and represents destruction and death.
Reincarnation means rebirth or how the soul leaves the body and begins a new life in
another body. The Samsara, the cycle of life is said to be the core religion belief of the Hindu
religion. Under the cycle of life there are four ways that you can reap the Samsara. There are the
Dharma, Artha, Kama and the Moksha. Dharma is the moral code that sustains the Hindu
society. The Dharma is thought to be a duty and righteousness and observes the caste which is
the social group of one’s’ birth. The Dharma is the natural universe of law that enable human to
be happy and to save one self from suffering and degradation. It is also known as the Law of
being that things cannot exist without. Artha is the life cycle of material profit or possession.
This cycle of life have to do with politics and commerce which is the means to sustain human
activity. In the Hindu society they do not believe that the pursuit of wealth corrupt the soul. A
house holder requires wealth, because he has to perform many duties for his family. The life
cycle of Artha includes achieving widespread fame and elevates social standing for the
individual. Kama is the life cycle of desire; it is understood to also mean sexual desire. Kama can
Cited: 1. “Buddhism in the West.” Buddhist Studies: The Buddhist World. 2008. Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc. 23 June 2010.
2. Cason, Thomas S., and Lance Tillman. "Buddhism and Hinduism." World Religions. Mcgraw-Hill, 2009. 35-68. Print.
3. Kinnard, Jacob. “All Life is Religious.” Patheos. .
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