Hindu Religious Traditions

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Hindu Religious Traditions University of Phoenix Hindu Religious Traditions According to Mahatma Gandhi, “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today” (All Great Quotes, 2008, ¶ 7). Being a Christian, this writer did not regard these words as disrespectful toward Christianity. Although the Bible is the major foundation of Christianity, multitudes of sacred elements are the basis of Hinduism. In the following paragraphs, this writer will discuss several sacred elements and religious traditions that one might consider significant when describing the Hindu belief system. Hindu and Hinduism are terms that can be difficult to define not only accurately but also universally. These terms can define one’s religious beliefs, one’s place within the caste system, one’s language or one’s region within India. According to the 2001 census, India’s population has reached over one billion and of those counted, Hindus make up over 80% (Narayanan, 2003). The Hindu belief system can be as simple or complex, as its follower chooses to make it because Hinduism itself is very diverse in its components. Hindus believe that their belief system has existed forever and many aspects within their belief system are cyclic in character instead of possessing a beginning, middle and an end, as is common among other belief systems. Given that Hinduism has no single founder or prophet, no one universally accepted holy book or scripture and no exact time in history documenting its origin, many Hindus choose which of many paths and components they believe as accurate or true based on their own region and tradition. The sacred elements chosen contribute to the simplicity or complexity of this ancient belief system while supporting the belief that Hindu practices and rituals among its followers
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