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Hinduism Paper

1. What is the relationship between “samsara” and “moksha”?
Samsara and Moksha are lifestyles cycles and ultimate goals in Hinduism. The tow words characterize a goal of escaping from the cycle of life, death rebirth and then re-merge with ultimate reality.
Samsara is referred to as the cycle of life, death, and rebirth as believed by means of Hindus. On the other hand, Moksha, meaning release, is the escape from this cycle of Samsara. Therefore the relationship between Samsara and Moksha is that existence cycle of an escape from it.
2. Why is “Atman” considered a close equal to “Brahman” in Hinduism?
Atma in Hindu means inner self or soul; Brahman is the infinite truth and bliss that does not change but causes changes (Nedimye 14). Atma which is soul and self is considered close to Brahman because the self and soul are connected to the infinite truth; both cannot be seen but causes changes in one’s life.

3. Why is “puja” so central to Hindu life?

Puja in Hinduism is the act of worshiping or showing reverences to god, spirit or even aspect of divine though prayers and invocation. Puja is so central in the life of Hindus because it is the way they can connect spiritually with the divine (Fowle 15). They believed that through Puja, they could communicate their problem with a supernatural being and have them solved. It is, therefore, an important event in Hindus life that cannot be missed. Wherever one has a problem such as illness, it is believed that through Puja, they asked for divine intervention.

4. Who is Krishna?

Krishna is a popular divinity worshiped.

Krishna is also a supreme god. It became the focus of various devotional cults that has produced a lot of wealth of religious music and painting. Hindus believed that Krishna, a supreme personality came to earth about 500 years ago and performed a lot of miracles. He stayed on this earth for 125 years and was acting like a human being all his life. His activities, however, were unparalleled (Brill 204). In other words, Krishna is one of the gods worshiped by Hindus; he is the god of wealth, fame, beauty and even wisdom that makes him attractive in all areas.

5. Why is there so much interest in “yoga” in downtown Berkeley today? What does this have to do with Hinduism?

Yoga is a mental, physical as well as spiritual practice that is used to make one fit in all rounds. It originated from ancient India. Currently, there is more interest in yoga at the city of Berkeley today. Most the people of Berkeley, as a cultural exchange, got the yoga ideas from the visiting Indians who practiced it often. The main question here is why there is so much interest in this event of late in Berkeley (Brill 205). The people of Berkeley found this practice much fulfilling and reliving. There is more interest in yoga because; the city just discovered the importance of yoga as opposed to other regions. It is a new idea in the town, and everyone is registering for yoga classes.

Yoga originated from ancient Hindu practices and was meant to make mind, body and spiritual strength of someone stronger. Therefore it has something to do with Hinduism because they are the people who invented the idea. It is still practiced where there are many Indians.

6. From what epic Hindu text does the Bhagavad Gita derive? In what ways does the Gita represent a “spiritual allegory” that addresses the “ethics of war”? (Bonus: How was Mahatma Gandhi influenced by this devotional text?)

Bhagavad Gita which means a song of the Lord is derived from Sanskrit which is part of Hindu epic Mahabharata. Gita is referred to as a narrative framework that guides a dialogue between Pandava and Arjuna(Fowle 15). Bhagavad Gita narrates a war between two clans, Arjuna is about to go to war with his relatives, and he is in an ethical dilemma, it is his duty to go to war but killing relatives is not something he can easily do.

Gita represents Spiritual Allegory that addresses ethics of war. It is the allegory that shows the human problem and its solution. Arjuna can represent human, and Krishna represents the true self. Mostly before ones do something, the inner self-talks with human body and mind about the decision to take such an action. One musty not does things that they will regret later, however, the duty to which they are assigned must be carried out.

Mahatma Gandhi influenced was influenced by Gita it rekindled his appetite for religion. Gita talked most about the experience that Gandhi went through. This made it become its spiritual companion and shaped his character. Gandhi was impressed that Gita could be accessed by the common man. Its ethical teachings made Mahatma Gandhi to learn a lot of which he practiced later.

7. What notions/models of gender and social relationships are embodied within the Ramayana?

Ramayana was an olden Indian epic poem that narrates the struggles that price Rama faced in the course of rescuing his wife from demonic king Ravana.

It shows the behavior of men towards women, compassion, and love and at the same time, it also shows an embodiment of femininity (Fowle 15).

8. Why are there “many” Ramayanas (not just one definitive version of this story)? What might this have to do with the “Hindu sensibility…its preference for stories over dogmas, it’s reveling in mystery and paradox” (Prothero 2011: 164)?

Many Ramayanas shows the multivocal nature that Ramayanas was said to possess. It also shows variations of Ramayanas according to the historical period, political context a well as religious affiliation. Many Ramayanas can also be said to be the different versions of Ramayana according to the audience and genre(Brill 205).

Hindu treats their women differently from most of the world. They tend to be very protective. Most of these behaviors were learned from Ramayana.

9. How does Sita Sing the Blues reinforce or challenge gender roles from an American point of view?

Sita sing the Blues challenges gender roles as women in the story are seen to be the major decision makers in the direction the family should take mostly the ruling family on who to be the heir to the throne(Brill 205). From the American point of view, Sita Sing the Blues brings the gender equality to the society something that was not in India at this time.

The roles are not specific on whether the woman should be the one to do some task or not. It is seen that men are also doing the chores that were believed to be left for women like taking care of the little ones.

10. Describe how “internal diversity” exists in India today from a religious and political point of view.

Internal diversity can be described the norm and acknowledgment that there is no single religious community which is homogeneous. Internal diversity is the differences we feel internally in our souls and minds that we have differences brought about by our religious affiliation. Hindu would feel internally different with orthodox and any other religion because they teachings and their perceptions of the world and all that is in it are different.

In India today, there are those who practice Hinduism and Buddhism, the two can have practices religion and interprets it in all sorts of unique experiences. It is natural for people to have viewed the world from a different perspective(Brill 205). Even though society places emphasis on accepting people from different religions, society tends not to understand the interpretation themselves within their traditions. For example, Muslims can discuss the different prophets with Christians or even Jews, but they cannot have the same conversation amongst themselves.

Sikhs are willing to listen to Buddhist and Hindus view on vegetarianism, but they would dismiss another when they hear a different view on the same topic. This shows how internal diversity affects everyone and how it is practiced in India as far as religious beliefs are concerned. People from different faiths do not find it easy to accept the various interpretations than their own. Internal diversity also exists in political affiliations. People from different parties tend to have a dissimilar interpretation of the problems that are being faced by the country. This is based on the understanding of their party’s policies and principles. Political party members would discuss a lot about the country but would not have a common standing point when it comes to issues.

Work Cited

Brill, Alan. "Hinduism and Indian Religions." Judaism and World Religions. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2012. 203-233.

Fowler, Jeaneane D. The Bhagavad Gita: A text and commentary for students. Sussex Academic Press, 2012.

Nedimyer, Reid. "Hindu Studies Midterm Essay 1 February 5, 2012."

August 09, 2021
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