• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Beginning Of Hinduism.

Extracts from this document...


The Beginning Of Hinduism Hinduism is the oldest of the major world religions. It began so long ago that no one really knows how old it really is, but it goes back at least 5000 years. The Hindus think it has always existed. The name 'Hindu' comes from an old name for people who lived in a part of northern India. The word 'Hindu' comes from the River Indus and in the beginning it described where people lived, not their religion. The Persians were the first people to use the name. There were people living near the River Indus about five thousand years ago. They built large cities and one of them was called Mohenjo-daro. Some archaeologists have dug the city up and discovered many things about the Indus people and their civilization. Today, over 800 million people living in India are Hindus, and there are the same number living in other parts of the world. Hinduism was not begun by any one person but it developed gradually over more than a thousand years. This means that today it has many different 'branches' and its followers have a very wide range of beliefs and ways of worshipping. ...read more.


They had to have their own well, could only travel by train if it had a compartment for them, and they are some of the poorest people in Hindu society. Strict Hindus only mix and eat with their own caste, and they do not marry outside their caste. Even though it is illegal to discriminate against anyone from another caste, many Hindus still prefer to keep to their own caste. The Goal of Hindus Each Hindu has to have a goal, which is for the soul to be free from samsara or being reborn. They have to work out the best way to reach this goal. They have to make sure that each rebirth takes the soul to a better life. A bad life is a demotion, a good life a promotion. Each promotion means that the next person the soul lives in will be able to understand more about the world and Brahman. It usually means that the soul is born into a person who belongs to a higher caste. If you try really hard to obey your dharma, your soul may go one step further, but the position a person starts at depends on the karma the soul has brought from the previous body. ...read more.


A Hindu who does his best to lead a good life will be paying back what he owes to God, to his family and to wise Hindus who have lived before him. When a Hindu goes to make an offering, he puts his hands together and bows. He says, "Namaste", which means, "I bow to your respect". They also do this when they greet people and they can touch the feet of a person who is older or wiser than they are. They also believe that they should not harm any living things, which means that many of them are vegetarians. In Hinduism cows are very sacred and they should never be killed. This means that nobody mistreats a cow and they are allowed to wander in the streets with nobody chasing them away. A very important place in a Hindu home is the kitchen and the mother is very strict about what happens there. If a lower caste person has washed the dishes then the mother must wash them again to make them pure. A lot of Hindu women wear saris. This is a length of cloth over five metres long which is wrapper around the waist and the end is put over her shoulder. They are usually brightly coloured and made of silk or cotton. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hinduism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hinduism essays

  1. What is meant by "Karma"?

    just for their own benefit otherwise this results in Akushala Karma.4 Akushala Karma is bad Karma where your actions deliberately hurt others and causes Dukkha (suffering) to others around you. Karma is not an explanation for everything that occurs to a person throughout their life but for philosophers it does

  2. What, according to scholars, were the characteristics of the Indus Valley Civilisation? Discuss the ...

    It is a logical that the organisation in the Indus cities presents the need for a leader to pull the logistic, economic and political aspects of the civilization together. The palaces found in Harappa, and their segregation from the main populous, is further evidence of at least some form of higher class structure.

  1. Examine the ways in which the Bhagavad-Gita supports the life of duty and action ...

    And the first recognition that a different way (Bhakti) is approaching is shown in the context of doing your own duty and action,' Cast all your works on Me, your thoughts withdrawn in what appertains to self; have neither hope nor thought that `This is mine': cast off this fever!

  2. Examine and Comment of Christian and Hindu Beliefs about Life After Death

    The bible also describes hell as an endless torture scene, with angels and Jesus present either as observers or as officials who are directing the torture of the victims in hell. However, there are two different concepts about the duration of the torture, Annihilationism and traditionalism.

  1. Examine the Hindu views on arranged marriages. To what extent can Hindu arranged marriages ...

    However the wedding day itself has many religious rituals which need to be followed and is a custom for all Hindus. Firstly there is the "Panigrahana"; this ritual is carried out by the bride's father, where he would offer the hand of the bride to the groom.

  2. "It is essential for Hinduism to reform but the most important issue was the ...

    Daynanda's primary concern was not only religious but also political. For him Hinduism was not only about a monotheistic faith deriving from the Vedas but also felt that Hinduism should define a nation. Hindusim needed to answer some vital questions in order to reform in way that protected the Hindu's culture and heritage.

  1. Problems that sikhs face practicing their religion in Britain today

    Those who are not vegetarians will only eat meat where the animal has been killed in a certain way, unless the Sikhs know that the animal was killed correctly then they will not eat the meat. Eating in restaurants would be tricky because they're unlikely to have killed their meat in the way Sikhs require.

  2. b) Why is the worship of Rama popular with devotees? (12)

    Men aspire to be just like Rama and women wish to be like Sita, using her as a role model for how to live their lives.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work