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

Do Hindus believe in one God and one goal in life

Extracts from this document...


Do Hindus believe in one God and one goal in life? Any scholar would agree on the fact that defining Hinduism is a problem because of the wide variety of beliefs, traditions, practices and ideas that it embraces and also defining it as a religion in the western sense. Indeed some Hindu doctrines and practices seem to contradict each other as the very old mines with the very new, for there lies the complexity, giving birth to what we can call modern and traditional Hinduism and within both a diversity of doctrines and beliefs however there are central tenants that unify it as a religion. We will firstly proceed to analyze the monotheism and polytheism within most Hindu streams and secondly, the goal in life clustered around two concepts, dharma and moksha. The core of Hinduism is the belief in Brahman, the underlying universal life force that encompasses and embodies existence. When discussing on God in Hinduism Brahman is central, he is "the ultimate reality; the eternal, unchanging essence that underlies all things"1 he is meant to be the supreme being who owns personality and is often worshipped as Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva or Shakti depending on the stream. When God is seen as the supreme personal being he is called Ishvara (the Lord), Bhagavan (the auspicious One) or Parameshwara (the supreme Lord). In the Hindu scriptures (the four Vedas or the Baghavada Gita) ...read more.


They usually tend the family shrine, and they maintain the well-being of their husbands and children by undertaking vows, yet most deities are men and socially speaking men remain the leadership roles in the family, in religion and in politics. We have seen how Hindu practices generally involve seeking awareness of God and sometimes also seeking blessings from Devas ,therefore Hinduism has developed numerous practices meant to help one think of divinity in the midst of everyday life. This importance of gods and worship is directly linked to Hindus main goals in life. According to Hindu scriptures, one's ignorance of the true nature of the self (atman) as one with Brahman is what traps one in the cycle of endless death and reincarnation (samsara). Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include Dharma (ethics/duties) Samsara (The continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Moksha (liberation from samsara), and the various Yogas (paths or practices). Thus, the highest goal of Hinduism is liberation moksha from the karmic cycle of death and rebirth. For the millions of people who practice this religion, it is a way of life that encompasses family, society, politics, business, art, and health behaviors. Hinduism is sometimes characterized with the belief in reincarnation determined by the law of karma, and that salvation is freedom from this cycle of repeated birth and death, however other religions of the region, such as Buddhism and Jainism, also believe in this, outside of the scope of Hinduism. ...read more.


Every person has a part to play, and each part is held to be necessary in some way to the ultimate end, the preservation and perfection of a habitable world for humanity. Of the various schools of Hindu philosophy, most of which are sympathetic to moksha, the schools of Yoga and Advaita Vedanta most clearly articulate the vision of humankind's ultimate destiny as a liberation from rebirth. Yoga Sutras (classical yoga) aims at stopping the constant, internal mental cackle and the mind's tendency to be perpetually distracted by the senses. Technically the purpose is to become fully conscious of one's real identity is to slough off previous false identities and to rest content in actionless, desireless bliss and redemptive knowledge. It is also the case that there are always some Hindus who strive to make this life their last, who have renounced the world in hope of moksha, and who provide vivid living witness to the Hindu teaching. The ability to encompass and cherish both points of view, the temporal and eternal, without surrendering entirely to one or the other characterizing the distinctive genius of the Hindu tradition. To conclude, Hinduism encompasses so many doctrines that taking into account all the streams you can find monotheistic, polytheistic and atheists. As for if they have a goal in life, they do, different kinds but in the end all leading to the freedom from continuous rebirth. HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-wern 1 "Hinduism: a cultural perspective" David R. Kinsley 2 " Introducing Hinduism" Hillary Rodrigues ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Religion in Society 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 University Degree Religion in Society essays

  1. In modern Western societies, God is dead. Is this correct?

    The second idea comes from Wilson. He focuses on how religion is important in society by defining secularization as 'the process whereby religious thinking, practice and institutions lose social significance' (1966, p.14). Here can be mentioned data considering religious influence in politics. It is obviously much harder to measure and there is an ongoing discussion how to do it.

  2. The entry sets out five individually necessary conditions for anyone to be a candidate ...

    and family members and, second, according to the researchers, most of the cases are to be seen as like the practice common in other countries where voluntary euthanasia is not legally tolerated of giving large doses of opioids to relieve pain knowing all the while that this will also end life.

  1. Rastafarianism is a religious and social movement that was created in Jamaica in 1930. ...

    Another reason Rasta's wear dreads are because the Romans tried to cut the Rastas hairs have short hair themselves. As well, King Selassie had a beard and locks, so the Rastas look at themselves as similar to their emperor as possible. The official symbol of Ethiopia is a standing Lion.

  2. What are the characteristics of Buddhism in Australia?

    The Noble Eightfold Path is said to follow an ordered path; the first step being right knowledge, then right aspiration, right speech, right behaviour, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and then finally right meditation (Coleman, 1999, pp.286-288). The 1996 Australian Bureau of Statistics census outlined 1.1% of the Australian

  1. Moral Panics, when morons speak up and are heard.

    that this is always and has always been at the same level of risk in open anonymous public forum such as chat rooms. This example also shows how similar concerns can also add to a panic through again ignorance and arrogance, relating the problems of child porn to active paedophilia.

  2. Assess the future relevance of liberal Protestant theological traditions in the context of World ...

    This has become a popular concept for many modern Christians for a variety of reasons, discussed later, this is perhaps the element of the "spirit" of liberal Protestantism which is most active in the world today. Many if not most modern Christians in the West, are becoming increasingly unlikely to blindly accept authority.

  1. Synoptic. When posed with a question about life, we must first ask ...

    Where as in Buddhism it could be said that sin is caused by craving, for example craving of food or sexual urges, or breaking the rules which can be found in the Vinaya Pitaka. When looking at life we must look at some of the major rights of passage in my religious peoples live.

  2. Church Growth and Evangelism in a Postmodern Context

    No Christian community is more or less than this...we belong to one another only through and in Jesus Christ" is threefold: "first, that a Christian needs others because of Jesus Christ...second, that a Christian comes to others only through Jesus Christ...third, that in Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity" (21).

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