The Major Religions Of The World Essay — страница 4

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orderly society, and reinforce the authority of the ruler. In choosing a school of thought for my dynasty to follow, I would want a philosophy that would enable me to still have control over the people. At the same time the people can still live in the harmony that they seek, because Confucianism instills in individuals a se e of self-worth that is derived from conformity to the social order, it achieves both goals. HINDUISM Hinduism was founded sometime between 1500 and 500 CE in the are of the Indus valley civilization making it the oldest religion of the World. Since the population in India is vast and the majority of the population is Hindu it is also one of the largest religions. There is no individual founder and no names given to say who developed it. When the Indus Valley

cities began to decline, circa 1500 BC, a group of people called the Aryans came to India. They came as a nomadic tribe, but eventually they built cities along the Ganges River. They brought a religion with them, which later became Hinduism. The word Hindu comes from the name of a river in India, the Sindhu (now known as the Indus). When the Persians came to India, they couldn t pronounce the letter s , so they called the river the Hindu . Religion has always played a major role in the lives of people throughout history . Hinduism is no exception, impacting many aspects of the lives of the people of India, especially in the areas of lifestyle, laws, social structure and lifecycles. Hinduism is a unique religion. It has a very distinct social hierarchy called a caste system .

There are four main castes, which one is born into and cannot change. Each division of people is called varna. Varna means color, suggesting that the people were divided on a racial basis. The first Varna, the Brahmans, are the priestly and intellectual and have the lightest of caste. Next, the Kshatriyas are the people in the government, politics, and the military and are often powerful businessmen. The Vaisyas are the smaller businessmen, farmers, proprietors and the self-employed such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters. The darkest class is that of the Sudra. Sudras consist of the lesser-educated, blue-collar workers who are often employed in sanitation, garbage and the handling of the dead. The lowest of the classes are the outcasts. There are many gods in the religion

of Hinduism. Many Hindu followers believe that one of the gods is the true god, this creates a division in Hinduism, Vaishnavaism and Shivaism. People who follow Vaishnavaism believe that Vishnu is the one true god and people who follow Shivasim believe that Shiva is the one true god. Yet there are many sects that worship both gods. Hinduism can be described as a monotheistic or a polytheistic religion depending on the point of view but Hindu people describe themselves as henotheisitic, which is the belief in one god without denying the existence of others. Hindus believe that the soul is immortal and re-enters a body of flesh and blood to resolve experiences and learn all the lessons that the material life has to offer. Hindus also believe in karma. They believe that karma is

one of the natural laws of the universe. If you do good things, good things will happen to you. If you do negative things, negative things will happen to you. They believe in the Ahimsa principle in that they are to do no harm to any living thing. For this reason, they are necessarily vegetarian and pacifist. The major contribution of Hinduism to the world is meditation. Hindus have individual worship in order to overcome one s separation with God. Their individual worship entails Pujah s such as chants, hymns, and the preparation of food. The Hindu purpose is to try to get to know the self totally and completely because they believe to know the self is to know God. ISLAM Islam is one of the three major monotheistic religions. Muhammad the prophet between 610 and 632 founded

Islam in Arabia. Muhammad was born in Makkah in 570 A. D. He was orphaned at an early age and was adopted by his uncle. He worked as a caravan leader on a trade route. He was known to be honest and able. His employer Khadij a, a wealthy window of the age 40, put him in charge of this business and proposed marriage to him. He went to a cave outside the city in 610 AD to pray and fast revelation (vision) there. He was told to recite. “Recite in the name of your lord, the creator who created man from clots of blood. Recite! Your lord is the most bountiful one who by the pen has taught mankind things they didn’t know.” His second vision to rise and worn people. In 613 AD he preached to his family and friends that there was one god. And all that believed in him are equal. The