Question asked by: Joyce
Asked on: 01 May 2008
Comments and other answers:
Hinduism is a different way of understanding life, to which Western values are totally alien. Westerners tend to see life as a chronological line of events in history. Hindus see life as a self-repeating cycle in which human history is of little importance. It is no easy task to define Hinduism, since it has no definite creed, priestly hierarchy, or governing agency. However, it does have swamis (teachers) and gurus (spiritual guides). A broad definition of Hinduism given by one history book states that it is “the whole complex of beliefs and institutions that have appeared from the time when their ancient (and most sacred) scriptures, the Vedas, were composed until now.” Another one states: “We might say that Hinduism is adherence to or worship of the gods Vishnu, or Shiva [Siva], or the goddess Shakti, or their incarnations, aspects, spouses, or progeny.” That serves to include the cults of Rama and Krishna (incarnations of Vishnu), Durga, Skanda, and Ganesa (respectively the wife and sons of Siva). It is claimed that Hinduism has 330 million gods, yet it is said that Hinduism is not polytheistic.
Date of comment: Sat, Jul 21st 2012
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