Hinduism Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Hinduism?
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and it has been around for thousands of years. It is a religion that originated in India and it is based on the teachings of four ancient scriptures, including the Rig-Veda, Upanishads, Ramayana, and Bhagavad Gita. It is an extremely complex religion that includes many gods, rituals, beliefs and practices. At its core Hinduism teaches that we should strive to reach liberation or moksha by following certain paths such as karma yoga (the path of action), jnana yoga (the path of knowledge) and bhakti yoga (the path of devotion). Hindus believe in reincarnation so they strive to accumulate good karma to ensure they will be reborn into higher realms. Hindu worship includes prayers, meditation and offerings made to their gods through puja ceremonies. Pujas involve lighting candles or incense sticks along with chanting mantras or hymns dedicated to specific deities. A temple visit may also take place where devotees offer food items as a sign of respect at the feet of their chosen deity’s image. Hindus also practice various forms of yoga which help them attain spiritual enlightenment by focusing on physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation practices. Hinduism has no single founder; instead it contains different philosophies from various sages throughout its history such as Maharishi Patanjali who wrote the famous Yoga Sutras which laid out eight limbs for achieving liberation from suffering known as Ashtanga Yoga (eight-limbed yoga). Other important figures include Swami Vivekananda who brought Vedanta philosophy to the West in 1893 leading many westerners towards Hinduism while other sages like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa taught modern Hinduism based on his own experiences with God realization through intense devotion (bhakti). The diversity within Hinduism allows individuals to choose their own spiritual path according to their preferences while still maintaining respect for all other paths leading to Moksha or liberation from suffering. As well each individual can choose which god(s) they wish focus on during their spiritual journey whether it be Siva, Vishnu or any number of gods found within this beautiful tradition.