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ReligionDemographics.com

Hinduism

 

"The mission of this Web site is to promote diversity and cultural
competency
as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, thereby bringing to
the fore issues of color and caste for the purpose of uplifting people
who have a history of being marginalized, using social media and other
means as platforms to inform various communities of the life experiences
and concerns of marginalized people with regard to the necessity for social
change, social justice, inclusion, compassion, tolerance, cultural literacy,
and growth in our human relations going forward in order to better facilitate
the current worldwide shift in global consciousness from tribalism, instability,
and extremism, to harmony, cooperation and enduring peace. And furthermore,
we welcome and support other organizations that promote the transformation of
consciousness
as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji throughout his life and travels."

The origins of Hinduism can be traced to the Indus Valley civilization sometime between 4000 and 2500 BCE.* Though believed by many to be a polytheistic religion, the basis of Hinduism is the belief in the unity of everything. This totality is called Brahman. The purpose of life is to realize that we are part of God and by doing so we can leave this plane of existence and rejoin with God. This enlightenment can only be achieved by going through cycles of birth, life and death known as samsara. One's progress towards enlightenment is measured by his karma. This is the accumulation of all one's good and bad deeds and this determines the person's next reincarnation. Selfless acts and thoughts as well as devotion to God help one to be reborn at a higher level. Bad acts and thoughts will cause one to be born at a lower level, as a person or even an animal. See Editor's note.


Hindu woman with hands in anjali mudra,
a traditional gesture of greeting and respect.

Hindus follow a strict caste system which determines the standing of each person. The caste one is born into is the result of the karma from their previous life. Only members of the highest caste, the brahmins, may perform the Hindu religious rituals and hold positions of authority within the temples.

"Om" is also spelled "Ohm" and "Aum". This symbol is the Sanskrit letter representing Om. According to the yogis this symbol represents all that was, all that is, and all that will be.

The long lower curve represents the dream state, the upper curve represents the waking state and the curve coming from the center to the right represents the deep dreamless sleep between. Interestingly, the figure is shaped like the number 3, representing the 3 states of being. The crescent shape above represents "maya" or the veil of illusion, and the dot above the crescent represents the transcendental state. When one's spirit passes through the veil and rests in the transcendental, liberation from the 3 states occurs. See The Four Yugas or Epochs.

The Om symbol represents the possibility of transcendance to Source.

*The dates are given in BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). These years correspond to the same dates in BC and AD but by defining the current period as the "Common Era" the nomenclature attempts to treat all religions and beliefs as equal.

Editor's note: In the eyes of the enlightened student of religion, there is only one God. The same God worshipped by various religions and known by various names and descriptions, i.e., Islam it's Allah, Christianity and Judaism it's God, Hinduism it's Brahmin, the same God masquerading via the diversity of creation and wearing the mask of what Sikhs, Hindus and others call Maya. See Hindu Cosmology.

The Red Dot Tradition of Hinduism

Wearing a red dot on the forehead is a Hindu, not an Indian, tradition. It is a common error to confuse the terms Hindu and Indian, though. The vast majority of Indian people are Hindu, but there are also Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs people of other faiths.

One of every six people in the world is Hindu, so it's not surprising the dot goes by different names in different dialects. You'll hear it referred to as a "tilaka," a "bottu," or a "bindi."

Traditionally, the dot carries no gender limitation: men as well as women wear it. The tradition of men's wearing the tilaka has faded in recent times, though, nowadays you see a lot more women than men sporting one.

Red is the traditional color, but that's also changing -- people now use different colors depending upon their preferences. Traditionally, some unmarried women wore black dots, while married women sported red ones. Today, women often wear dots that match the color of their saris.


Indian American, United States UN Ambassador and
former South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley

The traditional position of the tilaka is the centre of the forehead. It represents a third eye, the inner eye, the third-eye chakra, the sixth chakra. It is the seat of wisdom and is related to clear insight. Hindu tradition holds that all people have three eyes, the two outer ones used for seeing the outside world, the third one focusing inward toward God. As such, the red dot signifies piety as well as serving as a constant reminder to keep God in the front of a believer's thoughts. --

 

Alan Watts on Hinduism
When You Come Out of the Illusion

 

Mahatma Gandhi

    
Mahatma Gandhi
"My life is my message."

Monterey Pop Festival
Ravi Shankar, June, 1967

 

Tabla Solo
by Ustad Zakir Hussain

Raga Kerwani
by Paul Horn

 

See Indian Food.

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The Ubuntu Age

Be Your Allness

The Woman Pope

Religions of the World

The Stations of The Cross

The Essence ... You Are IT

May We Always Be Grateful

Please Respect My Religion

Why Hindus Wear A Red Dot

The Greatest Story Ever Sold

Islam As A World Dominant Religion


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