Hinduism Part 2
Worship of the female goddess Shakthi came after the Shaiva and Vaishnava movement. Initially, there was a group called Periplus in the southern most part of India. They worshiped goddess Shakthi in her virgin form called Kanyakumari. It was only later the people started worshiping the tantric form of the goddess.
Saint Ramanuja was the one who saved Hinduism from degeneration in the eight century AD. He restored the worship of the goddess into the pure form. He also put down the Kapalikas and put an end to human sacrifice. He laid emphasis on Bhakthimargha rather through the Vedas.
In the 13th century, Madhava put forth the dwaita philosophy or dualism
Renovation of Hinduism was started by reformers in the south which were spread by various saints in other regions. They started the Bhakti movement and believe in praying to a personal god and spread the thought that getting moksha is through once karma or good action. The coming of Islam further made the movement more strong.
The various reformers were
- Ramananda of Allahabad
- Vallabacharya of Varanasi
- Namadeva of Maharashtra
- Mirabai of Rajasthan
- Eknath, Tukaram, and Ramdas of Maharashtra
- Surdas the blind poet from Agra
- Laila of Kashmir
- Kabir of Varanasi
- Chaitanya of Bengal
These Bhakti saints sang hymns and poems in the folk form rather than Sanskrit. So what they had to convey was easily understood by the people and this led to fast spread of Hinduism
End of social evil
In the course of time, these reformers relieved Hinduism of its social evil. Hindus were tolerant to external religions but within themselves, they have various strict codes which led to conversion and destruction of Hinduism so reform was made. Child marriage, Sati, widow rules and untouchability was reduced with the advent of foreign invasions.
Thus with these reformers and various movements and Samaj Hinduism, the religion whose beginning could not be found was propagated further
Doctrine of Hinduism
the first of the five strands of Hinduism is doctrine, as expressed in a vast textual tradition anchored to the Veda (“Knowledge”), the oldest core of Hindu religious utterance, and organized through the centuries primarily by members of the learned Brahman class. Here several characteristic tensions appear. One concerns the relationship between the divine and the world. Another tension concerns the disparity between the world-preserving ideal of dharma and that of moksha (release from an inherently flawed world). A third tension exists between individual destiny, as shaped by karma (the influence of one’s actions on one’s present and future lives), and the individual’s deep bonds to family, society, and the divinities associated with these concepts.
Specialty of Hinduism
Hinduism differs from other monotheistic religions in that it does not have:
- a single founder,
- a specific theological system,
- a single concept of deity,
- a single holy text,
- a single system of morality,
- a central religious authority,
- the concept of a prophet.
Hinduism is generally regarded as the world’s oldest organized religion. It consists of “thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE.” 1 Because of the wide variety of Hindu traditions, freedom of belief and practice have traditionally been notable features of Hinduism.
In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it. It is also closely associated conceptually and historically with the other Indian religions Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Throughout its extensive history, there have been many key figures teaching different philosophies and writing numerous holy books. For these reasons, writers often refer to Hinduism as ‘a way of life’ or ‘a family of religions’ rather than a single religion.
To be continued keep reading