Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) encompasses a broad variety of beliefs and practices, not all of which are shared by all Hindus, and many of which actually contradict each other. It is probably unique among the religions of the world in its tolerance of diversity. It is a completely decentralized religion, with no hierarchy of clergy and so supreme authority. It had no single founder whose teachings have been propagated by his disciples.
Although most of the basic beliefs of Hinduism achieved their present term about the time of Christ, the roots of the religion are much older; some of the same gods worshiped by Hindus were being worshiped by their ancestors nearly 4, 000 years ago. As Hinduism developed, it continually absorbed and reinterpreted the beliefs and practices of the different peoples with whom it came into contact. The church named Masjid Al-Rahim performs five times daily prayers and may gather on Friday as the major assemble of believers for the week.
Actually they have ten types of worship and some of these are performed as a group or individually and sometimes both. What is good on this is that Hindus can perform it in the temple or at home whatever they want to. The worship service is called arti which means “a greeting celebration with a lamp” and each of them will worship Tulsi by walking around her as part of the ritual and each one of them will have a kirtan. Afterwards, an individual will join with other believers or devotees for the meditation for their beads called japa.
They have more than one priest that performs the rituals and the priests dressed the deities according to their day-to-day outfits. In a while, after the priests dressed these deities, the curtains will open and the congregation will greet them with an arti. Next to this is the guru-puja. It is a time in which the congregation has the chance to offer different flowers to their spiritual leader. After this, one of the priests will sing a song called bhajan and gives a sermon to the congregation as part of their worship service.
The congregation also has the chance to raise questions to the priest regarding the spiritual life at the end of the sermon. Moreover, According to them, they have 10 important holidays that are carefully observed but actually only gave me five out of ten which are the most important ones and these are the Diwali which is celebrated from September to October, Holi and Mahashivaratri (two different festivals but celebrated from February to March), the birthday celebration of Lord Rama during the month of April, Kumbh Mela happens during the months of July to August which is a kind of pilgrimage to India.
In addition, they said that their religion helps them to direct their lives especially in making their decisions. It helps them shape their characters as good believers and have strong belief with their gods. There are times that other people may misunderstand on what they believe in and this challenges most of them because it will enable and push them to share on what they believe and convince others that there religion has so much to offer beyond everyone’s comprehension.
Also, showing good conducts to others is one of their challenges too because their present actions also determine their future lives after they died and will be reborn. For most of the believers, they believe that earthly existence in the present depends on their past lives. The fortunes of the soul in each rebirth are determined by its behavior in former lives. This law of karma states that no sin ever goes unpunished and no virtue remains unrewarded; if a man does not receive punishment or reward in this life, he will in some succeeding life.
By his behavior a man determines whether his rebirth will be a higher station or lower, whether he will be reborn as a man, as a god, or as the lowest insect. Furthermore, they said that it didn’t matter with them if their religion is called Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism because there is no much difference in their practices and beliefs thus they believe in the same gods although may differ in practices to some degrees.
In addition, the names or titles for their religion are just an identification that they believe in Hinduism. In Hinduism, men and women have different functions. The women’s role is important in upholding the social and cultural values of the family and they are not given much attention with regards to their education on the other hand, men’s roles are to take care of the family and his wife and must be respectful and show affections to relatives.
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