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hinduism intro

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Henry Shiu

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Chapter 2: Hindu Traditions
The earliest composition in the Hindu tradition are said to have been 'reve aled' to rishis (visionaries or
seers) through both sight and sound thus the scared words are called shruti (that which is heard). This
dual emphasis on seeing and hearing the sacred is characteristic of the Hindu tradition.
When Hindus go on pilgrims or visit temple, they seek an experience known as a darshana: to see and be
seen by a particular deity or guru (holy teacher). Hindus experience the divine through both sight and
sound. These includes
Reciting Sanskr it texts in the temple
Recounti ng in a vernacular language the stories of the gods
Chanting a prayer
Singing a devoti onal song
Meditating on the holy mantra
The word Hinduism is li ke the word India , is derived form 'Sind': the name of the region.
It was given currency by the British colonizers of India. To them Hinduism essentially meant the
religion of those Indians.
Bharata is the indigenous term for India, this is what Indians called their land.
Some Hindus consider the Sanskri t word dharma to come close to religion.
The origin of Hinduism have be en much debated. The standard view in the early twentieth centur y was
that it had grown from a fusion of the indigenous religions of the Indus Valley with the faith of the
Aryans, an Indo-European people usually thought to have migrated there sometime between 1750 and
1500 BCE.
Sati is the culturally expected suicide of a widow, who throws herself onto her husband's funeral
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