Hindu Religion: The myths and the facts

Hinduism or Hindu religion is one of the major religions in the world, with billions of followers in the different part of the world. The main followers are based primarily in Asian countries, namely India, Bali, Indonesia, Nepal, etc. It is the oldest religion in the world and no reference is found about the founder of the Hindu. Though a religion, it is believed to have evolved from culture and traditions of the common way of life and is also known as the eternal way. There are a lot of misconceptions about maintaining a Hindu way with following the Vedic way but differs a lot in the philosophies as well as beliefs.

Hindu dharma or religion, over the time, has grown a lot of tributaries. The actual form proposes no certain path or practice to attain the spiritual fulfillment. But different sects like Vaishnavas, Shaivas, or Shaktism. The Vaishnavas worship Vishnu and his various avatars or the earth form of Him as human beings like Rama and Krishna and praise their glory with the chant of Hare Ram Hare Krishna. They are also the believer of the facts that Vishnu is the ultimate way of finding liberation from the cycle of birth and death and enduring the pain it comes along with it. It has been termed as Moksha, and it is granted to those who have the ultimate devotion to Him. The Shaivas, on the other hand, are the believers of Shiv or the destroyer of all. It is the belief of them that instills the assurance of creation after Shiv destroys all that has become obsolete. As a tribute, a lot of magnificent temples could be found especially in Asian continent that reminds its devotees of the valor and power of the Almighty. Old temples like Pashupatinath, or Muktinath in Nepal, are grand examples of such. It is also believed that Varanasi or Kasi, which is the oldest city in the world to be a favorite place to Shiv, so one can see the Vishwanath temple, built in this place. Other than these major sects we also see the importance of other Gods and Goddesses, like Devi Ganga, who is seen as the manifestation of the Shakti, and revered heavily by those who follow Shaktism. The river Ganga which flows through India is thus considered extremely holy in this regard and it is said that any Hindu must take a bath in Ganga in his life time to get absolved of his sins of a lifetime.

The Hindus are directed to their religious path by Vedas, Puranas or the other religious directives. It places a profound importance on a person’s teacher or Guru. It is believed that only a Guru can deliver the actual message and wisdom of the religion to his disciples. It is also believed that Guru is almost equal to the almighty itself and so must be respected in order to excel in one’s endeavor. There have been mentions of extraordinary Gurus who have attained wisdom and knowledge beyond the realms of common man.

All of the religious paths are the key to reach one’s goal to the Divine. It is quite natural that their birthdays and other important days are celebrated widely throughout the Hindu community. One such important festival is Ratha Yatra, which begins with the journey of Lord Jagannatha, another name of Vishnu, to his aunt’s home, along with his siblings, Balaram and Subhadra. The procession is attended by millions of devotees all over the world. The mention of Puri, in India, is a must in this regard as it is this place that the famous Jagannatha Mandir is located. Every year devotees flock to Puri to pull the gigantic chariot. It is believed that even if one could touch the great rope which is used to pull the cart, he gets free of all the sins of the lifetime. Ratha Yatra is also celebrated widely in other parts of the world but it is Puri which gets the overwhelming attention of devotees.

Hindu religion has been known for its wide range of practices and rituals which were initially passed down through normal conversations and later maintained through the manuscript. With the great varieties of beliefs and ways of celebrations, one is absolutely bound to become overwhelmed with devotion.

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