Essay by ladyheart143College, UndergraduateA+, December 2007

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HinduismThe intention of this paper is to present information on the origin of Hinduism, its philosophical systems, and forms of worship. In addition, there are three main questions which will be explored. (1) What makes up the Hindu religion? (2) Why do Hindu desire liberation from earthly existence? (3) What are the cultural and societal influences that have made Hinduism vital to the region in which it originated? In finding the answers to these questions a deeper understanding Hinduism is hoped to be achieved.

The origin of the Hindu religion dates back as far as 8000 BCE where it was passed from generation to generation verbally (Fisher, M. P., 2005, page 73). Structure appears to have come to the Hindu religion around 3000 BCE with the first known writings of the Vedas. Fisher, M. P. (2005) recorded…"3102 According to Indian tradition, beginning of Kali Yuga; Vishnu incarnates as Vyasa, who writes down the Vedas."

The Vedas are considered the Holy books of the Hindu much like the Bible to a Christian. They are considered to be the foundation of Hindu philosophy and believed to provide divine knowledge to the Hindu in much the same respect as the Bible to the Christian.

According to Fisher, M. P. (2005)… The Vedas are a respected assortment of ancient sacred hymns which consist of four parts.

•Samhitas: hymns of praise in worship.

•Brahmanas (7000-9000 BCE): explain the symbolic correspondences between the microcosm of the ritual process and the "real world" in which rituals are performed.

•Aranyakas: "forest treatises" or writings from recluse people who meditated in the forests.

•Upanishads (400-600 BCE): place emphasis on the metaphysical nature of the universe and soul.

Note that the Samhitas and the Aranyakas were not dated. However, they are hymns of praise and worship and a collection personal...