Comparing Religious Beliefs

Essay by al3xoo4 May 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Throughout the course of the year, we have learned the teachings and beliefs of

many other religions and cultures. In this essay the major beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism,

and Aboriginal Spirituality are taken and compared. With the research completed it was

easy to determine the similarities and differences of each.

Many variations have developed from Hinduism over the years, and many non-

Hindu cults and religious movements gained their inspiration from Hinduism. Even in

India today, the most accepted divisions of Hinduism have changed significantly over the

last three thousand years. One of the oldest aspects of Hinduism is as much social as

religious, and that is the caste system. It is important to understand the caste system

before delving into Hindu religious beliefs. According to Hindu teaching, there are four

basic castes, or social classes. Each caste has its own rules and obligation for living. The

elite caste is the Brahman, or priest caste.

Second are the Kshatriyas, or warriors and

rulers. Third are the Vaisyas, or merchants and farmers. Finally, the fourth caste is the

Shudras, or laborers. Outside the caste system are the untouchables. The untouchables

are the outcasts of Hindu society. Though outlawed in India in the 1940s, the

untouchables are still a very real part of Indian society. One does not get decide his or

her caste - that matter is decided when one is born into a particular caste. As previously

stated, there is not a strict belief in Hinduism. There are however, several principles that

share a commonality among the various sects. Virtually all Hindus believe in:

-The three-in-one god known as "Brahman," which is composed of: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).

-The Caste System.

-Karma. Every action, thought, or decision one makes has consequences - good...