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Hinduism is a henothestic religion. They believe in one god but are open to the exsitence of other gods. They believe in other gods like Shiva,Krishna,Rama,and Vishnu,and many more gods. But the ultimate god is Brahma, which shows thier Henothistic belief. (Faith in America. By:Gail)
The sacred texts is the four Vedas and the Important is the Upanishads. Many people take them as seprate but they are all apart of the four books of Vedas. The Vedas is the basis of the Hindu practices and the Upanishads are stories of the religion.
A guru or swami is the religious leader. Hinduism is based on a worshipper to god relationship so Guru and Swamis are just guides.
Hindus don't believe in heaven or hell they believe in reincarnation. They believe that there soul is reborn agian and agian till full potential or moksha. Moksha is when you are reunited with Brahman the creator.
Their goal is to live a good life like any other religion, but they have to live a good life in their caste.
They believe in the caste system, it is the way you a re classified in life you cannot move up unless reincarneated, you are born into the caste and have to live a life based on the caste. Hindus also believe in karma and Dharma.
Karma is when you do something and there is either a good cause or bad cause. Dharma is doing your job.
Section 2-History of the Faith in America
Who brought the religion here? When were the first believers of the religion living in the United States? Where did they live? How has the number of followers grown? Immigration? Conversion? How were the followers of the religion accepted? Was their worship tolerated or did the followers have to hide or change their practice to avoid trouble? Did the followers face problems or discrimination because of their religious beliefs?
Section 3-How does the Faith Look in America
n America the followers of Hinduism practice the the religion in Temples,and shrines in there home
The main place of worship for Hindus are in the home, in the home that have shrines which is where, they conduct the holy ritual Puja.
Puja is when an offering is given to the deity or god of your worship, since they do believe in more than one god.
Seven object used for Puja. (ngfl-cymru.org)
Bell- They ring the bell to let the gods know they have came to worship.
Diva lamp- It brings light to the shrine to symbolize that god is light.
Incense- Purifies the air.
Water container and spoon- They offer water to the gods using a spoon, this shows respect.
Kum Kum powder- Use this to make a mark upon their forhead shows that gos has blessed them.
Prashad- Offers fruit, rice or flowers to the gods for them to bless.
(click on the on pictures to see pictures of the objects.)(ngfl-cymru.org)
In America Hindus worship in temples which are located all around the country. Majority of the worship takes place in the home but on big holidays the worship is done at temples. The worship at temples are slightly different because at the temples there are Gurus that guide the worship, but when done at home it is done by the worshipers themselves.
Many temples have decorations of various Hindu gods on the outside.
Temples are usually dedicated to one god but in America many Hindus go there for holidays such as Diwali and Navrati. It is costume to take one shoes off before going into the temple to pay respect to the gods.(asia.org)
Many Hindus of Indian decent where clothings called Saris and other traditional Indian outfits when going to the temple.. ------->
various culture outfits for men and women.
Also they where Bindhis or read dots. Bindis are worn, in between the eyes, as apart of the tradition outfits for young girls but for older married women they where a red marking on there forehead to repersent marriage. This is only done by traditional Hindu women in America are more modern and don't where the marking.(Hinduism.com)
marrige Bindi (homeindia.com)
Section 4-Challenges Followers Face in America
American tolerance is high, Americans tolerance is high because the Hindus in America don't stir up trouble, set up terrorist camps, call for the destruction of the Constitution, ask Americans for millions, establish fake charities, try and convert people through T.V, lobby Congress for special favors and consideration, challenge the separation of church and state, abuse the First Amendment.(Examiner.com 11/17/10)
People look and may treat Hindus different because of the way they are dressed in America. In America there is freedom of religion so laws cannot be put in place to discriminate against a religion. The government hasn't made laws against this religion because there is such a high tolerance for the religion. The Hindu religion respects American way of doing things so in return the American government respects the Hinduism religion. For example the video link listed below, shows how the police are being educated to respect the religion. However some Hidus believe that alot of Hindu priests, temple architects, and temple artisans were being denied religious worker visas. (hafsite.org 11/18/10)
The highest concentration of Hindus in America is in New York with .60% of its population, and then New Jersey with .30% of the state’s population. (Adherents.com 11/17/10)
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