Download Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice by Robin Rinehart PDF

By Robin Rinehart

An exam of the modern practices, ideals, and problems with one of many world's oldest and so much enduring religions, either inside its Indian place of origin and in the course of the world.

• Ten essays discover the heritage, glossy perform, and modern problems with Hinduism

• Maps together with old and modern India and the Hindu diaspora, in addition to illustrations inside of person essays

• The e-book contains a thesaurus of phrases and a advisor to announcing phrases from Indian languages

• A accomplished introductory essay presents a easy ancient assessment and addresses the advance of the definition and research of Hinduism

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Extra resources for Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice

Sample text

To do so requires that one give up the more typical sense of identity people have based upon their physical form and mental functions. As part of the foundation of being itself, or brahman, the atman is eternal even though it is confined within a physical form subject to death. Because the atman is a part of brahman itself, recognizing the atman within also opens a person to knowledge about the entire universe. Behind all this speculation about the atman and brahman and everything in between lies the desire not simply to know about but to apprehend directly the atman as one’s true identity.

The concerns of the dharma literature reveal how the relatively abstract concepts of karma and rebirth as illustrated in the Upanishads came to have broader social implications when applied to Hindu society as a whole. Introduction: The Historical Background If everyone is in samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth, and not everyone is destined to escape samsara and attain moksha at the end of this lifetime, how can people know how their actions will affect their rebirth? The dharma literature explains that dharma dictates what a person should do according to certain basic moral and ethical principles, and to specific factors such as stage of life, sex, and social status or one’s position within the caste system.

Whereas renouncers typically perform tapas to gain spiritual knowledge, others may use it to gain worldly power. The gods monitor this closely lest anyone, particularly demons, generate enough power to challenge their authority. When they see that someone has gained a great deal of power through yoga, they often grant that person a favor, or boon. People who have gained such power may also invoke curses against others who have disturbed or irritated them in some way. Those absorbed Introduction: The Historical Background in deep meditation are particularly likely to curse anyone who disturbs them.

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