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Hindu Tradition + Christian Thought + Greek Philosophy - Research Paper Example

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Hindu Tradition in action in Texas Hinduism consists of many sects and also many denominations. Out of the many, two important ones are Shaivism and Vaishnavism. Hindus believe that to reach god, one may not follow the same path. So these different sects show different paths leading to god…
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Hindu Tradition + Christian Thought + Greek Philosophy
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Hindu Tradition + Christian Thought + Greek Philosophy

Under Saivism, Shiva is considered to be the supreme God, with his two forms being the lingam and the human form. Among the variants of the Human form, the most important is the dancing posture called Nataraja and also Dakshinamoorthy, the instructor of four sages. Vaishnavism on the other hand has its roots in Northeren India where the Aryans were mostly concentrated. It became renown in the 3rd century AD. Vaishnavites believe that Vishnu is the supreme power, and that god is personal and the ultimate goal of life is to be the servant of god, through faith or Bhakti. Modern Vaishnavites also believe that Vishnu takes many incarnations every eon ( Bhandarkar, 48,62, 160,165) Temples Along with the differences in sects and cultures between north and south India, considerable difference in the style of architecture has also been noticed. The most prominent parts by which they can be differentiated are their superstructures, and also the plan, vertical structure, statues and motifs. The major part of northern India, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Bengal region has temples in the northern style; whereas the southern style was concentrated to the more southerly interiors had a consistent style. Mixture of the two occurs towards the central parts of India (Temple Styles, 86). The temples of India were classified as according to their typological features and were divided into Nagara, Dravida and Vesara styles, mainly signifying square, octagonal or apsidal ended shapes and these dictate the other structural parts of the temple. The Nagara style was common in Northern India, whereas the Dravida style was famous in southern India. Building of a temple in India in those times were mainly the religious beliefs of the kings who ascended the throne. So most of the temples were known according to the king under whom they were built. Various styles have been exported to places all over the world, including Texas (Temple Styles, 88). Around thirty four Hindu temples exist in Texas, with about fifteen in Houston and Dallas. Various types of temples have emerged in the United States, such as the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Houston, which is an example of a temple dedicated to one particular deity, Goddess Meenakshi, but in keeping with the tradition of unity in diversity, with so many sects in the Hindu culture, the worship of Shiva is also done here, in the form of Lord Shri Sundareswara. Vaishnava traditions are also celebrated as the temple is also dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, another form of Vishnu. Thus this temple does not concentrate on any one sect but provides a multiple option of pursuing ones faith (Brady, 87; Laderman and Leon, 102). Majority of these temples were built according to the Vastu Shastra of the Vedic period, with modern adaptations. These new temples have spacious halls, and used for weddings and other cultural occasions. In most temples there is one main deity, but the deities of the other sects and customs are also recognized. This is because of lack of space in foreign land, but it also helps to foster good relations between the various sects present there (Badlani, 329-330). For a decision, as to which deity to be made the main one in a temple, becomes a much debated topic. Various devotees lobby for the different sects, and sometimes a temple that is supposed to bring in peace and harmony becomes a cause of division. Reaching a consensus is very difficult due to large number ... Read More
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