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Religious Tolerance and Hindu Rituals - Assignment Example

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Religious Tolerance and Hindu Rituals

This is often not the road that is taken and misconceptions are often allowed to turn people against certain religions and beliefs. Ignorance regarding religions is most often the reason for people’s antagonistic attitudes in relation to people of other faiths. This paper shall look at a religious ceremony of Hinduism and reassess a few ideas about the religion that were proven to be misconceptions after it. Religions like Hinduism are often considered to be similar to or even perceived as variations of Satanism. This is the result of various misconceptions that arise out of religious intolerance in people of other religions (Robinson, 2006). People of other religions tend to think of Hinduism as a religion where idols are worshipped in a very simple manner. This is however, not true. According to the ceremony that I attended, which was to worship the Goddess Durga, an idol is what the Goddess reveals herself as to the devotee. The goddess assumes the form that the true devotee wishes to see her in and this becomes a symbol of the love that God holds for the true devotee. The importance of this can be seen in the care and devotion with which the statue of Durga is made before the festival of Durga Puja begins (Durga Puja Preparation, n.d.). Apart from the philosophical and theological reasons that are offered for this form of worship, it also allows the devotees to converge at a particular spot. It enables people to understand the fact that Hinduism is not a religion but a culture that is a part of a society of people. It is not a compendium of rules regarding conduct and worship. This is evident from the fact that there is no single text that is considered to be the most important one. No person is considered to have laid the foundations of this religion either (Das, n.d.). All of these factors combine to transform Hinduism into a culture of a society rather than a conventional religion. The worship of idols and the use of music are factors that cause people to conceptualize of Hinduism as a religion that is a mystic one that is similar to orientalist conceptions that Western Civilization holds about the Indian subcontinent. This is however, not true. The music and the idol, apart from being symbols of social togetherness and a shared culture, also enable people to concentrate their minds on the idea of god. This can be done through an immersion into the atmosphere that is created by the combination of the different aspects of the festival. The ritual turns the festival into an opportunity for people to connect with god. A large part of Indian music is non-secular and this results in the fact that it is a part of the Durga Puja. Investing all of one’s attention in the idol of Durga enables the devotee to dissolve his existence into a union with the Goddess. The idol thus serves the practical purpose of giving the devotee an object to focus his or her attention on (Jayaram, n.d.). My understanding of Hinduism was radically altered after the ceremony as many of the common misconceptions concerning the religion were proven to be false following it. The deep philosophical tenets and the practical side of the religion were exposed during the ceremony and this led to a change in the perceptions regarding the religion and its practices. The social aspect of the religion also changed my perception regarding it as it enabled me to place it in a context where it is a part of everyday life. Misconceptions regarding ...Show more

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In the world where people of many communities and cultural belongings have come together to become a part of separate global villages it is impossible to survive in harmony without being tolerant towards the beliefs of the others…
Author : ckreiger
Religious Tolerance and Hindu Rituals essay example
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