Learn the Basics about Hindu Beliefs, Gods and Rituals
This book contains an easily accessible overview of the Hindu religion, with a focus on those coming from the Western religions and cultures. While quite a few of us in the west are familiar with at least some aspects of the religion (karma for instance), most of us lack any real depth of understanding of the complexities and nuances of one of the world's oldest and most diverse religions. I hope that by reading this book you can at least begin to scratch the surface of this rich and intricate religion.
We will cover the basics of the belief system, including the concepts of karma, reincarnation, ahimsa, and the one Supreme Being. These concepts unite all the various sects of the Hindu religion, as well as all of the regional and familial variations in what is a rich and complex religion.
The pantheon of the gods is described, with an emphasis on each god's function. The rich symbolism present in their depictions is also explored, for a small sampling of the main deities. A full treatment of the symbolism is a subject worthy of a full semester college course.
Not only is Hinduism rich in its diversity of gods and goddesses, it is also filled with many different rituals and festivals. Some of the most important rituals that punctuate the life of a Hindu are described. Rituals that are performed for pregnancy, birth, and death are common. Like we are accustomed to in the west, the Hindu religion also celebrates many holidays. I describe some of the most popular.
Finally, I give a brief overview of what can only be considered one of the largest collections of religious scriptures in the world. They number over 100, though not all are accorded the same significance. This work is intended to serve as a jumping off point for you to begin your self-exploration of the world's oldest and third largest religion.
In this book, you'll learn...