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Hindu Religious Tradition: Sacred Elements Their Significance And Meanings

1132 words - 5 pages

The subsequent paper will examine some of the ceremonies, traditions, and rituals of Hinduism. Definitions and translations will be provided for clarification and comparison purposes. The significance of various practices will also be discussed. A general interpretation of several celebratory events will also be presented. Lastly, the aspect of karma with respect to the environment will be explored.The premise that reverence and homage to deities of nature believed to provide protection and good fortune or karma of devotees, to the asceticism beliefs and practices of Jains exemplifies an extreme variation of "Hinduism." This paper will argue that the practices of varying forms of rituals and ...view middle of the document...

" These elaborate designs are symbolic and common to the whole country. They are carefully constructed using rice flour. Insects and other small animals come and feed on the rice powder, as they may be reincarnated souls. This symbolically acknowledges the importance of every being on Earth.The entrance decoration is a gesture of welcome. Rangolis also tell us something about the family. During times of festivals, Rangolis are big and decorative. When there is no Rangolis drawn in the front porch of the house, it may mean death or funeral rites are being performed in the house. On ordinary days, the house has simple patterns drawn. These motifs are often modified to fit in with the local images and rhythms. One important point is that the entire design must be an unbroken line, with no gaps left anywhere between the lines for evil spirits to enter (Selvam, 2005).The five-day festival of lights, Diwali, a Hindu New Year is celebrated as widely as Christmas. Special types of sweets are prepared and eaten in hopes that the rest of the year will be pleasant and sweet. These sweets are offered to the Gods before sharing them with family and friends. An additional tradition on this festival is gambling. The belief is those who gamble on Diwali night will prosper throughout the year. This Hindu New Year also celebrates the return of the valiant God Rama to his kingdom with his wife Sita, after defeating the evil king Ravana. To complete the celebration, each household sets off firecrackers. Neighbors even compete over loudest firecracker. The celebration culminates with a special dinner feast (Selvam, 2005).Purification is an essential part of Hindu worship. When visiting the temple they must purify themselves by cleansing the body with purified water. The consecration of Temples and their resident deities is routinely celebrated in temples worldwide. Five elements are included in the rituals. Statues of the deities signify the earth. Water is purified by being placed in brass pots. The chanting of the mantras represents the wind. The sky represented by meditation and fire, which symbolizes power."A Maha Kumbhabhishekam is held either to formally consecrate a new temple or re-consecrate an old one, which usually occurs at twelve-year intervals, following renovation, extensive cleaning and renewal. The rites culminate with the...

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