of the Hinduismus is with approximately 900 million trailers (after Christianity and Islam) third biggest the religion of the world, created after the Vedas, and has its origin in India. Belonging one of this religion Hindus are called. Gläubige Hindus understand their religion also as way of life.
The Hinduismus is a religion, which consists different schools and opinions of different directions with good reason. Therefore there is no common for all equally valid Glaubensbekenntnis. Only individual directions decrease/go back to a certain founder, e.g. assume trailers Krishnas Krishna actually lived in prähistorischer time and justified its faith. Since it concerns with the Hinduismus different religions, there is also no central institution, which would have authority for all Hindus. The theories over mirror-image-ritual interests and even the God conceptions are in the individual currents very differently, even the opinions over lives, death and release (Moksha) do not agree not. Most Gläubigen however assumes that that lives and death are a constantly repeating cycle (SAM era), it believes in the Reinkarnation. For the personal faith often a large value due to that religious teachers (gurus) have variety. Despite all differences Hindus of the different directions can celebrate and pray to a large extent together, even if its theology and philosophy do not agree. “Unit in that variety” is an often used idiom for self definition in the modern Hinduismus.
Table of contents
history of the Hinduismus
of the Hinduismus is one of the oldest today faith forms still practiced.
After a theory, which by max Mueller was set up, moved around 2000 v. Chr., at the end of the Indus culture, arische trunks to north India, which coined/shaped the further cultural process considerably. Some Indian historians against it maintain that the Arier was already a resident trunk, which could attain the upper rule at this time.
To the oldest received writings of India the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda as well as some astronomical texts belong. The oldest Indian texts cannot be dated with certainty. They permit a view of the early religious life, which of animal and plant victims, ritual washing and hymns was certain to the Gods. This very day in the Hinduismus well-known Gods (Vishnu, Brahma, Saraswati) are already admired there, although they did not rank at that time yet among the main divinities.
- The Rig Veda contains hymns, in order to praise and call the Gods. It is the oldest of all Vedas, the other three Veden takes some contents out of the Rigveda.
- The Sama Veda consists of singing, which accompanies the victims musical.
- The Yajur Veda contains Prosaverse, which are rezitiert with victim rites.
- The Atharva Veda contains Mantras and swearing to against enemies and diseases as well as prayers for assigning for errors during the victims.
The early vedische religion did not know temples or God pictures. Sometimes the Gods were angebetet by fire victims, one darbot Opfergaben holy of the juice Soma , Ghi (Butterschmalz), milk, bread and meat of the animals.
The Hinduismus is a fusion of several different religious systems: the old-Indian religions and the religion of the Arier probably immigrated from the north. Large parts of the Urbevölkerung India, whose history lies to a large extent in the dark, probably in the course of the time ever into the south one continued to displace. From this culture elements could originate like the admiration from God inside, holy animals and the Lingamkult. In the Rigveda (on approx. 1200 v.Chr. dated, dating) the Arier however the Gods are described uncertainly partly than personifizierte natural forces, the texts tell of gold, cattle and fights and ask for the nature of the Göttlichen. To “the ways give many names, it that, which is truth, call it Agni, Yama, Matarishvan. “(Rigveda 1.164.46)
time of the Upanishaden
in the next Entwicklungsstufe (approx. v.Chr) the Brahmanenkaste received 800 by complicated rituals a high degree at influence. A reorientation begins in the time of the Upanishaden (700 v. Chr. to 500 v. Chr.). It becomes already visible in the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas and shows up then in the philosophy of the Upanishaden. The partitioning into these three text kinds follows the Indian tradition, however the borders between these text places are flowing. The Brahmanas develops a complicated victim theology, which Aranyakas (“forest or game sneezing books”) treat secret teachings, which not in the settlements, but outside (evenly in the forest) were discussed, and the Upanishaden contains mystische speculations. They cover about 250 writings, which developed for topics over several centuries and such as Wiedergeburt, Yoga and Karma respond. In particular the 13 vedischen Upanishaden coined/shaped the later Hinduismus.
the end of the Upanishadenzeit is often regarded as a cut: The time before it is usually called in the Indologie Brahmanismus, and Hinduismus designates then excluding the following time. Since 500 v.Chr. the Hinduismus probably experienced its to substantial arrangement delivered today. The language of the excessive quantity was Sanskrit, a indogermanische language, related to the European languages. When main Gods applied now for Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and it became temples built, God statues set up and many cult and Weihehandlungen developed.
Krishna and Rama, after Hinduglauben human embodiments of the God Vishnu, appear in that epischen literature between 200 v. Chr. and 400. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are extensive and this very day much-read seals of this period. The most important part of the Mahabharata is the training poem Bhagavad Gita. Into this time also forming out a multiplicity of faith directions, the individual Gods falls particularly admire (for example Shaktismus, Shivaismus and Vishnuismus) as well as a coding of the brahmanischen theory in the Dharma Sutra and the Dharma Shastra.
Since that 4. Jh. v.Chr. lost the hinduistischen religions by the Buddhismus trailer, it went down however never completely and became only in 4. Jh. from the kings at that time again prefers. The time of 400 to 1000, following on it , is by the Puranas anda multiplicity of historical, mythologischer and teaching writings characterizes. Into this time also the beginning of tantrischer traditions falls.
the Islamic invasion
The fall of the Mogulreiches coincided with the arrival of the East India company , which confronted the Hinduismus with Christian and abendländischem ideas.
in 19. Jh. developed in India different religious-social reform movements, which came out from the meeting of India with Europe. The box system or the tradition of the widow burn became also within the Hinduismus strengthened analyzes. In the course of this development Hindus began to understand itself as unit (which before in the measure the case had not been). From the outset the Neohinduismus was connected with the independence efforts. The Christian mission acres in India caused less a converting to the Christianity than an argument with the own religion. The translations of the European Indologen form printed of Sanskrit in English in had the consequence that the traditional record became accessible also in India of a broader public.
Several organizations were formed in this time. The Brahmo Samaj (based 1828 of RAM Mohan Roy in Calcutta) developed a monotheistischen beginning and saw in the absolutely informal Brahman and only God, the highest nature. The Arya Samaj (based 1875 of Dayananda in Mumbai) wanted to release the Hinduismus from later influences, which it than falsifications regarded, like e.g. the Puranas. It rejected the Polytheismus and the box system and regarded only the Veda as source of revealing . Both organizations turned against the picture admiration and aimed at social reforms.
After the model of the Christian mission Swami Vivekananda 1897 created the Ramakrishna mission, with the goal the theory of the Vedanta, which he regarded as completion of the religions, of spreading in the whole world. Its teacher Ramakrishna held the opinion, all religions of the world announced the same truth, the variety of the religions was however only light (Maya). The speech Vivekanandas before the “world parliament of the religions” 1893 in Chicago, in which it presented the Hinduismus for the first time as universal religion, was the first opportunity, at which the Hinduismus presented itself outside of India.
The movement of independence of India under Mahatma Gandhi with its force-free resistance, contributed to a larger interest in hinduistischen traditions in the western world.
of the Hinduismus is today in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bali and even in Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago common as well as in Europe particularly in Great Britain. This taken place to a large extent via dealers and Indian workers, in 19. and 20. Century immigrated. In Nepal the Hinduismus is already since that 4. Jh., in Bali since that 9. Jh. present. In both countries the escape of Hindus before Islamic conquests, in Nepal played a role starting from that 10 during the spreading of the Hinduismus. Jh. (from north India) and in Bali in the 15.Jh (from Java).
no common founder person
teachings Opfergaben at Ganesha of the Hinduismus. Each faith direction has own only holy writings obligatory on it: e.g. Vishnuiten the Bhagavatapurana, Shaktianhänger the Devi Mahatmyam, a puranischem work for the admiration of the goddess. On the other hand the Veden with the Upanishaden and the Bhagavad Gita ( as a component of the Mahabharata ) are considered as the fundamental holy one of texts to all Hindus.
Against the first appearance the Hinduismus is not a polytheistische religion. The western religion science and the Indologie calls it Henotheismus, there all Gods - depending upon individual faith adjustment - expression of the highest personal God or also the impersonal soul of the world (Brahman) to be can.
In Hinduismus cosmos as arranged whole regarded, which of the Dharma, which world law, which represents the natural and moral order, is controlled. The centers of the hinduistischen Religiosität are beside the own house the temples. One of the largest temple complexes and Pilgerzentren is Tirumala Tirupati in south India. In north India the holy city Varanasi tightens enormous amounts of pilgrims to course again and again.
different hinduistischen the traditions and philosophies represent different God pictures, it are in the long run the particular left. The main directions are however Shivaismus, Vishnuismus as well as Shaktismus, which contain however again completely different God conceptions. Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu are represented also as threeness Trimurti. The admiration of Shiva and Vishnu, in each case in innumerable different forms and names, is far common. Brahma against it is only in the mythology present, in the admiration plays it nearly no more role, its place takes its Shakti , Saraswati. Besides there are however innumerable other Manifestationen e.g. the elefantenköpfigen Ganesha, as well as which is considered to Hanuman, the servant Ramas, which is again a Avatar of Vishnu as a son of Shiva and Parvati. There is also a large number of female divinities, either as a “large goddess” (Mahadevi) autonomously arises as for instance to Durga or as wives and/or. female side of the male thought Gods apply, e.g. Sarasvati and Lakshmi. Most Gläubigen assumes the Anbetung of each God corresponds to the Anbeten of the highest Göttlichen, since all feature ways one are. Others against it admire the highest only in a form, as for instance many the trailer Krishnas, and regard the other Gods than him subordinated Devas. Admiring the Göttlichen in pictures serves to help the Gläubigen God in a simpler way anzubeten. Many Hindus reject however the admiration of the Göttlichen in this form strictly.
it is conceptually confusing to use the German word “God” regarding the Hinduismus. Some currents of the Hinduismus believe in a highest God, designated as Ishvara (wörtl.: the highest gentleman). It gives also it subordinated natures, which are called Devas. They can be regarded as Gods, half Gods, angels, spirit or himmlische natures between the Ishvara and humans. One most important concepts however is the Brahman - the highest cosmic spirit.
Brahman is the unbeschreibbare, inexhaustible, all-knowing, all-powerful, not physical, pervasive, original, first, eternal and absolute basic rule. Are hidden and the cause, the source and the material of all well-known creation, even however unknown and nevertheless the entire universe immanently without a beginning, without an end, in all things. The Upanishaden describes it as and indivisible, eternal universaleven, which is present in everything and is present in that everything.
The Ishvara (highest gentleman ) is seen of some directions as the manifested form of Brahman. The illusion strength, which the Brahman compelled as the material world the individual souls and the Ishvara to be seen is called Maya. All Devas of the Hinduismus applies for this aspect according to as the lay expressions a Ishvara.
In the opinion the Advaita Vedanta is identical humans in its internal nature core to the Brahman and this identity applies it to recognize. Advaita Vedanta (Nichtdualität) is the teachings Shankaras (788-820 n. Chr), which aims at this realization of the unit. After theory of the Vishishtadvaita (qualifizerter Monismus) of Ramanuja against it God of everything is which exists, it exists however a qualitative difference between individual soul and highest God. At the other end of the spectrum stands the purely binaryistic philosophy of the Dvaita Vedanta of the Madhvas, which differentiates strictly between soul and God. (see: Indian philosophy)
the holy writings
the four Veden (consisting of the Samhitas and three layers comments, i.e. the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and the Upanishaden) are the highest holy texts of the Hinduismus. They are called Shruti, which means “the belonged” (of the Rishis, the ways, directly of God). All further holy texts are called Smriti (memory) and regarded than of human origin. Among the Smriti e.g. rank. Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas. The Veden was considered in former times as secret and is difficult to understand. The Smritis is however simpler and more popular and by most Hindus is read.
The most important currents within the Hinduismus are the Vishnuismus and the Shivaismus. Vishnuiten believe that its highest God Vishnu manifested itself in ten Inkarnationen (Avatara) in the world. Vishnu inkarniert itself above all in the world if the cosmic order (Dharma) is endangered and is by a göttlichen hero again a fair copy to be brought. Among the ten Inkarnationen also Rama and Krishna rank. The idea of the Inkarnationenlehre is that Vishnu is the highest göttliche principle, which brings all other divinities and the material world out. Some schools of the Vishnuismus embody a monistische aspect, which the Vedanta - philosophy corresponds. Others against it represent a monotheistische view, e.g. many trailers Krishnas. In the Vishnuismus the devotion plays a larger role than in to a personal God (Bhakti) usually the Shivaismus.
The Shivaiten believes that Shiva is the highest nature, which all other Gods towered above in power and they besides create has. Shiva is the God of the Asketen, which meditiert in the Himalaya, and in periodic cycles destroys the world, in order to create she Kraft of its Yogas again again. Shiva becomes not figürlich, with exception of the Nataraj, but in its symbol, which Lingam admires. Shivaiten can be dualists, like in the Shaiva Siddhanta, or Monisten in the senses Shankaras, or also Tantriker, like in the Shivaismus of Kashmir. In some currents of the Shivaismus Yoga plays a very large role.
Wiedergeburt and release
of Gods, humans and animals wander through the world ages Yuga after hinduistischer faith conception in a cycle marked by eternal return SAM era. During the life depending upon behavior good or bad Karma is accumulated. This law of a cause and effect of actions affects future Reinkarnationen and the release (moksha) after hinduistischer conception, coming up the Atman (Atman is the inherent Brahman). It is only conditionally to compare with the soul, there the soul something individual (thus with everyone differently) and the Atman always the same is in “cosmic consciousness” (Brahman). Personal illuminating is the terminator point of the development of the spirit and depending upon implementing of the search can these by the classical four methods be achieved: 1. Bhakti Yoga, the loving admiration of God, 2. Karma Yoga the way of the act, 3. Jnana Yoga, the way of the knowledge, 4. Raja Yoga, the “king way” of the Yoga.
the holy cow and vegetarian food
possibly also as reaction to the Vegetarismus in the Buddhismus and to the risen meaning of Ahimsa, the non-violence, demanded the hinduistischen writings strengthen renouncement of the consumption of meat. In vedischen times were the life circumstances still completely different. In some writings there is reference that meat, was eaten even beef, whereby it might have however always concerned the meat of Opfertieren.
General Vegetarismus is however for Hindus neither a demand still another dogma, however the vegetarian way of life regarded as the ethicalally higher, there meat a product of the killing is and not sattvic (purely). Vegetarians are to be found in all social classes, the renouncement however by Brahmanen are particularly expected. In principle however nearly all Hindus rejects the benefit of beef.
In the Indian mythology various purchases are to the cow (Go). By Krishna one says, it is on the one hand a Govinda (Kuhhirte) and on the other hand a Gopala (Beschützer of the cows). Its companion Radha is a Gopi (Hirtenmädchen), Shivas riding animal is a bull (Nandi).
Seals from past Indian cultures (Indus culture) suggest that cows had a particularly high value already more than four thousand years ago. The most important roots for the admiration are however the Veden, in which the picture of the cow emerges again and again as a göttliches nature. Nevertheless cattle in India were sacrificed without reservation and fed at present the Neolithikums. Why and when this changed is unclear. The Kulturanthropologe Marvin Harris attributes the fact to changed economic basic conditions: With the arising of the state and a larger population density any longer sufficient cattle could not be bred, in order both and fleischliche source of food and and course animals to be used. Possibly that was one of the reasons that the killing of cows became also as a Opfertier for Hindus an absolute taboo and their meat until today is not eaten. Interestingly enough were the straight in former times for the ritual cattle slaughtering responsible persons Brahmanen, which used themselves later at the strongest for the protection of the cattle.
ethics and sociology of the Hinduismus
the affiliation to a caste have further large social relevance for Indian Hindus despite abolishment of the box system in the condition. Principle of the box order is that the organisms are strictly from each other separate from birth according to tasks, rights, obligations and abilities. For the individual box (Varnas) there are different special religious and ritual regulations, which express themselves within all ranges of the life. The execution of the obligations, which each caste in its specific life stage is incumbent on, is its absolute obligation (Dharma); Infringements are regarded as omission of the obligations and therefore as bad (Adharma). Which was expected by each humans, it was that he followed the specific obligations of his caste, enjoyed his life desires satisfied and the joys of the life. The society was divided in four box, whose tasks of ideal way were the following: 1. Brahmanen you studied the holy writings of the Veden; gave religious instruction and implemented the ritual victims. 2. Kshatriyas, the Kriegerkaste They should protect the weak ones, when kings govern fairly and the Brahmanen protection and encouragement with their scholarly and priesterlichen work to grant. 3. Vaishyas, the caste of the dealers and Hirten should increase the wealth of the country by trade and agriculture. 4. Shudras, the serving caste They consisted of the population of the not Aryas and should work as officials for the Brahmanen, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.
Below the four main box are the Dalits (in former times called untouchable ones), which is responsible such as toilet cleaning and road turns for inferior work. In order to improve the position of the Dalits, the government reserved a considerable number of jobs in the public sector for it. (Lonely planet (11th edition, S. 58)The box are again divided into thousands of “groups of families” or social communities, which are called Jati. Into it an individual is in-born and it is sometimes - however not always - connected with a vocational activity. Although the box nature in the Hinduismus developed, one practices there also by other religions. Thus the Christianisierung did not always overcome the box nature. This very day must sit in many churches of India member the lower box in the back.
role of the Mrs.
the role of the woman in the Hinduismus has a continuous development over the centuries and thousands of years be gone through and must always also in connection with the respective life circumstances as well as the different hinduistischen cultures be seen. On the one hand some legislators forbade to the women read the Veden, some hymns of the Rigveda however by women were written, and in the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad we find a dialogue between the scholarly daughter of Vachaknu Gargi and Yajnavalkya. From this time also the custom of the Svayamvara is delivered, literal to “Selbstwahl”: Women at the king yard were married not simply, but selected the bridegroom from the whom are applicable candidates themselves.
A central ritual, which is Upanayana (Initiationsritus for boys) from earliest time on however only male member the upper box reserved. It is this ritual action, which becomes humans the “Dvijati” leaves, to the “two-mark-born”. After the natural birth the Upanayana represents the cultural birth.
An important role in the hinduistischen woman picture represents Sita , the wife Ramas from the large Epos Ramayana. The picture of the victim-ready wife represents the model of the ideal woman for many this very day. It became thereby the important topic in the Indian toolism and in the modern Indian literature.
On the one hand one can criticize from today's viewpoint that hinduistische traditions often do not grant the rights, which would be entitled to them from modern view to women. On the other hand was for instance professor H.H. Wilson of the opinion that women stood in no other antique nation in as large attention as with the Hindus.
one of the major tasks of the woman in the Hinduismus is the maternity. Each stage of the pregnancy up to the birth accompanied from sakramentalen rites to the protection and to physical and mental well-being being issued of nut/mother and child. In former times women should get as much as possible sons, since these could guarantee security and surviving the entire family. Although Hindus do not estimate the daughters generally smaller, they nevertheless too often also today still apply in some families as load, since them can to have to bring along the dowry with their wedding and the family by dowry payments for too many daughters also become impoverished. This problem leads to a high abortion rate with female Föten. Many modern Hindus, particularly in the cities, make friends themselves gradually with the thought that also a daughter can supply their parents at the age.
is normally in the traditional family the father the head. It makes all important decisions, for example over financial matters, wedding etc. - at least it is to look outward in such a way. Traditionally those is nut/mother son connection the closest in the Indian family system. Usually the son with its wife lives in the house of parents, if spatial conditions permit this. With the daughters however it is also today still usually from the beginning clear that they will leave the house, in order to pull into the family of the married man. This is not simple for the young wife. It is that in the family with the few rights, their status improves often only if it gets children (best a son). Older women, i.e. Mothers-in-law, have often a very solid status and are equipped with sufficient authority. A social role, which is traditionally not very respectable in the Hinduismus, is those the unmarried woman. Single women live in India usually not alone, but far in the household of parents. The relationship between spouses is primarily coined/shaped of Pragmatismus. With one “arranged marriage” looks for the family that person as a married man and/or. Wife out, those regarding education, status etc. is most similar. The love comes later, says one in India. That is like a pot water, which one places on the stove and which begins to cook evenly only later. So-called “love marriages” are however today ever more frequent.
The ideal is a four-level life model, which plans, after which pupil years a family to be created and only after the children became grown-up to withdraw themselves and to intensively religious studies and the own release dedicate themselves.
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- David Frawley: “The mirror-image-ritual practice of the Vedanta”, wind horse, ISBN 3-89385-412-6
- Helmuth of Glasenapp: “The Hinduismus - religion and. Society in the today's India ", 1922
- January Gonda: “The religions of India I, Veda and older Hinduismus”. Kohl hammer publishing house, Stuttgart, 1978
- January Gonda: “The religions of India II, the younger Hinduismus”. Kohl hammer publishing house, Stuttgart, 1963
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- Wilfried Huchzermeyer: The holy writings of India - history of the Sanskrit literature. edition sawitri, Karlsruhe 2003, ISBN 3-931172-22-8
- Linda Johnson: “The Complete Idiot's Guide ton of Hinduism”, alpha, ISBN 0-02-864227-9
- Kim Knott: The Hinduismus - a short introduction. Reclam, Ditzingen, 2000, ISBN 3150180783
- Hans's Wolfgang Schumann: The large Gods of India. Fundamentals of Hinduismus and Buddhismus. Diederichs, 2004, ISBN 3896314297
- Heinrich rooms: “Philosophy and religion of India”, suhrkamp paperback, ISBN 3-518-27626-3
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- S.N. Dasgupta: “Indian Mystik”, Adyar, ISBN 3-927837-64-4
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