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Hindu religious traditions

Hindu religious traditions: The religious life of most of the Hindus is centered on
the devotion to God. The interpretations of God may differ from person to person.
Many rituals are developed which help the man realize the divinity from the midst of
daily life.
The more philosophically oriented Hindus will ignore the idea of gods and seek
realization through different forms of meditation. Other Hindus will perform their
duties towards society while keeping the moral values and seek the divine. In fact,
there are three possible paths (margas) to liberation and all the recognized as
equally valid. The three paths are:
 Karmamarga-the path of work and action
 Jnanamarga -the path of knowledge
 Bhaktimarga- the path of devotion
All the stages in the life of a traditional Hindu involve religious rituals and practices.
Some of the major Hindu practices are here.
Puja (worship)
This is a religious ritual which most of the Hindus do. Puja can be considered as
connecting one to the domain and actions of the divine. Puja can take different
forms. The simplest of them is called darshan, gazing up on an image. This image
symbolizes the individuals chosen form of God.
The devotee symbolically offers God certain items like food, water and flowers.
Sometimes lighting a candle or incense and ringing a bell will be done in this
occasion. Other practices include chanting the name of the God and reciting certain
scriptures. The food which is offered is considered to be sanctified, which is called
Prasad. Taking Prasada is supposed to be spiritually beneficial.
For Hindus, it is not compulsory to visit temples. Some people do the worshipping in
their own homes.
According to Karma Yoga, the worship can also be done by performing every action
as an offering to God. Doing work without seeking personal benefits out of it is
considered to be considered higher than the formal worship.
The Guru-Disciple Tradition
By Hindu religious traditions, the spiritual aspirant takes studentship under a
personal spiritual teacher called Guru. To disciple stays with the Guru and follow his
instructions in order to attain the ultimate goal of spiritual life. Even though the Guru
never asks any money for the guidance he had given, the student may give gifts
(guru dakshina) as a token of appreciation.
Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage is not mandatory in Hinduism, as it is in some other religions. A large
number of holy places (Tirtha Sthanas) exist in India. Varanasi (Banares), Kedarnath
and Rameshwaram are some of the places which are considered to be holy.