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Considering that Hinduism lacks a uniting belief system, there are many components that are common in every

aspect of Hinduism. Hinduism also referred to as Santana Dharma Santana means "eternal" and Dharma means "religion." According to( Fisher, 2005) "Some of these are relatively unified religious systems, such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism" and because of the wide variety in the Hindu religion. Hinduism is believed to be more than 3000 years old and its fundamentals of faith are even older. Hinduism is a variation of many different Indian religious ways but has been commonly linked together. Hinduism also includes yogic traditions and a wide spectrum of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma and societal norm such as Hindu marriage customs. The Hindu religion is composed of specific verbal formulas, sacred chants and cared actions that are used by priests to invoke the breath of all existence. This breath was called Brahman, which is the Absolute, the Supreme Reality. The concepts for the religion is the thinking or believing in the ultimate reality, believing in a universal soul. The religion teaches that all beings will go through a birth and rebirth process that which is referred to as Karma. Every person who practices the religion of Hinduism believes in both reincarnation and in karma. By believing in these two aspects, they can be directly related to one another due to the fact that Hindus believe that reincarnation will continue to occur in an individual until that person reaches the spiritual level. By entering into this level of spirituality one will be escaping the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Karma plays a part in this cycle because ever thing that happens to an individual whether it is for good or for bad it is directly related to their though, actions, and intentions. Every aspect of the Hindu religion has some form of teaching or scriptures that encourage ethical and moral behavior. It also teaches various types of self-denial that will ultimately lead to compete and total enlightenment which is what every Hindu strives for. They believe in a God that cannot be seen, and does not have any particular form but it is infinite in life. The search for light and freedom from the body is one of the most unifying beliefs of Hindus. It is also a Hindu belief that seems to have developed as a result of the life experiences of millions of Indians. Chief among the practices which Hinduism supports is that which has most harmed Indian society, the caste system. While Brahman is the name of the supreme Hindu god, Brahmin is also the name used to refer to the highest class in the caste system. According to (Elango, 1999), the Hindu and Indian caste system is so central to Indian life that Gandhi fasted in belief of it, nearly to death, to prevent the British from granting the lowest caste members protection to vote. The caste system and Hinduism are tied to Indian culture and history by equally strong bonds. Both are responsible for what India is today. Without the act of bringing in light or searching for light, Hindus believe man will not evolve. In practice, this means that Hindu practice is mainly concerned with self-evolution and improvement. It is a practice meant to free the mind from the constraints of the body and of earth so that unity with Brahman can be achieved. This unity of religion, culture, and society is also evident in the way Hinduism stresses the importance of mind and spirit over that of the body. To

allow one to liberate ones mind and spirit from ones earthly body is a goal for many devout Hindus. The ability for one to do this is said to indicate ones achievement of a higher knowledge and evolution to a higher life. To achieve this ability would seem to be very vital for a people who are known to have lived with great sorrow and in vast poverty, century after century. By being able to free ones mind from the body it is ultimately the important step to accomplish in order to reach evolution. Indians may have successfully allowed its poor to escape the pain, fear, and despair of their lives if they believe that by karma they will reincarnate into a better life next time around.

References: Mary Pat Fisher Living Religions Hinduism 6th edition 2005

Elango, I. (1999). Caste & the Tamil Nation: On Hinduism, Caste & Indian Democracy. Letter to Boston Globe, November 23, 1999. Retrieved June 16, 2008, from