Essentials of Faith: Hinduism

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Essentials of Faith: Hinduism (24:00)
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It is not a religion in itself—rather, Hinduism is more of a family of faiths that focus on God in different ways. Nevertheless, the majority of Hindu traditions share the same colorful festivals, reverence for sacred animals, and scriptural use of Sanskrit. This program sifts through perspectives from four practitioners of the Hindu faith who discuss both unified and divergent ways in which their spiritual energy is expressed. The interview subjects are Dr. V. P. Narayon Rao of the Balaji Temple, Girish Patel of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in the London neighborhood of Neasden, Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies, and Kripamoya Das of Bhaktivedanta Manor. (24 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (10)

1. Diversity Within the Hindu Tradition (01:56)
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To westerners Hinduism is a colorful array of exotic gods and goddesses; to adherents it is a way to discover many sides of one god. Hinduism originated in India and is the oldest known philosophical or theological system.

2. Hindu Gods (02:33)

In Hinduism there is one god who appears to humans in many forms, and individuals choose the form of god which appeals to them at a given time. The three main divisions of Hinduism involve the worship of Shiva, Devi, and Vishnu.

3. Hindu Worship (02:45)

Hindus worship and perform rituals in honor of Krishna at a temple in London. Spiritual aspects of chanting and food in Hinduism are explored.

4. Manifestations of God in Hinduism (03:25)

Fantastic stories about amazing gods abound in Hinduism. Devotion to the many Hindu deities through rituals and ceremonies is conducted with the understanding that they all are various manifestations of one god.

5. Sacredness of Cows and Oxen in Hinduism (01:04)

Britain's main center for Hindu pilgrims is also a farm where devotees keep herds of sacred cows and oxen. Hindus believe that these animals share a symbiotic relationship with man.

6. Unity Within the Diversity of Hinduism (02:38)

Followers of different Hindu traditions can often be recognized by their appearance. Despite the diversity of philosophies within Hinduism, a core set of beliefs and ethics unite most Hindus.

7. Hinduism as a Way of Life (02:27)

Hinduism is described as a way of life and as a culture, rather than as a religion. Different aspects of Hinduism include dance, astrology, literature, and celebrations, but all are in some way tied to the spiritual aspects of god.

8. Hindu Scripture: Sanskrit and the Bhagavad Gita (02:06)

Sanskrit, the language of Hindu scriptures, unites the many philosophies of Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita, or "Song of God," is a Sanskrit text which serves as a manual for life for many Hindus.

9. Hindu Concepts of Reincarnation, Karma, and Heaven (01:56)

Hindus believe that after death of the physical body a person's soul is reincarnated in a new body. This belief guides devout Hindus in seeking lives of goodness and non-violence in their thoughts, words, and actions.

10. The Essentials of Hinduism (01:12)

The philosophies which make up Hinduism are quite diverse and Hindu spirituality is practiced as much individually as communally. Still there are fundamental features of Hinduism on which most Hindus agree; a devotee details those essentials.

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