Checkpoint: Hinduism – Week 3
Josh Thomas
July 4, 2010
HUM 130 / Terrance Gattis

The Hindu religion is one that spirituality is never far from one’s mind.   There are many things that make up the Hindu religion such as: rituals, casts and social duties, life stages, prayer, fasting, and many other things.   Cultural and societal influences have also helped to shape the Hindu religion, and show the origin of the religion.
Hinduism has been around for several thousands of years.   It is thought to have been developed and started in the Indian subcontinents.   According to Fisher (2005), “This term is derived from a name applied by foreigners to the people living in the region of the Indus River, and was introduced in the nineteenth century under colonial British rule as a category for census-taking.”  
In today’s world an alternative word for the term Hinduism is “Sanatana Dharma.”   Sanatana reflects the beliefs that these ways existed and it means “eternal” or “ageless.”   The word Dharma encompasses social welfare, duty, health, natural law, ethics, health, and transcendental realization.   Dharma is thus a holistic approach to social coherence and the good of all, corresponding to order in the cosmos   [ (Fisher, 2005) ].
The Hindu religion upholds many major philosophical systems that were developed thousands of years ago in India, and they all have certain features that are in common.   First, they all have deep roots in Vedas (the religious texts) and other religious texts, and they all direct personal experiences through meditation.   Secondly, they all hold ethics as the central to orderly social life.   Finally, they hold that the ultimate cause of suffering is ignorance to ourselves, which is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect, and eternal [   (Fisher, 2005) ].
Hinduism shares a central theme for their religion which is the belief in the ultimate reality called Brahman, and the identification of with the individual soul, which is known as Aatman....