Legends and customs
We all think we know the world we are living in Jet, we all know in through our own culture's eyes, and it is a known thing that culture is strongly influenced by religion. And one of the oldest religions of this world is the Hindu religion.
In Hinduism, everything begins, ends and it is included in ohm ,, which is a sign representing the trinity of God. Like the Christians, the Hindu God is divided in 3 different gods, which are one and the same person at the same time. It's the same way a person can be somebody's brother, somebody's father and somebody else's husband, but being at the same time one single person. The gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent the Hindu trinity.
Lord Brahma is the Generator, the creator of earth and everything there is: animals, plants and humans. Even being the generator of all things, he isn't worshiped because he married his sister.
Lord Vishnu, the most worshiped one, is the Operator. He is one that makes all the rules of the society, the one that makes things move. He usually uses material thing to persuade people to do the different things he wants them to do. Lord Vishnu is the most handsome one and he is usually represented like a beautiful young man with 4 arms or like a normal beautiful young man that has the shakra in his right hand and a snail shell from which it flows sand in the left one. The snail shell and the sand represent the flow of the time.
Lord Shiva is the Destroyer, the most important of the 3 gods. He is the one who will arise the Divyajyoti, the Hindu 'apocalypse', the end of the world. Hindus believe in reincarnation, so the ones that will go to haven and the ones who will go to hell are the ones who made good deeds and bad deeds during their life until the Divyajyoti's time when there will be too much sin on this world. When this will happen, he will open his third eye, and the world will burn. He is represented usually in the meditation position, with his third eye opened that he gained through meditation. That's why Hindu's wear a coloured dot between their eyes. It represents worshipping the intellect, the power of reason and will. Lord Shiva has an eye instead of a dot because he took the meditation to such level that a third eye opened, the eye of the mind.
Actually, it is with his third eye that he killed Kaam Dev, the god of love, because it was affecting him too much.
There are many gods in the Hindu religion. Everything that exists has it own got. There are about 63.000 gods. Some of the most known are Varun Dev, the god of air, Arun Dev, the sun god, Agni Dev, the god of fire and Kaam Dev, the god of love, who was killed by lord Shiva. It is useless to pray to him because he's dead. Still, there is a mantra that can invoke Kaam Dev into one's life and ask for his help. Mantras are prayers addressed to different gods.
There are many legends in the Hindu mythology and many of them have similarities with the ancient Greek myths. One of them is when devils attacked the haven, the way the titans attacked Olympus. When this happened, Indr, the king of haven, went to ask Shiva what to do because the world was in danger. And Shiva told him that only by throwing into the devils with the bones of a holly man the devils would die. And this holly man vas Dadhichi, the yoghin. Indr left to find Dadhichi and the found him meditating. His level of meditation was so high that he was able to make his soul leave his body. So, the gods could take his bones and throw them into the devils, thus saving the world, thanks to the old man's sacrifice.
It is a known thing that the woman is seen as the most fragile and delicate thing is all the societies of the world. Still, within the woman lies a great power. A power big enough to save the world, as Hindus say. When the world is in real danger, the 3 divine powers: the Generator, the Operator and the Destroyer, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, join together, thus generating 4 powers, That take the shape of 4 women, 4 goddesses: Durga, Khali, Sarsswaty and Lakshmi. Goddess Durga is the enemy of all the evil and the bad things in the world. The ones who worship Durga never forgive their enemies. Khali is the some like Durga. She is the enemy of all the evil in the world and she is a destroyer, like Shiva, but she only destroys the evil. She's represented as being completely black, like the earth, whose rage she represents, wearing a garland of human skulls and she bas her tongue always outside her month. She can also be invoked in black magic practices, but she is one of the 4 powers that can save the world in time of need. When the mother earth is angry, she takes the shape of goddess Khali to revenge herself. The image of Khali presented in the movie 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' is completely fake and it has nothing to do with goddess Khali. Actually, the Indian people took the movie as in insult and it was forbidden in India. Sarsswaty is the goddess of intelligence and knowledge. Anybody who is student or learning something should worship Sarsswaty and ask her to make them keep their intelligence in their heads, unless it will vanish. They should ask her for the power of the concentration and of learning.
And finally, Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and money. These are the 4 women, the 4 powers generated by the union of the 3 divine lords: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Unlike other religions, Hindus are born into Hindu religion. In Christianity, we baptise our children in the church of Jesus. Muslims and Jews circumcised their children in order to make them members of the Muslim or Jewish religious society. Unlike these, Hindus are born into their religion. They are members of the religious society strait from birth. They don't need a consecration like we need the baptise. All the children, regardless of sex, receive their mother's name until she decides to give them a name around the age of 4 years when the legal papers are completed as well.
The marriage ritual is also very different. There are 3 types of ceremony: in the jungle, in the society and in the temple. The ceremony that takes place in the jungle, is secret, only the bride and the groom know what happens. It is forbidden now and considered illegal because it is thought to be a devil's ceremony, due to its secret nature.
The most common one is the social marriage but the rituals are very different depending on religions. India is a very big country and big countries mean many different traditions. It is the girl's parents that go to ask the boy's hand in marriage from his parents. The ceremony has 3 stages, which happened during in a night. In the first phase, the girl is taken from her house where she waits for the groom to come for her. She stays on a throne, wearing a red dress. During the night, the bride, the groom and the bride's parents can't eat anything. When they arrive at his place, she changes her dress and wears a yellow one. A wood fire is set in the house. The girl's parents put her hand into the groom's hand, they are tied, and they surround the fire 7 times. Each time they surround the fire they take an oath. The first 4 times, the man is leading the woman and he takes the first 4 oaths. Than the last 3 times, the woman leads the man and it is her who takes the last 3 oaths. He swears always to protect her, to take all responsibility of her, never to let her cry, and she swears to let death take her first and also to make him happy, and take care of him. Than there is a feast with food and music and dance where everybody participates and she wears a red dress again.
Finally the ritual of death. If the one who dies is a child, a single girl or a single boy, or somebody who died because of a snakebite, he or she is drowned into a sacred river. All the rivers are believed to be sacred because all of them have their own god. If the one who died was married he or she is dressed as a groom or a bride and they are burned on a pyre. When the hair has burned and they can see his skull, they break it with a stick named copalcria to release the soul of the dead from its body. Women are not allowed to witness the ceremony. If the dead is a man, the one who will release the soul is his father, his eldest son or his brother. If the dead is a woman, it will be her husband or her eldest son. After the body is burned, there is 13 days ceremony.
After 10 days, the men of the family shaves their heads in order to purify the house which isn't pure anymore because of the presence of the dead's soul. They say that the soul of the dead stays around the house until all the 13 days ceremonies performed. In the 13'Th day, the family organises a feast for the Brahmas, and after this, the ceremony is completed and the soul is free to go.
The Brahmas are the upper class of the Indian society classes that are in number of 4: brahma, shatria, veshia and shutra. In the ancient times, people could change their cast if they had the necessary skills, but nowadays this isn’t possible anymore: the cast you are born it is like your identity card and you can not change it. The brahmas are the scholars, the ones that have the knowledge, the ones that have to teach the people. Shatrias are the warriors, the ones that fight to protect the country. Veshias are the traders, while shutras are the lower cast, the ones that serve the upper ones.
Hindus also have their holly days. Actually, each day is a different celebration. But there are four very important: Holy, Rakshbandhan, Dashehera and Diwali.
Holy is celebrated in March, depending on the position of the moon. It is the festival of colours, and it signifies the victory of love over hatred and the victory of good over evil. They say that once there lived a devil named Hiraneakashiap and in his kingdom nobody was allowed to worship God. But his son, Prahalad, was a great worshiper of God. His father was so upset with his son, that he tried to kill him. Prahalad had an aunt, his father's sister, whose name was Hulika and she was also a devil. She had a magic shawl that protected against fire. They tried to set a trap for Prahalad and Hulika stood in the middle of the fire, with her shawl on. But, by God's will, the shawl passed into Prahalad's hand and the one who died in the fire was Hulika. Hiraneakashiap tried to kill his son again and again, until one day he put him inside a column and asked him: 'where is your God now?'. The devil was protected by a magic that he couldn't be killed by an animal, a human or a god, not on earth and not on air. So, when he asked:' where is your God? I can see no God here?', God came as a creature, half human, half lion, a sphinx. He put the devil on his knees, leaving his feet on the ground. He ripped him apart with his claws from his waste. So, no animal, no god and no human killed him, on the earth and not in the air, 'cause he was both on the earth and in the air, and at the same time not on the earth and not in the air. The name of the festival, Holy, comes from Prahalad's aunt, Hulika.
Rakshabandhan is the festival of brothers and sisters. It is in august and it is the most important Hindu festival. The sisters tie a silk band on the wrest of their brothers, and the brothers swear to protect their sisters of everything that's bad in the world. The wife of Indr, the king of heaven first performed the ritual, when the heaven was attacked by devils.
Dashehera takes place in September, October and November, depending of the position of the moon. It is the victory of good over evil .Its meaning is the victory of prince Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu over the devil Ravana. He killed the devil and freed his wife and his kingdom, Lanka.
The last one of the four festivals is Diwali festival, the festival of light. It takes place nineteen days after the Dashehera festival. After prince Rama conquered Lanka and freed Ravana's wife, when he arrived back to whose own kingdom, after nineteen days, the people of his city enlightened the town with oil lamps in his honour.
The main idea of Hinduism is that we have to do what we think is right, to work to live a good life, the way the holy books teach us and don't expect anything and not think about the consequences of our deeds. We should leave the rest to God, accept his wish and accept our destiny.
Ultimele referate adaugate
- Mihai beniuc - „poezii"
- Mihai eminescu - student la berlin
- Mircea Eliade - Mioara Nazdravana (mioriţa)
- Chirita in provintie de Vasile Alecsandri -expunerea subiectului
- Dragoste de viata de Jack London
|Ion Luca Caragiale
- Triumful talentului… (reproducere) de Ion Luca Caragiale
- Fantasticul in proza lui Mircea Eliade - La tiganci
- „Personalitate creatoare” si „figura a spiritului creator” eminescian
- Enigma Otiliei de George Calinescu - geneza, subiectul si tema romanului
- Arta literara in romanul Ion, - Liviu Rebreanu