Monday August 26, 2019

Hinduism: A religion of tolerance and pluralism

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Hinduism is the world’s oldest living religion. It is a rich collection of hundreds of spiritual and philosophical traditions followed throughout Asia for more than 5000 years. Most traditions within Hinduism share certain distinctive, core beliefs despite the absence of an identifiable beginning in history, single founder, central religious establishment or sole authoritative scripture. Two of these core beliefs are that of tolerance and pluralism. While tolerance and pluralism are valued by many religions, these concepts are the very essence of Hinduism and are expressed through the diversity of Hindu practice and centuries of peaceful coexistence of various faiths.

By accepting the divinity in all beings, Hinduism views the universe as a family or, in Sanskrit, vasudhaiva kutumbakam. All beings, from the smallest organism to man, are considered manifestations of God. Mankind carries a special responsibility, as it is believed to be the most spiritually evolved with the capacity to not only tolerate, but honor the underlying equality and unity of all beings. The popularly recited Hindu invocation demonstrates this concern for universal kinship:

Om sarve bhavantu sukhinah. Sarve santu niraamayaah.
Sarve bhadraani pashyantu. Maa kaschid dukhbhaag bhavet.

May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy.
May all beings experience prosperity. May none in the world suffer.

The concept of pluralism within Hinduism is, in essence, tolerance taken one step further. For all members of this universal family, Hinduism promotes not only tolerance and respect for differences in belief and religion, but also acknowledgement of the existence of more than one path to relating to Truth (God). This true, unadulterated pluralism is captured in the ancient Sanskrit hymn:

Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti
Truth is one, the wise call it by many names.

Thus, Hinduism asserts that it is not only harmful, but inherently flawed to insist that one’s own path towards God is the only true and meaningful path. Based on this firm pluralistic belief, Hinduism has never sanctioned proselytization. Further, over their vast history, Hindus have never invaded another land in the name of religion. It is also clear that, for centuries in Southeast Asia, it has been this Hindu brand of absolute pluralism, which has provided the ideal environment for peaceful coexistence and prosperity for at least 8 major religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism among others.

Content: Hindu American Foundation

  • Enakshi Roy Chowdhury

    This article was really helpful to know more about Hinduism

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  • Vashishtha Kapoor

    I don’t know much about religion. But I like those BLUE lines.
    Thanks

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What is the Symbolic Element Christening Gowns in Christendom?

Significance of Baptism in Christian tradition

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baptism is a highly-revered Christian ceremony that has a lot of symbolism. Pixabay

First of all, baptism is a highly-revered Christian ceremony with a lot of symbolism that is traced to biblical times. We will tell you a story that will both excite as well as educate you on the origin of this highly symbolic Christian tradition.

According to Christian beliefs, everyone born on earth comes with the ‘original sin.’ The history of this concept is traceable to the biblical story about the origin of mankind.

Where It All Began

It’s said that when God created the world, he created a man called Adam and later created his wife called Eve from his ribs when he was caused to fall asleep. They were both living in the Garden of Eden.

One day, the devil came to convince Eve to eat the fruit from a tree at the center of the garden against God’s instructions. The tree was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil told Eve to eat of the tree and also give to Adam. That they will be as wise as God.

Eve did as she was told and also gave to her husband. Their act grieved God a lot, and He cursed and banished them from the garden.

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Christian attachment to the act of baptism or christening is very strong. Pixabay

The Coming of Jesus Christ

Many years later, while mankind was suffering from the consequences of the original sin committed by our progenitors, God decided to have mercy and sent His only begotten son, Jesus, to be the Messiah that will save the whole of mankind.

When Jesus was grown up, he requested John the Baptist to baptize him in the River Jordan as a sign that all sins have been washed away from him.

Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, a white dove descended from heaven and perched on his head while God’s voice bellowed from heaven telling the world to behold His beloved son with whom He is well pleased.

Baptism as a Christian Tradition

Thus, began a serious Christian attachment to the act of baptism or christening. This particularly significant ceremony or tradition is performed at babyhood with white as the most preferred color as it was the dove’s color.

White is said to symbolize purity after the washing away of sins. This is why most christening gowns canada, just like a huge fraction of Christian countries, come in white.

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Baptism is a highly symbolic Christian tradition. Pixabay

On the Use of One Christening Gown Passed Down for Generations

The significance of the christening gown has gained massive acclaim within the Christian fold in such a way that most families have adopted the use of a single christening gown for baptizing or christening their babies for generations.

You will be surprised that quite a good number of christening gowns canada are pieces of a family heirloom that has been used for generations to preserve family legacies and heritage of many great Canadian families.

Also Read: Trump Administration Significantly Weakens U.S. Endangered Species Act

The significance attached to the christening gown is further heightened by the fact that it is used only once in a lifetime. It is quite a memory to preserve, and most adults always appreciate the feeling of nostalgia that they have when they set eyes on their christening photographs.

In conclusion, in some Christian denominations, one can never be fully accepted if one did not undergo baptism as a baby.