Hinduism, known today as Sanatana Dharma, originated primarily in India and is the oldest religion in history. Unlike Christianity, Hinduism cannot be dated back so it is unknown exactly when this religion came about. Hinduism is often broken down into three different groups which express Brahman in different forms. Hindus recognize one God known to them as Brahman. Brahman is the creator of everything and is present in everything. Brahman represents many different gods. There are three gods that have a major influence over the religion, they are Vishnu, who is the preserver along with his three incarnations Rama, Krishna and Narasimha; Shiva, the destroyer; and Sakti, the Mother of Goddesses, also known as Parvati, Mahalakshmi, Durga or Kali. In the past there were more than just these three listed above but over time they have lost influence over the religion and left just these three as the main religious influences in the Hindu religion. By Sanatana Dharma having different sets of beliefs it sets it apart from other religious groups and makes it a non-uniting religion. Sanatana Dharma does not force one set of beliefs on any person but it allows freedom of the heart to worship, reflect, question, and investigate. It is known as the religion of freedom. The Hindu religion is more of an individual act of worship rather than a communal act like most other religions.
Sanatana Dharma has a major influence on the culture and society of India almost as much today as it has had in the past. Due to the modern changes of the culture of the world and the evolution of people in general some Indian families may have children that are not as influenced by the Hindu religion as they may have been had they been born 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago. There are also slight differences in Indian-American children than those children who were born and continue to live in India. On thing that has remained relatively the
same is the organized functioning of India’s society which includes a clear division of labor among four major occupational groups; this later became known as the caste system. The purpose of the caste system is to uplift people from worldly concerns and to encourage them to behave according to the...