The essay discusses the essence of Hinduism. The essay characterizes the traits of a true Hindu, taking examples from the Ramayana. The Ramayana, story of Lord Rama, is essentially a collection of the characteristic traits of Sri Rama (also known as Maryada Purushotam Sri Rama). The Ramayana, written by the great sage Valmiki, also highlights the great teachings that form the pillars of foundation of Hinduism. The essay also touches upon the differences and similarities between Hinduism and Christianity. What Does It Mean To Be a Hindu?
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the World. All religions more or less teach the same principles, however more than often there may be some subtle as well as blatant differences. To highlight this statement let us consider Hinduism and Christianity. Both the religions are coexisting in the Indian subcontinent with Hinduism being the dominant one. Both religions are tolerant to other religions, with Christianity being slightly stringent in matters of the infallibility of the Bible and allegiance to Jesus Christ.
Both the religions believe in prayers, compassion, forgiveness, unconditional love, surrender and inner purity. In addition both believe that all men are brothers and sister, children of one God. However there are differences as well. The most defined difference is that in Hinduism the concept of Judgment Day does not exist. According to Hinduism man is the victim of his own karmas and the laws of Dharma continuously judge him, as stated in the Ramayana. The five main beliefs of Hinduism are greatly detailed in the Ramayana.
Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu (Narayana – the caretaker of the World) portrays the image of God as being the supreme power, omnipresent and omnipotent. He wields the power of the universe and kills various demons like Tadka and Ravana. He uses his power to free Ahilya off her rock form, which was a curse. The Lord is present in all is depicted in the Ramayana when Hanuman tears open his heart to show that Lord Rama resided in his heart. The Ramayana emphasizes the importance of Karma in order to break the cycle of rebirth.
Everyone has to pay for his deeds, either in this birth or the consequent ones. Ravana performed heinous acts to earn his end, death at the hands of Lord Rama. Hanuman on the other hand served the Lord dutifully and achieved a permanent spot inVaikunth(Lord Vishnu’s abode). Thus the Ramayana professes that all should be righteous and should surrender to God in order to cancel out all the evil they have committed and achieve their ultimate goal- Oneness with God.