It can be said that a religion of particular cultures reflects the psychology of that culture (Cohen, Wu and Miller 1236-1249). In other words, the philosophy and opinions of a group when combined again for to the religion the following. So, by studying a particular religion, we can thereby get a feel for the philosophy and psychology of culture. Eastern philosophies and religions have long been against the idea of individualism (Cohen, Wu and Miller 1236-1249). Hinduism, for instance, believes that individualism is an illusion (Cohen, Wu and Miller 1236-1249). It is the collective that holds power in such beliefs. The idea that an individual is any different from the collective is considered to be a naïve view. It is not that the philosophy discounts the existence of the individual, it only goes against the fact that an individual is somehow different from the collective. In other words, an individual is part of the whole, and thus the feeling and sense of identity is an illusion (Cohen, Wu and Miller 1236-1249). Hinduism originated in India not through the works of any specific founder but from the various ways of living that existed in ancient India. Hinduism recognizes many different cultural structures and authorities, though the highest authorities are recognized as the Vedas. The Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad-Gita are other recognized authorities that are of lesser impact. “Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these … Gods.” (Academy, 2017) Hinduism as a word means both the social and relies construct of Indian society. Even though we are focusing on the religions aspect of Hinduism, we must remember that both bodies are tied to each other. As is usually the case with religions (Cohen, Wu and Miller 1236-1249), the basic tenets of Hinduism deal with the cycle of life foremost and the practicality of day to day life later. Hindus believe in reincarnation. According to them, after death, a person’s spirit is given body. This body can be that of an animal, a person of another caste (social level), or a god. This is determined by what is known as the Karmic law, i.e., if one has done good deeds (according to Vedas), he would have a higher station in the next life, and if he has sinned, he would have a lower position. This cycle of death and rebirth continues on and on until one attics enlightenment. “There is no eternal hell, no damnation, in Hinduism, and no intrinsic evil–no satanic force that opposes the will of God.” – (Academy, 2011) Christianity has God as the creator that stands out of space and time (Pratte, 2011). In other words, God stands outside the product of its creation. Humans are God’s creation, but not part of God. The concept of souls inhabiting the body makes this viewpoint very clear since the soul is supposed to be judged for its actions by ending up in either hell or heaven. This judgment from God forms one of the core pillars of the religion. The “The Commandments,” the nature of hell and heaven, the analogies of ‘sheep and shepherd’ various other tenets of the faith point to the fact that God exists outside our reality and this reality serves as the judgment field of God where the worthy end up in heaven and the unworthy in hell. For instance, the following quotes do well to illustrate the place of an individual about the creation. Isaiah 55:8,9 – “God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth.” (Pratte, 2011) Jeremiah 10:23 – “The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Pratte, 2011) Galatians 1:8,9 – “No teaching except the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring salvation and a right relationship with God.” (Pratte, 2011) Essentially human nature and intellect cannot pave a way to divine truth. No amount of self-reflection can lead a person to God. (Pratte, 2011). According to Christianity, man is not part of God. Thus, a person cannot find spiritual truth through meditation. It is only God who may reveal the spiritual truth. Hence, the hope of Hinduism is to escape material existence and the reincarnation cycle by looking for God within oneself, whereas Christians believe that God cannot be found within the heart of the ‘sinner.’ The soul of a person is not a part of God. In other words, one cannot find God within oneself since no amount of meditation could reveal something that does not exist in the self. Christianity is a faith in oneself. But Hinduism claims no faith as there is no ‘self to which we can ascribe a faith. How can an individual will matter if the entirety is God itself? Thus, the Hindus distance themselves from hell, heaven, and free will. God, to them, is not a lawgiver nor the greater (Cohen, Wu and Miller 1236-1249). Rather the creation itself is the god. While it maintains many gods, all of those are also part and inclusive of ‘Atman,’ the universal consciousness. The concept of karma is still prone to misinterpretation because of the of the nature of ‘free will’ in Hinduism. How can one sin if the entire creation is god itself and there is a specific plan according to which the world moves? This issue comes up often Hinduism. For instance, if we all are part of God or higher consciousness and there is no separation between humans and creation, how could the concept of individual sin or evil doing come into play. Since everything, including the good and the bad, is part of creation the very notion of sin disappears. It seems as if there are two parts of Hinduism, one that deals with the mystical and the other that deals with the day to day human activities, hence the need to form the caste system.

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