Hinduism And Religion

760 Words4 Pages
Hinduism in the modern context: how Hindu practices have adapted in accordance with changing lifestyles
A religion is the organised collection of beliefs, values, culture, and practices regarding sacred things that help a society to understand the meaning and purpose of life. Religions have narratives, symbols, and histories out of which the followers of those religions derive morals, ethics, laws, and lifestyles, among other things. Most religions in the world have a clergy or priesthood, holy scriptures, holy places, and rules of membership. The actual practice of a religion involves prayer, festivals, feasts, sacrifices, and perhaps most importantly, rituals, ranging from matrimonial rituals to funereal rituals. As a social institution,
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It is not just a religion, but a way of life to the majority of its followers, which brings us to the focus of this paper: when life itself changes, does a way of life also undergo a change? In the case of Hinduism, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. With a change in the lifestyle of its followers, the religion itself has adapted and repackaged itself to suit its new surroundings. While Hinduism considers rituals to be mandatory, practice is not enshrined and enforced as in say, Islam or Christianity where followers are expected to pray in community spaces sometimes daily and at other times on special occasions such as five times a day in Islam and at least one mass a day and for sure on the day of Sabbath for Christians and so on. Since it has never been extremely rigid in its enforcement of its practices and has not become so in recent times either, the adherence of its followers to its rituals has been gradually declining in modern times. The rapid pace of contemporary life has caused individuals to rank everything in the personal and social spheres of their lives in order of priority, and religion has been steadily slipping down this list. There are many possible reasons for this, the foremost of which is that in today’s money-centric world, the practice of religion is perceived as one of the few activities that offers no economic gain. It cannot be…show more content…
Just as different regions in the country have rituals that are distinct and different from one another, Hinduism in the modern era offers different rituals for different people, depending on their personal and social content, while maintaining its cultural roots. Pujas can be long or short depending on one’s time constraints, prayer is not necessarily a daily custom, and people no longer have to go to temples to pray and may instead do so in the comfort of their own homes. Hinduism is a more personal religion than most; every member is free to choose a favourite deity and his/her own ways to show devotion through penance, songs and prayers, chanting and other methods. However, rituals dominate in every aspect of Hinduism including those for special events and the passing of time and seasons, from birth to death. From the cradle until the grave, there are rituals that mark events and occasions in a person’s life, good and bad, and this is the aspect that is now undergoing a lot of change. For instance, for every festival there is a prescribed form of conducting the puja or obeisance to the specific deity. Some of these may be different from region to region, but by and large, the deity and the slokas and the significance of the puja are the
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