Being one of the most ancient religions in the world, Hinduism remains one of the most tolerant and powerful doctrines. It may seem that the different aspects of Hinduism have already been thoroughly studied. However, the notion of the god is of great interest to researchers as it reflects the complex and extraordinary worldview of Hindus.
According to the Hindu doctrine, the gods are simultaneously “Immanent and Transcendent.” This statement implies, on the one hand, that each god is present in everything and beyond all; on the other hand, each god might be embodied in all tangible forms, such as statues or even movies. Hinduism is one of the “ways of cultivating dharma,” which requires “living in harmony with life” (Frawley, 2018, p. 112). Dharma is regarded as a “self-existent reality,” which is proclaimed by everything in the world, all beings, including gods, have their dharma (Frawley, 2018, p. 112). Thus, dharma and the nature of everything can be perceived by everyone.
This aspect of Hinduism seems to be the most attractive since it makes religion exceedingly sustainable. Although Hinduism has been affected by other world religions, such as Christianity and in particular Islam, the tradition of Hindus remains extremely strong. After Arab armies had reached the Indus after conquering Persia in the 7th century AD, Muslim traditions have influenced Hinduism, and some of the low-caste Hindus converted to Islam (Long, 2020). Nevertheless, this faith continues to be the world’s third-largest religion. In 1600 Queen Elisabeth I charters the British East India Company, and the British began to colonize India (Long, 2020). British officers were encouraged to marry local women to convert them to Christianity, but they began to embrace Hinduism themselves. These facts embody the amazing ability of this religion to be attractive even to Europeans and stay strong under any circumstances.
Furthermore, Hinduism gives people from all areas of Indian life an opportunity to be involved in religion. It makes it possible to understand the concept of the god not only for monks but also for ordinary people. Hindu deities are the figures of epic poems, such as The Mahabharata and The Ramayana; their images are immortalized in architecture, paintings, and movies. Moreover, their characters, according to Hindu myths, are endowed with human weaknesses, such as anger or jealousy (Frawley, 2018). In other words, being easily understandable for ordinary people, the Hindu gods’ images might be considered comprehensible. As a consequence, Hinduism spreads easily among the common people and educated Brahmanas, which strengthens its position as one of the main religious beliefs of India.
Speaking about theories of the origins of religion, evolutionary theories seem to be most suitable for explaining the birth of Hinduism. These theories explain the origin of religion by the impossibility of ancient people to understand the natural processes and phenomena. According to the theories, religion has its origin in the primitive belief that physical objects such as stones and the sun are endowed with a soul. Hinduism is considered a syncretic religion that combines the religion of the Aryans who came to the Indus and the local animistic beliefs. Given that fact, evolutionary concepts might be regarded as an explanation of the origins of Hinduism.
In conclusion, the Hindu doctrine claims that the gods are “Immanent and Transcendent,” which makes them attractive and relatable to every Hindu. Consequently, although the religion of Hinduism has undergone the influence of Islam and Christianity, it remains a widespread belief. Taking its origins from ancient animism, Hinduism reflects an amazing view of the life of Indian people and is understood by Hindus from different sectors of life.
Long, J. D. (2020). Historical dictionary of Hinduism (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Frawley, D. (2018). What is Hinduism? A guide for the global mind. Bloomsbury Publishing.