In this module, you have learned about different religions and philosophical views of happiness.
It can be difficult to talk about religion in today’s culture. However, most religions have more
commonalities than differences. This assignment provides the opportunity to learn about a
religion with which you are not familiar, as well as the role it plays in being happy.
Choose from the list below a religion that is NOT your own:
An Ancient Egyptian belief
Greek or Roman Polytheism
A Native American religion
Write a 1–2 page essay answering the following:
Describe three features or tenets of the chosen religion.
Mention any written works and prophets.
Share how this religion compares to your religion (or beliefs if you do not have a chosen
What role does religion play in being happy? Provide detail and examples.
Title: Exploring Hinduism: Tenets, Comparisons, and the Role in Happiness
Hinduism, one of the world’s oldest religions, is a complex and diverse belief system that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It encompasses a wide array of beliefs, practices, and philosophies that have evolved over thousands of years. This essay will delve into three key features of Hinduism, compare them to my own beliefs, and explore the role of religion in attaining happiness.
Three Features of Hinduism:
- Dharma: Dharma is a fundamental concept in Hinduism, referring to the moral and ethical duties and responsibilities that individuals must uphold in their lives. It emphasizes the idea of righteousness, duty, and living in accordance with one’s moral obligations. Dharma guides individuals to make ethical choices and fulfill their responsibilities within society, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.
- Karma and Reincarnation: Hinduism teaches the concept of karma, which is the law of cause and effect governing one’s actions. Good actions lead to positive outcomes, while negative actions result in negative consequences. Reincarnation is closely linked to karma, as Hindus believe in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Individuals’ actions in previous lives determine their current circumstances, and the cycle continues until one achieves moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth.
- Moksha: Moksha is the ultimate goal of Hinduism, representing liberation from the cycle of reincarnation and the realization of one’s true nature. It is achieved through self-realization, spiritual growth, and detachment from worldly desires. Various paths, such as devotion, knowledge, and disciplined action, lead to moksha. The pursuit of moksha encourages individuals to seek inner peace, self-awareness, and a connection with the divine.
Comparisons to My Beliefs:
As someone who does not adhere to a specific religion but values spiritual exploration, I find common ground with certain aspects of Hinduism. The emphasis on ethical behavior, the consequences of one’s actions, and the pursuit of inner growth resonate with my personal beliefs. While the specifics may differ, the overarching principles of living a moral life and seeking self-improvement are shared ideals.
Role of Religion in Happiness:
Religion, including Hinduism, plays a multifaceted role in achieving happiness. First, it provides a sense of purpose and meaning, offering guidance on how to lead a virtuous and fulfilling life. By adhering to moral principles, individuals find a path to contentment and harmony within themselves and their communities.
Second, religion offers a framework for coping with challenges and adversity. Through rituals, prayers, and meditation, practitioners find solace and inner strength during difficult times. The belief in karma and reincarnation in Hinduism, for instance, can foster acceptance of life’s trials as part of a larger spiritual journey.
Lastly, religion fosters a sense of connection and belonging. Participation in religious communities provides a support network, companionship, and shared values. The collective worship, celebrations, and acts of service create a sense of unity and social cohesion that contribute to overall well-being.
In conclusion, Hinduism’s tenets of dharma, karma, reincarnation, and moksha offer profound insights into ethical living, spiritual growth, and liberation. While differing in specifics, these concepts resonate with universal ideals of morality and self-improvement. Religion, including Hinduism, plays a pivotal role in happiness by providing purpose, resilience, and a sense of community. Through its teachings and practices, individuals can find guidance and fulfillment on their journey toward a meaningful and contented life.