Free Essay On Religious Studies - Trip to India
Trip to India
Religion plays very important role in every society. It teaches how to give without expecting something in return and provides an example of how to be happy with those things a person already have without craving for wealth but taking care of spiritual.
Desire to try everything and to earn all money getting richer and richer has occupied minds of many people. Societies of developed countries are becoming more and more distant from church because of being busy with career building. It seems there is nothing bad in personal development but perhaps it is worth sometimes to stop to see different life.
Last winter I visited India with my father. He took me there with an intention to show the other way of living a life. I was deeply impressed by this country, its people and the customs and rituals they have. This was a trip of life with new experience, new consequences and new findings. I feel like this country has opened me and has taught to value spiritual more than material.
Hinduism is a dominant religion in India. It has a wide range of different traditions and three main teachings – Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism. This religions is considered to be the oldest one in the world. It is believed to be rather philosophical and intellectual point of view than just common set of beliefs. It also includes lots of moral principles and prescriptions such as, for example, well-known karma and dharma. The key texts of Hinduism are the Vedas, Upanishadas, Ramayana and Mahabharata. They include hymns, spells, rituals, poems and stories on which religious beliefs are based.
This religion is considered to be the most versatile and complicated. It has lots of gods, however, there is one super being Brahma among them. This God is present everywhere, in every particle of the Universe. Any reality beyond Brahma is considered to be just simple illusion. According to Hinduism, humanity is also divine. The chief aim of any true believer is to become integrated with Brahma and thus to put an end to individual delusional existence. Until this aim is reached, a person continues to reincarnate. This process is defined by karma, a principle of the reason and the consequence, which is determined by the balance of nature.
During our trip my father and I visited lots of cities and every city impressed me in its own way. Absolute absence of hygiene, mess with traffic and other things were making me feel like I was in the other reality. At the same time I saw bright colors of sari, smiling people, dirty-faced but happy children and I was falling in love with this nation. I saw such a poverty which I even could not imagine but still I saw people who were just surviving, not living full life, but satisfied and blessed for what they had. Inequality is also impressive. In India you can hardly find a representative of the middle class. People are either fabulously rich or fabulously poor.
In Hampi City I saw the most beautiful sunrise and sunset I have ever seen in my life. Such thing could happen only in India where every place is sacred and serves its own special purpose. I watched the balance of nature, every perfect detail of the God's creation. We were on the top of the mountain where the famous Monkey Temple is located. This is an ancient religious complex with holy monkeys living there. This probably is the most sacred place I visited in India.
When we were in Varanasi City, one of the oldest in India, I saw how family members burn corpses of their dead relatives in different fires. This is due to the caste they belonged to. However, the Constitution of India proclaims equal rights and freedoms for every citizen, liberty and equality are not embraced by society, The population is still divided into lots of different castes according to the position a person occupies in the society.
Indians have absolutely opposite point of view on life and death than we do. I was rather taken aback when I saw children playing cricket 30 meters away from the funeral procession. This is because the Indians are not afraid of death. Instead, they see it as logical end of this incarnation and as a possibility of being reborn again or as a short stay in heaven or hell and then new incarnation. That is why people in India literally celebrate death wearing white and smiling instead of grieving. They are happy with knowledge that their relative will have a new beginning. One may think that such a position may provoke people to commit suicide. Despite Hinduism does not consider suicide to be something forbidden like it is in many other religions, the Indians do not see sense in aimless putting an end to their life. They believe that they will suffer in their new life because of this act. This comes from a belief that every next incarnation of people is based on the way they have lived their previous one and committing suicide does not make them more integrate with Brahma.
I can definitely say that I like India, I like its people and I like their religion. This country teaches foreigners absolutely different approach to life, it is optimistic and creative. At the same time I can not understand how people can live the way the majority of population lives, knowing that foreigners live much better and have much more, and do nothing to turn their surviving into enjoying and living. I wish I could help them understand this as they helped me.