Humanists think that science and reason provide the best basis for understanding the world around us.
They believe that moral values are properly founded on human empathy and scientific understanding.
“ I am a Humanist. I don’t believe in any higher power that the best expressions of the human spirit, and those are to be found in personal and social relationships. Evaluating my life those terms, I’ve had some mixed results. I’ve hurt some people and disappointed others, but I hope that on balance, I’ve given more than I’ve taken.”
In all religions people come together for different purposes, and when they do, the words they say and the things they do tend to follow a certain pattern. This formalised behaviour is a ritual, of which, there are a number of different types:
Rites of Passage or Initiation rites – Initiation rites are most often associated with the transition from childhood or infancy into adulthood.
Rites of worship or devotion – There are both communal and private acts of worship or devotion.
This is the story side of religion and refers to the sacred stories within various religious traditions which seek to explain the meaning of various aspects of reality i.e. the origins of the world, death.
This refers to the beliefs and values which play an important part in all the major religions because there comes a time when a faith has to formulate some kind of intellectual statement of the basis of faith i.e. the Catholic faith believes in the trinity, three persons but one God.
The local synagogue is at the heart of Jewish religious activity, led by a rabbi (teacher).
The Orthodox and Chasidim typically use the word "shul," which is Yiddish . The word is derived from a German word meaning "school," and emphasizes the synagogue's role as a place of study.
Conservative Jews usually use the word "synagogue," which is actually a Greek translation of Beit K'nesset and means "place of assembly" (it's related to the word "synod").
Reform Jews use the word "temple," because they consider every one of their meeting places to be equivalent to, or a replacement for, The Temple .
Jews at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Western Wall is all that remains of the Second Temple, which was destroyed in 70 B.C.E. It serves as a gathering place for Jews to lament the Temple's loss.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, it is where God gathered the earth from which he formed Adam.
Vedas are the most ancient and sacred Indian scriptures organised in four collections (Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva) and consisting of hymns of praise, ritual/ceremonial manuals and mysticl/philosophical treatises.
The Upanishads are a continuation of the Vedic philosophy, and were written between 800 and 400 B.C. They elaborate on how the soul ( Atman ) can be united with the ultimate truth ( Brahman ) through contemplation and mediation, as well as the doctrine of Karma -- the cumulative effects of a persons' actions.
Epics: A text usually very long depicting a total view of creation and society and exploring the deepest concerns of humans
Mahabharata: speaks of the nature of god, the nature of the devotee and the way in which the devotee communications in a devout way with God
Ramayana: The Ramayana is a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes.
Bhagavad Gita: This is one of the most popular and accessible of all Hindu scriptures, required reading for anyone interested in Hinduism. The book discusses selflessness, duty, devotion, and meditation, integrating many different threads of Hindu philosophy.
Almost all Hindus believe that the real self ( atman ) is distinct from the temporary body made of matter ( prakriti ). The eternal soul identifies with matter and is entrapped by maya (illusion). Impelled by lust, greed, anger, etc., he undergoes samsara (the cycle of repeated birth and death).
Each soul creates its unique destiny according to the law of karma (the universal law of action and reaction). Under the influence of eternal time and the three gunas (material qualities) he moves throughout the creation, sometimes going to higher planets, sometimes moving in human society, and at other times entering the lower species.
The goal of most Hindus is moksha , liberation from this perpetual cycle, through re-identification with the eternal brahman (Supreme). Hinduism accepts different paths towards this common goal (union with God). Nonetheless, it stresses strict adherence to universal principles through the practice of one's dharma (ordained duty) as revealed through authorised holy books and usually received through the guru (spiritual mentor).
can be worshiped in any form is a concept unique to Hinduism.
Hinduism gives form and shape to these "works“ of Infinite with the Hindu Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - " Brahma ", the creator, " Vishnu " the sustainer and "Shiva" the destroyer or the annihilator of the Universe.
The syllable Om is composed of the three sounds a-u-m (in Sanskrit, the vowels a and u combine to become o) and the symbol's threefold nature is central to its meaning. It represent several important triads:
the three worlds - earth, atmosphere, and heaven
the three major Hindu gods - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva
the three sacred Vedic scriptures - Rg, Yajur, and Sama
Thus Om mystically embodies the essence of the entire universe .
Hindu people greet each other by placing their two hands together and slightly bowing the head, whilst saying namaste or a similar phrase. They adopt the same posture when greeting the temple deity or a holy person. Thus when greeting another person, a Hindu is offering respect to the soul within ( atman ) and also to God within the heart (Paramatman).