Dr. Pearson reviews the history of Hinduism, outlines the major beliefs of the religion, then goes on to discuss the different views of death and funeral rites in the religion. Hinduism has no historical prophet, and no single religious text. The article highlights many of the different views about each important topic. There are many pieces of sacred literature that form the beliefs and ideas of Hinduism. These include the Vedas, smriti, and the Bhagavad Gita.
Ancient ideas have been mingled with new ideas over time. Pluralism is prevalent in Hinduism. Followers of Hinduism are given the freedom to adhere or not adhere to, the many rituals and beliefs found in Hinduism. Dr. Pearson discusses the beliefs that are the most commonly accepted in Hinduism. The universe is believed to have some divine power behind it. After physical death, the soul will go to hell or heaven, based upon one’s deeds in life.
Eventually the soul is reborn into a new body. When the spirit has finally committed all of the right deeds and possesses the correct knowledge it is reunited with God. Heaven is believed to be the place where one is reunited with God. It is also described as a temporary place for souls that have not achieved liberation. Hell is described as a place of suffering but is also believed to be the cycle itself.
Good overview of Hinduism, although, very hard to understand from an outsider’s view. This article contains a very complex set of ideas, from many different sacred texts, and other sources. Since, Followers of Hinduism have freedom to accept or deny any aspect of the religion; individual follower’s beliefs will always be a little different from each other. This religious pluralism is positive on one hand, but one the other hand, this lack of unity and makes Hinduism even more confusing.