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Hindus believe in reincarnation - a belief that the soul is eternal and lives many lifetimes, in one body after another. The soul is sometimes born in a human body, sometimes in an animal body and sometimes in a plant body etc.. Hindus believe that all forms of life contain a soul, and all souls have the chance to experience life in different forms.

Samsara means going through the cycle of repeated births and deaths reincarnation. Hindus believe that existence of this cycle is governed by Karma. Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived. Similar to Buddhist beliefs Karma is the cause of our particular destiny.

Misfortunes in our present life are the result of acts that we have committed in the past. In the same way, our actions in our present lives will determine our fate in the lives that follow. Hindus therefore aim to live in a way that will cause each of their lives to be better than the life before. The spiritual goal of a Hindu is to become one with Brahma. This freedom is referred to as moksha.

For many Hindus there are four goals in human life purusharthas ;. How a person is reincarnated is determined by karma. The opposite achieves the contrary result. There are four different paths to achieve Moksha which a Hindu can take. The Hindu can choose one or all four of the paths they are: Spiritual knowledge -leading to the knowledge of the relationship between the soul atman and God Brahman.

The idea is to concentrate so you can reach the real self within you and become one with Brahman. Choosing a particular god or goddess and worshipping them throughout your life in actions, words and deeds. This involves doing all your duties correctly throughout your life. Hindus actually only believe in one God , Brahman , the eternal origin who is the cause and foundation of all existence. The gods of the Hindu faith represent different forms of Brahman.

These gods are sent to help people find the universal God Brahman. Most Hindus have a personal god or godess such as Shiva, Krishna or Lakshmi to whom they pray regularly.

Description Saraswathi is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music and all the creative arts. Description Lakshmi is the goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth. Parvati - regarded as a representation of Shakti.

Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva and the Godess of household and motherhood. Shakti is by literal definition sacred force, power, or energy. Shakti is the personnification of Brahman as feminine. Ganesha - Son of Shiva and Parvati. Description The Hindu god in a human form but with the head of an elephant. Pictures and descriptions of Hindu Gods. Images of Hindu Gods updated link. Most Hindus worship puja every day at home and have a shrine there.

A shrine can be anything from a room, a small altar or simply pictures or statues. Family members often worship together. At the shrine, Hindus make offerings to a murti. A murti is a sacred stautue of God, or a god or goddess. The Hindu building for communal worship is called Mandir Hindu Temple. The temples are dedicated to different gods and are the focus of religious life.

Outside India, people mainly gather at the mandir at the weekend. Worshippers repeat the names of their favourite gods, goddesses, and the mantras. Water, fruit, flowers and incense are offered to the gods. The most ancient sacred texts of the Hindu religion are written in Sanskrit and called the Vedas.

Hinduism does not just have one sacred book but several scriptures. The Vedas scriptures guide Hindus in their daily life. They also help to preserve the religious dimensions of family and society. Hindus have developed their system of worship and beliefs from the scriptures. There are two main categories of the Hindu scriptures: Shruti "that which is heard" consists of the four Vedas and Upanishads scriptures. The Hindu Holy Scriptures are mainly comprised of the following works written in the Sanskrit language: The Upanisads - These consider the nature of the individual soul Atman and the universal soul Brahman.

One of the Upanishads contains the earliest reference to the reincarnation of the soul in different bodies transmigration of the soul. Ramayana - Contains the story of Rama and his devoted wife Sita. She is kidnapped by the demon king Ravana but is later freed by Rama with the help of the monkey god Hanuman.

The poem is about how good will always triumph over evil and Rama and Sita are held up as role models for the perfect husband and wife. Mahabharata - An epic poem telling the story of a war between two branches of a family. The Puranas - A collection of ancient tales about the different incarnations and the lives of saints.

The Vedas are the oldest religious texts in Hinduism. The word Veda means knowledge. It is believed that the Vedas were orally revealed by Brahma to certain sages, who heard them and passed them down in an oral tradition. They were not written down; in fact this was prohibited.

Because of this earliest oral tradition continuing even now when the Vedas are available in the written form, the Vedas are still known to be Sruti or shruti - ' that which is heard '. It is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Parts of the writing contained in the Old Testament are also sacred to Jewish and Muslim people.

What are the two main Christian festivals? The two main Christian festivals are Easter and Christmas. They are major milestones in the Western secular calendar. What are the most important Christian Festivals? The most important Christian festivals are: Lent , Easter and Christmas. For the other festivals visit our page about the Church Year.

The cross is the main symbol. It reminds Christians that Jesus died on the cross to save them. The dove is the symbol of the holy spirit and peace.

Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour. The Romans persecuted the Christians and it became dangerous for them to meet. So the Christians devised a secret code. They drew half a fish in the sand. If a person completed the fish, they knew he or she was a believer too.

Under the fish sign the Christians wrote the Greek word fish. Christianity shares a number of beliefs and practices with other religions, particularly Judaism and Islam.

With Judaism and Islam, Christians believe in one God, who created the universe and all that is in it. All believe that this God is active in history, guiding and teaching his people. Christianity and Judaism share the same roots. The Jews are awaiting the coming of a Messiah or Saviour, while Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Saviour and are now waiting for his second coming.

Christianity came to regard Jesus as in some sense God's presence in human form. This was unacceptable to most Jews. Judaism is defined by a covenant made between God and the Jewish people. Part of this covenant is the Law, a set of religious and ethical rules and principles. Most Christians came to regard both this covenant and Law as in some sense superseded by Jesus' teaching and the community that he established. On the night he died, Jesus talked about establishing a "new covenant" based on his death and resurrection.

Jews believe that there is one God like Christians do, but they do not believe that this one God consists of 3 "persons". Why are there different branches of Christianity? There are different branches of Christianity because some Christians worship in different ways. What are the different branches denominations of Christians? There are several denominations of the Christian faith, however all Christians share common beliefs.

Roman Catholic The Catholic Church is the oldest institution in the western world. It can trace its history back almost years. Baptists For Baptists, the church is not just a particular place or building, but rather a family of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and to the service of God in the world. Methodist The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.

Orthodox The Orthodox Church shares much with the other Christian churches in the belief that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and a belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection. Seventh-day Adventist The belief which makes Seventh-day Adventists really stand out, though it is not the most important part of the faith, is the belief that Saturday is the Sabbath the day of worship.

Christian Artifacts Christian Symbols Photographs of various Christian artifacts with useful background notes. Infant Baptism - Christening Watch a video-clip of a christening. Easter and Lent - Information about the festivals around Easter. Christmas in England Find out the meanings behind the symbols of Christmas. Advent Information on Advent.

Holidays and Festivals throughout the Year. Virtual Baptist Church Tour.

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