Should Christians believe in karma or not

Hinduism

With around 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third largest religion on earth and has its origins in India. The Hindu faith consists of numerous different beliefs and teachings. Most Hindus, however, worship three important deities: Vishnu, Shiva and the 'goddess who has many names'. Many richly decorated temples where Hindu rituals are held have been built in their honor.

Life, death and rebirth as an eternal cycle

Unlike, for example, Christians or Muslims, Hindus believe in what is known as 'reincarnation'. This means that after death one is born again. But you don't necessarily have to be 'reincarnated' as a person. It can also be that you are born again as an animal. However, through the deeds during his life, a Hindu can influence what he will be reborn as. This idea that every action affects the future is called 'karma' - that means 'working'. The more good 'karma' a Hindu accumulates, for example by adhering to Hindu rules such as non-violence, patience and hospitality, the more likely he is to be reborn as a human. The more bad 'karma' he gets from bad deeds, the sooner he will be born again as an animal. Anyone who tries particularly hard and leads an exemplary life as a Hindu may one day be able to overcome the cycle of life, death and rebirth. This liberation is the ultimate goal of every Hindu.

Now abolished: the 'caste system'

In earlier times the 'caste system' played an important role in Indian Hinduism. This term means the division of society into four different 'classes', so-called 'castes'. Each of these castes had different rights and duties:

1. The uppermost caste were the Brahmins who studied and taught the scriptures.

2. The Kshatriyas formed the warrior caste who were supposed to protect other people.

3. The Vaishyas were traders and shepherds.

4. Finally, the Shudras were subordinate to the other three castes as servants.

Below these four boxes there were also the 'Dalits', which were formerly also called 'Untouchables', because the upper box was forbidden to touch them. They were excluded from social life and were only allowed to do simple jobs such as sweeping the streets. Since one was born into one's caste, there was no way of advancing to a higher caste during life. Because this is quite unfair, the Indian government officially abolished the caste system in its 1949 constitution. Nevertheless, the 'Dalits' in particular are still often discriminated against and often live in great poverty.

Status: 02/19/2021, 1:19 pm