To close up this series of articles about Hinduism, we’ll turn our focus to the second most important component of religion for Hinduism – Hindu practices and behaviors.
Religious behaviors are actions that have no intrinsic meaning, but rather ascribed meaning. For example, walking around with a white cap on your head has no meaning on its own. However, when you are in a Muslim neighborhood, it suddenly has a lot of meaning. Similarly, taking a sip of wine doesn’t mean much on its own, but it carries a lot of meaning in the context of a Catholic church.
In Hinduism, behaviors are the second most important component (after community and before beliefs). Doing the right thing is more important than believing the right thing, because doing a particular action shows you are part of a particular group.
For example, in a Hindu home, the mother is more concerned that her son visits a temple (behavior) than that he believes in the power of that deity. [Read more…]