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Throughout the course of the year we have learned the teachings and beliefs of many other religions and cultures In this essay the major beliefs of Hinduism Buddhism and Aboriginal Spirituality are taken and compared With the research completed it was easy to determine the similarities and differences of each Many variations have developed from Hinduism over the years and many non- Hindu cults and religious movements gained their inspiration from Hinduism Even in India today the most accepted divisions of Hinduism have changed significantly over the last three thousand years One of the oldest aspects of Hinduism is as much social as religious and that is the caste system It is important to understand the caste system before delving into Hindu religious beliefs According to Hindu teaching there are four basic castes or social classes Each caste has its own rules and obligation for living The elite caste is the Brahman or priest caste Second are the Kshatriyas or warriors and rulers Third are the Vaisyas or merchants and farmers Finally the fourth caste is the Shudras or laborers Outside the caste system are the untouchables The untouchables are the outcasts of Hindu society Though outlawed in India in the 1940s the untouchables are still a very real part of Indian society One does not get decide his or her caste - that matter is decided when one is born into a particular caste As previously stated there is not a strict belief in Hinduism There are however several principles that share a commonality among the various sects Virtually all Hindus believe in -The three-in-one god known as Brahman which is composed of Brahma the creator Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer -The Caste System -Karma Every action thought or decision one makes has consequences - good or bad - that will return to each person in the present life or in one yet to come -Reincarnation Also known as samsara This
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