Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam

Noah C. Andrew P. Jordin F. Claire J.

Background Information

Hinduism

Hinduism is the dominant religion of India. It traces back 5000 years, but there is no single human founder. Hinduism is Polytheistic, meaning that there are many Gods. The 3 major or most common Gods are Brahman, the Creator, Vishnu, the Preserver, and Shiva, the Destroyer. Hindus believe that every living thing has a soul which forms part of the Universal Soul. Hindus strive to free their soul from its existence so it can unite with the Universal Soul. Reincarnation is the cycle of birth and rebirth. A Hindu's goal is to escape the Reincarnation Cycle and into the state of Moksha, or liberation.

Buddhism

Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. Siddhartha Guatama founded Buddhism in 535 B.C. when he went on a journey to find inner peace with himself. When he became enlightened, he changed his name to Buddha (which means "the awakened one") and began spreading his beliefs. Buddha created 4 Noble Truths that act as a pathway to Nirvana, the place Buddhists go once they escape the Reincarnation process. The 4 Noble Truths are: Life is Suffering, Desires cause Suffering, Ending Desire is Ending Suffering, and Follow the Eightfold Path. Buddhism is a protest of Hinduism; Escaping Reincarnation and entering Nirvana is Buddists' goal.

Islam

Islam is a Monotheistic religion founded in the 7th century by a man named Muhammed. He gathered followers and began conquering the Middle East. Eventually his teachings spread past this region. Islam followers have to follow the 5 Pillars of Faith: Charity, Prayer, Travel to Mecca, Fast during Ramadan, and to believe in Allah and Allah only.

Conflict

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known as "Buddha's Country" Buddhists who live in Sri Lanka are given a privileged place in society, while Hindu's who live there are given second-class citizenship.

Tamil Tigers

The LTTE was established in 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran as the successor to an organization he had formed earlier in the 1970s. The Tamil Tigers are a militia who's goal is to overtake Northeastern Sri Lanka, giving the land to the Tamils, an ethnic group that makes up approximately 1/5 of the Sri Lanka population.

Video

The video below sums up the religious conflict in India and shows how the Indian population is affected.
Complete News - Lankans protest UN resolution on war crimes