Written by Prachi Kale
Dating back to 2000 BCE, Hinduism has touched the lives of millions. It is considered more of a combination of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices rather than only a religion.
Sophomore Isha Gupta believes following this way of life has helped her strive to be a better person and to do good for others. “Hinduism has helped me keep perspective on the challenges that life has to offer,” she said. “Its teachings provide guidelines on how to respect myself, my peers and the world around me.”
One aspect of Hinduism that has strengthened Gupta as a person is the idea of karma. “When I conduct myself in a positive manner and do the right thing, I find that I feel better and my outlook on life is more positive,” she said. “When I don’t do the right thing, there are negative consequences. [Those consequences] motivate me to be the best person I truly can be.”
Junior Aaditya Divekar believes that the morals from Hindu stories have greatly influenced his everyday life and the way he views the world. “I take much of what I consider to be Hinduism from its mythology and the stories my parents and grandpa told me,” he said. “In these stories, there were heroes and their villains. I take both sides into consideration—I try to understand the villain and the lessons I should learn to avoid his mistakes, as much as the reasoning to overcome [the villain].”
For Gupta, the best part of Hinduism is the different holidays and traditions. “There is Diwali, the festival of lights, in which firecrackers are lighted and people wear new clothes,” she said. “There is Holi, the festival of color, where everyone throws colored powder and water at each other. The joy and laughter and food that comes with the numerous Hindu holidays are truly some of my favorite things in the whole world.”
According to Divekar, his favorite part of Hinduism is the tolerance and peace that is taught and the principles that were later encouraged by Gandhi. “Hinduism is a simple and thoughtful way to think and live life,” he said.
Gupta believes that Hinduism as a whole has helped keep her centered, though she may not know all of its facets. “Religion is usually something hard to describe in concrete terms,” she said. “While I may not know all the principles and scriptures of Hinduism by heart, the idea of spiritual beings and the ideas of karma and rebirth help keep me focused and grounded.”