REL 3308 Movie Review 300 Million Gods Kenneth Leon

The film, Hinduism 330 Million Gods, gave a basic overview of Hinduism. It focuses primarily on the Hindu concept of the divine, religious practices and the stages of life. It derived most of its information from ordinary Hindus with some commentary from some more educated Hindus.
Hinduism has many gods and goddess but at he same time has a monist belief. These two apparently contradictory views are reconciled by the idea that all the gods are just different manifestations or facets of Ultimate reality. In the film we where given the analogy of ultimate reality or “Brahman” as the powerhouse and all the gods as light bulbs.
The Ganges River, is not only sacred in Hinduism, but is also considered a goddess. Hindus believe that the river can wash away their sins and reward them with immortality. In the film we saw people bathing themselves in the river to purify themselves, while at the same time doing their laundry in it. It is often said that Hinduism is less a religion and more a lifestyle, the over lapping images of people engaged in a religious cleansing while at the same time engaged an ordinary activity serves to illustrate this.
Hinduism considerers idol worship perfectly acceptable, unlike many other religions, such as Islam, which totally rejects even having religious images in place of worship. For Hindus an idol is simply an aid to concentration, in the film it was referred to as being like a “pointer”. Since ultimate reality is beyond what we are capable of sensing, the idol acts as a proxy.

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