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Does religion mean happiness for people religion essay

Meaning, NatureRole and other details 5931 Words Article shared by: Religion is an almost universal institution in human society.

It is found in all societies, past and present. All the preliterate societies known to us have religion. Religion goes back to the beginning of the culture itself. It is a very ancient institution. There is no primitive society without religion. Like other social institutions, religion also arose from the intellectual power of man in response to certain felt needs of men.

While most people consider religion as universal and therefore, a significant institution of societies. It is the foundation on which the normative structure of society stands. It is the social institution that deals with sacred things, that lie beyond our knowledge and control. It has influenced other institutions. It has been exerting tremendous influence upon political and economic aspects of life. It is said that man from the earliest times has been incurably religious.

Religion is concerned with the shared beliefs and practices of human beings. It is the human response to those elements in the life and environment of mankind which are beyond their ordinary comprehension. Religion is pre-eminently social and is found in nearly all societies.

Majumdar and Madan explain that the word religion has its origin in the Latin word Rel I igio. This is derived from two root words. The second root refers to the carrying out those activities which link human beings with the supernatural powers.

Essay on Religion: Meaning, Nature , Role and other details (5931 Words)

Thus, we find that the word religion basically represents beliefs and practices which are generally the main characteristics of all religions. Central to all religions is the concept of faith. Religion in this sense is the organisation of faith which binds human beings to their temporal and transcendental foundation.

By faith man is distinguished from other beings. It is essentially a subjective and private matter. Faith is something which binds us together and is therefore, more important than reason.

As a matter of fact the forms in which religion expresses itself vary so much that it is difficult to agree upon a definition.

Some maintain that religion includes a belief in supernatural or mysterious powers and that it expresses itself in overt activities designed to deal with those powers. Others regard religion as something very earthly and materialistic, designed to achieve practical ends. While it is possible to define religion as belief in God or some super-natural powers, it is well to remember that there can also be a Godless religion as Buddhism.

In sociology, the word religion is used in a wider sense than that used in religious books. A common characteristic found among all religions is that they represent a complex of emotional feelings and attitudes towards mysterious and perplexities of life. According to Radin it consists of two parts: The physiological part expresses itself in such acts as kneeling, closing the eyes, touching the feet.

The psychological part consists of supernormal sensitivity to certain traditions and beliefs. If we analyse the great religions of the world, we shall find that each of them contains, five basic elements: Belief in Supernatural Powers: The first basic element of religion is the belief that there are supernatural powers. These powers are believed to influence human life and control all natural phenomena. Some call these supernatural forces God, other call them Gods.

There are even others who do not call them by any name. They simply consider them as forces in their universe. Thus, belief in the non-sensory, super-empirical world is the first element of religion. Belief in the Holy: There are certain holy or sacred elements of religion.

These constitute the heart of the religion. There are certain things which are regarded as holy or sacred. But a thing is holy or sacred not because of a peculiar quality of thing. An attitude makes a thing holy. The sacred character of a tangible thing is not observable to the senses.

Sacred things are symbols. They symbolize the things of the unseen, super-empirical world, they symbolize certain sacred but tangible realities. When a Hindu worships a cow, he worships it not because of the kind of animal the cow is, but because of a host of super-empirical characteristics which this animal is imagined to represent.

It includes any kind of behavior such as the wearing of special clothing and the immersion in certain rivers, in the Ganga for instanceprayers, hymns, creedal recitations, and other forms of reverence, usually does religion mean happiness for people religion essay with other people and in public. It can include singing, dancing, weeping, crawling, starving, feasting, etc. Failure to perform these acts is considered a sin.

Acts defined as Sinful: Each religion defines certain acts as sinful and profane unholy. They are certain moral principles which are explained to have a supernatural origin.

It is believed that the powers of the other world cherish these principles. It may also bring upon him the disfavour of the supernatural powers. If the behaviour is not in accordance with the religions code, the behaviour or act is considered as sinful. Some Method of Salvation: A method of salvation is the fifth basic element of religion.

Man needs some method by which he can regain harmony with the Gods through removal of guilt. In Hindu religion Moksha or Salvation represents the end of life, the realisation of an inner spirituality in man.

The Hindu seeks release from the bondage of Karma, which is the joy or suffering he undergoes as a result of his actions in his life. The ultimate end of life is to attain Moksha. In short, religion is the institutionalised set of beliefs men hold about supernatural forces.

It is more or less coherent system of beliefs and practices concerning a supernatural order of beings, forces, places or other entities. Role or Functions of Religion: Religion is interwoven with all aspects of human life: It has shaped domestic, economic and political institutions. Hence, it is obvious that religion performs a number of functions both for the religious group and for the wider society. These functions of religion are discussed bellow. Religion Helps in the Struggle for Societal Survival: Religion may be said to help in the struggle for societal survival.

Rushton Coulborn has does religion mean happiness for people religion essay that religion played a crucial role in the formation and early development of seven primary civilisations: Religion in each of these societies gave its members the courage needed for survival in an unfavourable environment, by giving explanations to certain aspects of the human conditions which could not be explained in a rational manner.

In present societies religion also performs this role.

Religion in Everyday Life

By relating the empirical world to the super-empirical world religion gives the individual a sense of security in this rapidly changing world. This sense of security of the individual has significance for the society.

Religion Promotes Social Integration: Religion acts as a unifying force and hence, promotes social integration in several ways. Religion plays an important part in crystallising, symbolising and reinforcing common values and norms. It thus provides support for social standards, socially accepted behaviour.

Common faith, values and norms etc. As the individuals perform rituals collectively their devotion to group ends is enhanced. Through a ritual individual expresses common beliefs and sentiments.

It thus helps him to identify himself more with his fellows, and to distinguish himself more from members of other groups, communities or nations. By distinguishing between holy and unholy things, religion creates sacred symbol for the values and this symbol becomes the rallying point for all persons who share the same values. The cow as a sacred symbol of the Hindus, for example, is a rallying point which gives cohesion to Hindu society.

Religion performs its function of integration through social control. It regulates the conduct of individuals by enforcing moral principles on them and by prescribing does religion mean happiness for people religion essay sanctions against them for violation. It is the ultimate source of social cohesion. The primary requirement of society is the common possession of social values by which individuals control the actions of self and others and through which society is perpetuated.

These social values emanate from religious faith. Religion is the foundation upon which these values rest. Children should obey their parents, should not tell a lie or cheat, women should be faithful to men; people should be honest and virtuous are some of the social values which maintain social cohesion.