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Why I am a Hindu

            I wake up to the sound of bustling cars and rushing crowds. The sun that is coming through my muggy window warms my face and I am grateful for another day. My name is Avani and I am nineteen years old. I live right near our sacred Ganga Ma in Varanasi India. When I walk out my door I am accompanied to the sight of street merchants and busy crowds. The air is rich in heat and moisture as it is most days. I make my way to my family's local business; we sell a variety of foods mostly vegetables and breads. My father has owned the shop ever since I could remember and since I am not yet married I help my parents in running the store. Our shop is right off the Ganga and I am fortunate enough to be able to go and visit it every day when I get off work, it gives me the opportunity to clear my head and continue in meditating on how I can continue to lead a good life, and sacrifice to ensure a respectful rebirth. This has always been a huge part of me and my family's life. My parents have always taught me to keep good karma and never be too boastful or materialistic, to live a simple and content life. To have good karma one must live out their lives with good actions. Karma is what determines the direction of one's rebirth. This encourages an upward mobility within people because good karma brings a higher rebirth whereas lower karma brings a lower rebirth. .
             The divine to me is Brahman, making all things sacred and holy. We try to respect all aspects in life because Brahman is life. Brahman takes the form of the sun the stars the oceans the lands and the list is endless. To disrespect nature is to disrespect Brahman. It is with that outlook that we see all things connecting. Our world is one sacred surge of energy. We are taught that our Atman is also important in connecting with Brahman, because our Atman, or our souls and minds, are part of Brahman as well. In a very special way we have Brahman in us and should act accordingly.

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