January 3, 2013
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The sun hung overhead, burning the back of Ajitabh’s neck. His heavy, calloused hands expertly maneuvered a hoe through the dry rice beds, breaking up the compact soil. His face, moistened by perspiration, revealed the difficulty of his work. In a short time the summer monsoon would arrive in India, bringing rain which was relied on by farmers to supplement the little irrigation they could manage by use of the Ganges River. As a Hindu, Ajitabh believes that the Ganges possesses holy powers and frequently bathes in it because it will cure him of any sickness or disease. Ajitabh is a hard worker because he is aware that his work will pay off during the harvest. Likewise, Ajitabh believes that good deeds in this life will benefit him in his next.

Hinduism requires Ajitabh to follow his dharma, a set of rules that instruct him how to live his life properly. Ajitabh abides by his dharma and consistently does good deeds. Therefore, he has good karma, and, if he maintains this, will be reborn into the next Varna, or level of the Aryan caste system, the Kshatriyas. A Kshatriya will become a Brahmin, or priest. This rebirth is known as reincarnation, or samsara. Ajitabh will be reincarnated until he reaches moksha, also known as atman. One who has arrived at moksha has become united with the most important Hindu god, Brahma, and at this point, he will cease to be reincarnated. However, bad karma in any of his lives will demote Ajitabh to a lower Varna.

After a long day of tiring work, Ajitabh returns to his home for a late meal. He fills his plate with a fair portion of cheese and strongly spiced rice, the result of a good harvest the previous year. Ajitabh does not eat pork or beef, as Hindus believe some animals to be reincarnations of humans. However, dairy is a major element in a Hindu’s diet because it is believed to enhance one’s spirituality because cows are sacred animals. As he eats, he reflects on the days of his youth. He remembers his mother reading him portions of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, epic poems known to most Hindus, and the four Vedas, which contain the holiest writings and a vast amount of information about Hinduism. She also educated him on the proper ways of a Hindu, including tolerance, pacifism, or ahimsa, and worshipping the gods. Ajitabh worships the three main gods, Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Protector, and Siva the Destroyer, and also, the god of earth, Prithivi. After he finishes his meal, he prepares himself for bed and goes to sleep. The next day he will wake up early and begin the process again.

The rest of his days, aside from his marriage to the daughter of an artisan, Pradeepta, and the birth of his son, Hiranmay, held little variation until his death. Upon his death, he was dressed in the sacred color, red, and cremated. Pradeepta took the ashes of her husband and distributed them over the waters of the Ganges in an effort to quicken his reincarnation.

Ajitabh was granted a new life as Sadhin, who would become a successful warrior. Just as his hard work in tending his rice fields reaped a plentiful harvest, his good deeds and actions in his life as a Vaisya promoted him to the Kshatriya Varna in his next life.

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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 9:48 am
I don't usually read this sort of thing but I liked yours. Good job! Can you comment and rate my stories? I would really appreciate it if you do :) Thanks!
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