Introduction to hinduism
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Introduction to Hinduism. Background - Hinduism. The oldest of the five major religions Approximately 800 million followers “ OM ” – the Pravnava , most powerful mantra “ Hindu ” is a Persian word which refers to non-Muslims living beyond the Indus River.

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Introduction to Hinduism

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Introduction to hinduism

Introduction to Hinduism


Background hinduism

Background - Hinduism

  • The oldest of the five major religions

  • Approximately 800 million followers

  • “OM” – the Pravnava, most powerful mantra

  • “Hindu” is a Persian word which refers to non-Muslims living beyond the Indus River.

  • Sanatana Dharma is the preferred name.


Origins of hinduism

Origins of Hinduism

  • No specific founder

  • Vedic Tradition 3500 – 2500 years ago:

    • Rituals

    • Many gods (polytheism)

    • Sacred texts (Vedas)

  • Vedic Tradition developed into Hinduism

  • Transmitted orally for thousands of years


The beliefs of hinduism many gods or one

The Beliefs of Hinduism: Many Gods or One?

  • All the universe is part of the unchanging, all-spiritual force called Brahman

  • Brahman is too complex for most to understand

  • Most worship a variety of gods


Beliefs of hinduism

Beliefs of Hinduism

  • True essence of life – Atman (the soul), is Brahman trapped in matter

  • Reincarnation – Atman is continually born into this world lifetime after lifetime (Samsara)

  • Karma - all the actions of this life affect the next life

  • Ultimate goal of life – to release Atman and reunite with Brahman (Moksha)


Three paths to moksha

Three Paths to Moksha

  • Trimarga = “3 Paths”

    • Karma Marga

      • The way of action

    • Jnana Marga

      • The way of wisdom

    • Bhakti Marga

      • The way of devotion


Karma marga

Karma Marga

Four Goods

  • Good of dharma – duty

  • Good of artha – wealth

  • Good of kama – pleasure of the senses

  • Moksa – the highest form of good

  • Moksha is a distant event in another lifetime

  • To reach moksha you must give up the first three goods

  • Actions

    • Follow caste & gender roles

    • Rituals, festivals, pilgrimages


Jnana marga

Jnana Marga

  • Follows the Upanishads - metaphysical speculation (teachings of gurus)

  • Brahman

    • Its only quality is that of not having qualities

    • Atman & Brahman are the same

  • Path of wisdom

    • Give up attachment to individuality

    • Truth is found through meditation


Bhakti marga

Bhakti Marga

  • Devotion is more important than ritual

  • What is done is not as important as how it is done

  • Do all things with devotion to God(s)

  • Relationships

    • Parent/Child

    • Friends

    • Master/Servant

    • Lovers


Gods of hinduism

Gods of Hinduism

  • Gods are supernatural, but not omnipotent

  • Thousands of Gods/Avatars

  • Three Primary Gods

    • Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva


Lord brahma

Lord Brahma

  • God of Creation

  • Four faces represent the four Vedas


Lord vishnu

Lord Vishnu

  • Most popular Hindu God

  • Preserver of the universe

  • Goodness & Mercy

  • Avatars

    • Rama

    • Krishna


Lord shiva

Lord Shiva

  • The Destroyer

  • The Procreator

  • Most powerful of Gods

  • Lord of the Dance


Lord ram

Lord Ram

  • 7th Avatar of Vishnu

  • Hero of the Ramayana

  • Representation of an ideal man


Lord krishna

Lord Krishna

  • 8th Avatar of Vishnu

  • Representation of ideal love

  • Delivers the Bhagavad-Gita


Durga

Durga

  • Divine Mother

  • Multiple arms (6, 8, up to 20)

  • When male logic fails she destroys evil


Lord ganesh

Lord Ganesh

  • Son of Shiva & Durga

  • Remover of obstacles


All life is sacred

All Life is Sacred

  • Hindus have always had great respect for life

  • Nonviolence - Ahimsa

  • Cow is especially significant

    • Transportation

    • Milk

    • Fuel


Places of worship

Places of Worship

  • Household shrines

  • Temples (Mandirs)

  • Importance of Rivers

    • Ritual purity


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