Hinduism
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Hinduism

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Hinduism

Hinduism is both a civilization and a congregation of religions; it has neither a beginning or founder, nor a central authority, hierarchy, or organization. Every attempt at a specific definition of Hinduism has proved unsatisfactory in one way or another, the more so because the finest scholars of Hinduism, including Hindus themselves, have emphasized different aspects

of the whole.


I. Gods and Goddesses


a. Brahma: the creator, soul of the whole universe & present in everything.


b. Vishnu: the preserver, has come to earth in many different forms

Also keeps balance of good and evil


c. Shiva: the destroyer


II. Hindu Symbols


a. Om (Aum)

The greatest of all mantras


b. swastika

A symbol of good fortune and prosperity


c. Cows

The cow is sacred b/c it gives

food without having to be killed


III. Sacred texts


a. The Vedas: containing the Upanishads – commentaries on the individual soul and the creation of the universe


b. Mahabharata – 200,000 lines, longest poem ever written; influences Hindu character and conduct

Contains the

Bhagavad Gita – summarizes major beliefs of Hinduism


IV. Basic teachings


a. Reincarnation or Transmigration of the soul

The rebirth of the soul


b. Karma

The influence of past actions on

future lives


c. Dharma

The moral law governing

individual conduct – What you follow in this life for the next


d. Ahimsa

Non-injury or the absence

of desire to harm


e. Moksha

The soul is

released from reincarnation


V. General Nature of Hinduism


a. Ideas never die they are simply combined w/ new ideas


b. Hindus may embrace other religions without ceasing to be a Hindu


Sikhism

  • There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions.

  • The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form..

  • The true path to achieving salvation and merging with God does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.


SIKHS

  • Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.

  • Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.


Jainism

  • Non-violence to all living things – Vow to kill no living thing, tell no lies and steal nothing

  • Well-educated, strict vegetarians

  • Share some Hindu beliefs


Buddhism

  • Siddhartha

  • 4 Noble Truths

  • 8 Fold Path

  • Reincarnation wheel of life

  • Nirvana


Islam – All believers are equal in the eyes of God

  • Monotheistic

  • Allah

  • Mohammed

  • 5 pillars of Faith

  • Quran


Islam

  • Muslims predominate in Pakistan and Afghanistan

  • Came to the subcontinent to trade, then to invade with superior technology

  • Ruled in various sultanates from the 13th to the 17th centuries


Moghal Empire

  • Two most famous Muslim rulers:

  • Akbar – tolerant of all faiths

    • encouraged learning from all – “truth was no monopoly of any religion”

  • Aurangzeb – opposed religious toleration

    • Banned non-Muslim poets and historians, suppressed drinking and gambling, taxed non-believers and dismissed Hindus from jobs

    • Created much resentment between the faiths


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