Chapter 5 hinduism
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Chapter 5 Hinduism. I. Hindu History. Unique in that there is no single founder or concrete date It is a religion of India It has grown for 4,000 years A. The Indus Valley Civilization: Harappans Reaches its height around 2300 BC Centrally Planned Cities

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Chapter 5 Hinduism

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Chapter 5 hinduism

Chapter 5 Hinduism


I hindu history

I. Hindu History

  • Unique in that there is no single founder or concrete date

  • It is a religion of India

    • It has grown for 4,000 years

  • A. The Indus Valley Civilization: Harappans

    • Reaches its height around 2300 BC

    • Centrally Planned Cities

    • Major cities of Harrapa and Mohenjo-Daro in modern-day Pakistan

      • Showed urban planning, grid system for streets

    • Oven-baked brick homes with wood roofs, some several stories high with at least one bathroom in every home, connected to a brick sewer

    • Collapsed around 1500 BC,

      • They disappeared, no one really knows why: floods, climate changes, or invaders


B aryans

B. Aryans

  • 1. Culture

    • Arrived through the Hindu Kush around 1500 BC

    • Settled along the Ganges Plain

    • War mongers

    • Cattle very valuable

    • Eventually became sacred

  • 2. Language and Traditions

    • Sanskrit

    • Sang hymns and epic poems

    • Priests developed a written form

    • Collected epics to form the Vedas

    • Aryans left no artifacts, only the Vedas

      • 1200-500 BC: Vedic Age


B aryans cont

B. Aryans cont.

  • 3. Social Structure

    • Rigid social system

    • Varnas: classes

    • a. Brahmans: Priests

    • b. Kshatriyas: warriors

    • c. Vaisyas: merchants, farmers, artisans

    • d. Sudras: unskilled workers

    • Pariahs: untouchables aren’t even on the caste system

      • Perform unclean jobs

    • Each varna has duties and lifestyles

    • Later divided further into subcategories: jati

    • Collectively: the Caste System

      • Very rigid, cannot change it


C origins of hindu india

C. Origins of Hindu India

  • 1. Concept of Duty

    • Each person has dharma: religious duty

  • 2. India’s Two Epics

    • Mahabharata w/ Bhagavad-Gita 100,000 verses

      • Outlines dharma

    • Ramayana

      • 24,000 verses

      • Struggle of good and evil


D changes in hinduism

D. Changes in Hinduism

  • Hinduism continued to evolve

    • Upanishads (religious writings by priests)

    • Jainism

      • Teachings of Mahavira

    • Buddhism

      • Teachings of Buddha

    • Emergence of Islam

      • 7-8th centuries

  • Still evolving today after European influences


Ii hindu beliefs

II. Hindu Beliefs

  • Extremely diverse religion

  • Difficult to identify any doctrines with universal acceptance among all denominations

  • Very open-minded religion

    • "Truth is one; sages call it by different names."

    • There are many paths to the top of the mountain


A gods

A. Gods

  • Polytheistic, pantheistic, or perhaps even a monotheistic religion?

  • Hundreds of gods

    • Forces of nature

  • Priests: elaborate rituals and sacrifices

  • Three main gods

    • Vishnu the Preserver

    • Siva the Destroyer

    • Shakti the Mother Goddess

  • Brahma the Creator is often called “the One”

    • All other gods are other forms of Brahma


A gods cont

A. Gods cont.

  • It is probably pantheistic

    • God is the universe and the universe is God

    • It has polytheistic elements

  • B. Universal Spirit

    • In every living thing

    • All souls apart of one eternal soul (atman: the self)

    • The self is identical to Brahma

    • Self denial and meditation (yoga) help one reunite with it

      • Done instead of worshiping a divine being


C cycle of rebirth

C. Cycle of Rebirth

  • 1. Reincarnation (Samsara)

    • Karma: how one lives there life determines what they take into the next life

      • Good karma: reincarnated to a higher caste

      • Bad karma: to a lower caste

    • Karma creates desire for a good life

    • Ahisma: Nonviolence

    • Escape the cycle after having good karma as a Brahman priest

    • Reunited with Brahman Nerguna: moksha (release)


D purpose of life

D. Purpose of Life

  • 1. Dharma: fulfilling one's purpose or destiny

    • One's vocation or career

      • Often defined by class and family

      • Paying the five debts

  • 2. Artha: prosperity

    • Encouraged to make money within the bounds of dharma

  • 3. Kama: desire, sexuality, enjoyment

    • The Kama Sutra, a manual for erotic and other human pleasures (flower arranging)

  • 4. Moksha: enlightenment

    • Liberation from rebirth, enlightenment, Self-realization, or union with God

    • The highest purpose in life


Iii hindu practices

III. Hindu Practices

  • A. Three Paths (margas)

  • All are equally valid

    • Devotion to god or many gods

      • Bhaktimarga (the path of devotion)

      • Forms of rituals and scriptures

      • Many ignore this

    • Many seek Realization of the Self through intense meditation

      • Jnanamarga (the path of knowledge or philosophy)

    • Others focus on the fulfilling one’s social and moral duties

      • Karmamarga (the path of works and action)


B other practices

B. Other Practices

  • 1. Ayurveda

    • The system of healing that follows 5,000 years of Hindu traditions

    • Finding popularity in the west

  • 2. Hatha Yoga

    • The purpose is to locate and activate centers of energy to raise spiritual power

    • Improves the body and clears the mind

  • 3. Kundalini Yoga

    • Attempts to tap the dormant cosmic and psychic powers in the body (coiled like a snake)

    • Can result in the union of divine energy and an extreme sense of bliss, awareness, and peace

    • Emphasized in Tantric Hinduism


B other practices cont

B. Other Practices cont.

  • 4. Namaste: The Significance of a Yogic Greeting

    • A simple greeting straight from the heart

    • It recognizes the equality and sacredness of all

  • 5. Puja (Pooja)

    • Usually done after getting ready in the morning, but before eating

    • Relating to the domain of the divine

      • Looking at an image, lighting candles or incense, or offering flowers

  • 6. The Sadhu (Holy Man)

    • Those who leave their home for spiritual and physical disciplines

    • Many live as hermits or in monasteries


Iv hindu sects

IV. Hindu Sects

  • A. Vaishnavism

    • Vishnu is worshiped as the supreme god

      • Also the incarnations of Krishna or Rama

      • Vishnu is in everything and all things make up Vishnu

        • Even other gods

    • People have a personal relationship with Vishnu

      • Six Qualities of God: all knowledge, all power, supreme majesty, supreme strength, unlimited energy and total self-sufficiency

    • The largest denomination

    • They often mark their foreheads with a large U, Y, or T for Vishnu, and a red dot for Lakshmi (another female form of god)


B shaivism

B. Shaivism

  • Worships Siva as the supreme god

    • In a similar manner of the Vaishnavists

    • Strong in southern India and among the Tamils of Sri Lanka

  • The oldest Hindu denomination


C jainism

C. Jainism

  • Mahavira emphasized ahisma

  • Developed in the 7th century AD

  • Jainism: extreme nonviolence

  • Sweep before they walk to not kill bugs

  • Won’t farm, plowing could kill

  • Not actually Hinduism, but similar in many aspects


D others

D. Others

  • 1. Shaktism

    • Worships the Hindu Divine Mother

      • Shakti or Devi

    • Similar to Shaivism, but emphasize the female aspects of god

  • 2. Smartism

    • Those who adhere to the Vedas and the Shastras (religious writings by scholars)

    • A newly coined term

  • 3. Six Philosophical Schools

    • Yoga

    • Purva Mimamsa (Mimamsa)

    • Uttara Mimamsa (Vedanta)

    • Nyaya

    • Vaisheshika

    • Samkhya


V hindu facts

V. Hindu Facts

  • A. Holidays

    • It is said Hindus have a celebration for every day of the year

      • That may be too low

      • Estimated to have over 1,000 festivals

    • 1. Holi

      • Festival of colors and spring (February-March)

      • Most attend a public bonfire, spray friends and family with colored powders and water, and generally go a bit wild in the streets.

    • 2. Mahashivaratri

      • Night sacred to Shiva (February-March)

      • A day of mediating, fasting, and singing of mantras

      • Legend states Siva had to stay up all night after drinking poison or to protect a hunter from a lion eating him

    • 3. Diwali

      • Festival of lights and Laksmi (September-October)

      • Five day celebration of New Year’s Eve

      • Lots of lights and gambling is encouraged


B other facts

B. Other Facts

  • Date founded : Earliest forms date to 1500 BC or earlier

  • Place founded: India

  • Founder: None

  • Adherents : 900 million

  • Size rank: Third largest in the world

  • Main location: India, also United Kingdom and United States

  • Major sects: Saivism, Vaisnavism, Saktism

  • Sacred texts: Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras, Bhagavad Gita

  • Original language: Sanskrit

  • Spiritual leader: Guru or sage

  • Place of worship: Temple or home shrine

  • Ultimate reality: Brahman

  • Human nature: In bondage to ignorance and illusion, but able to escape

  • Purpose of life: To attain liberation (moksa) from the cycle of reincarnation

  • How to live: Order life according to the dharma

  • Afterlife: If karma unresolved, soul is born into a new body; if karma resolved, attain moksa (liberation)


B other facts cont

B. Other Facts cont.

  • Cows are sacred

    • A source of food

    • A symbol of life

    • Must never be killed

    • Jainism influenced this development

  • Pilgrimages

    • Many journey to shrines

    • Millions travel to the Ganges to wash and bathe to purify themselves


C hindu symbols

C. Hindu Symbols

  • 1. Aum (Om)

    • Greatest of the mantras

    • Three sounds a-u-m

    • Threefold symbolism

      • The three worlds - earth, atmosphere, and heaven

      • The three major Hindu gods - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva

  • 2. Bindi

    • Symbolizes female energy and the third eye

      • Also shows marital status

      • Today it is more of a fashion accessory

  • 3. Linga

    • Phallic symbol that represents creative power and fertility


C hindu symbols cont

C. Hindu Symbols cont.

  • 4. Lotus

    • Beauty and non-attachment

  • 5. Pratik

    • Symbol of the Ananda Marga ("path of bliss")

  • 6. Swastika

    • Sanskrit for all is well

    • A charm to bring good fortune


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