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Hinduism. Words to Know Vedas Ganges River Reincarnation Polytheism/Monotheism Karma Caste System. Ethnic group vs. Religious Group. Ethnic groups share many common characteristics such as language, physical features, customs, and traditions

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Words to Know


Ganges River




Caste System

ethnic group vs religious group
Ethnic group vs. Religious Group
  • Ethnic groups share many common characteristics such as language, physical features, customs, and traditions
  • Religious groups share a common belief system but are not necessarily composted of a single ethnic group.
monotheistic or polytheistic
Monotheistic or Polytheistic???
  • Is Hinduism a polytheistic or perhaps even monotheistic religion?
  • Part of the problem is that Hinduism has many, many gods. The number reaches into the 1000s.
  • The gods of modern Hinduism include the main god, Brahman, chief gods Shiva, Vishnu and a myriad of local community gods.
  • Despite these polytheistic elements, however, many Hindus explain that the gods are various forms of a single Supreme Being . The Upanishads (Holy Text), explain that there exists a single Supreme Reality, called Brahman.

Hinduism is a religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is one of the world's oldest existing religions. Hinduism has no single founder. It is the world's third largest religion following Christianity and Islam, with approximately a billion followers, of whom about 905 million live in India and Nepal. Other countries with large Hindu populations include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Hinduism scriptures/text are known as the Vedas.


Hindu place of worship

Hindu practitioners can worship in temples or at home


Hindus encourage the practice of ahimsa (non-violence) and respect for all life because divinity is believed to permeate all beings, including plants and non-human animals.

In accordance with ahiṃsā, many Hindus embrace vegetarianism to respect higher forms of life.

Observant Hindus who do eat meat almost always abstain from beef.

Many people believe that cows are worshipped. However, there have been times when the Hindu relied heavily on the cow for protein-rich milk and dairy products, tilling of fields and as a provider of fuel and fertilizer. The cow is identified as a caretaker and a maternal figure. Hindu society honors the cow as a symbol of unselfish giving. Cow-slaughter is legally banned in almost every province of India.


Hindu society has traditionally been categorized into four classes, called Varnas

    • the Brahmins: teachers and priests;
    • the Kshatriyas: warriors, nobles, and kings;
    • the Vaishyas: farmers, merchants, and businessmen; and
    • the Shudras: servants and labourers.
interactive notebook question left side
Interactive Notebook Question (Left Side)
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • What parts of Hinduism is similar to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?
karma samsara and moksha
Karma, samsara and moksha

Karma translates literally as action, work or deed.According to the scriptures, an individual develops sanskaras (impressions) from actions, whether physical or mental. These impressions carrying over into the next life.

This cycle of action, reaction, birth, death, and rebirth is called reincarnation. Reincarnation and karma is a strong premise in Hindu thought.

The ultimate goal of life, referred to as moksha, nirvana or samadhi, is understood in several different ways: as one's union with God; as one's eternal relationship with God; unity of all existence; perfect unselfishness and knowledge of the Self; attainment of perfect mental peace; or as detachment from worldly desires. Such a realization liberates one from samsara and ends the cycle of rebirth.


Interactive Notebook Question

  • Think-Pair-Share
  • How does Reincarnation work?
  • What if I were a good person in life, what could I come back as?

Hinduism dates back to (5500–2600BCE).

Buddhism and Jainism branched from Hinduism and adapted elements of Hinduism into their beliefs.

islam comes to india
Islam comes to India…

Islam came to India in the early 7th century with Arab traders and the later Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent. During this period Buddhism declined rapidly and many Hindus converted to Islam. Some Muslim rulers destroyed Hindu temples and persecuted non-Muslims, while others, were more tolerant.


The vast majority of Hindus engage in religious rituals on a daily basis. Most Hindus observe religious rituals at home.

Devout Hindus perform daily chores such as worshiping at dawn after bathing

recitation from religious scripts, singing devotional hymns, meditation, chanting mantras, reciting scriptures etc.

On death, cremation is considered obligatory for all except a few. Cremation is typically performed by wrapping the corpse incloth and burning it on a pyre

interactive notebook question left side1
Interactive Notebook Question (Left Side)
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • How would reincarnation affect the caste system?
ganga ganges river
Ganga (Ganges) River

The Ganges 2:00

The Ganges 7:00

The Ganges is a major river in the Indian subcontinent flowing east into Bangladesh. It has been revered for millennia by India's Hindus, by whom it is worshipped as the goddess Ganga.

According to Hindus the river Ganga is sacred. Hindu belief holds that bathing in the river causes the forgiveness of sins.


Hindus also believe life is incomplete without bathing in the Ganga at least once in their lifetime.

Many Hindus believe that the water from the Ganga can cleanse a person's soul of all past sins, and that it can also cure the ill.

It has hundreds of temples along the banks of the Ganges which often get flooded during the rains. This city, especially along the banks of the Ganges, is an important place of worship for the Hindus as well as a cremation ground.





learning log hinduism
Learning Log-Hinduism
  • Since the Ganges River is so polluted, how may that affect the standard of living and the economy of India? (use your notes, 3 paragraphs)
learning log hinduism1
Learning Log-Hinduism
  • Essay: Since the Ganges River is so polluted, how may that affect the standard of living and the economy of India? How can India prevent future pollution? (use your notes, the textbook, and further research to write 5 paragraphs minimum)
summarization activity 1
Summarization Activity 1
  • On the left hand side of your INB…
  • Draw the Ganges River and how it is used by the local inhabitants.
summarization activity 2
Summarization Activity 2
  • On the left hand side of your INB…
  • List the differences between Hinduism and Christianity.
  • Hinduism. http://www.hinduism.co.za/. January 2008.
  • Hinduism. Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism.htm. January 2008
  • Hinduism Today. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/. December 2007
  • http://chsweb.lr.k12.nj.us/kstokes/prologue/w001.jpg October 26, 2010