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.
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
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 • 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? • 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 • 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 • Trimarga = “3 Paths” • Karma Marga • The way of action • Jnana Marga • The way of wisdom • Bhakti Marga • The way of devotion
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 • 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 • 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 are supernatural, but not omnipotent • Thousands of Gods/Avatars • Three Primary Gods • Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva
Lord Brahma • God of Creation • Four faces represent the four Vedas
Lord Vishnu • Most popular Hindu God • Preserver of the universe • Goodness & Mercy • Avatars • Rama • Krishna
Lord Shiva • The Destroyer • The Procreator • Most powerful of Gods • Lord of the Dance
Lord Ram • 7th Avatar of Vishnu • Hero of the Ramayana • Representation of an ideal man
Lord Krishna • 8th Avatar of Vishnu • Representation of ideal love • Delivers the Bhagavad-Gita
Durga • Divine Mother • Multiple arms (6, 8, up to 20) • When male logic fails she destroys evil
Lord Ganesh • Son of Shiva & Durga • Remover of obstacles
All Life is Sacred • Hindus have always had great respect for life • Nonviolence - Ahimsa • Cow is especially significant • Transportation • Milk • Fuel
Places of Worship • Household shrines • Temples (Mandirs) • Importance of Rivers • Ritual purity