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Hinduism "Sanatana Dharma": The Everlasting Religion. Prepared by: Danielle STUDENT. Number of Adherents:. Today there are an estimated 837 million followers of the Hindu faith. Hinduism is considered to be the World’s third largest religion. Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org .

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Hinduism "Sanatana Dharma": The Everlasting Religion


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    1. Hinduism "Sanatana Dharma": The Everlasting Religion Prepared by: Danielle STUDENT

    2. Number of Adherents: • Today there are an estimated 837 million followers of the Hindu faith. • Hinduism is considered to be the World’s third largest religion. Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org

    3. When and where the religion was established: • The earliest elements of the Hindu faith date back to as far as 3,000 BCE. • Hinduism has no single founder. It is thought to have originated when the Aryans invaded India. Hinduism became a mixture of the religious beliefs of the Aryans and the people indigenous to India. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    4. Influential Practitioners: • Gandhi is considered to be the father of India. Mahatma Gandhi Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    5. “Adi Shankaracharya can be considered as the only Hindu spiritual leader who was almost universally accepted in this religion.” Adi Shankaracharya Source: http://www.hindubooks.org

    6. Holy Works: Sacred Texts There are three major sacred texts in Hinduism. • The Vedas • The Ramayana • The Mahabharata • Other texts include: the Brahmanas, the Sutras, Puranas, and the Aranyakas Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org

    7. Vedas • Vedas are the scriptures of Hinduism. • They are divided into four categories: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. • Vedas are passed on through written form and by word of mouth, from generation to generation. Pictured are two characters frequently used in Vedas. Lord Rama and Mother Sita Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org

    8. The Ramayana is “a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to this day ”. It was written by Valmiki, and is based on several generations of stories passed on by word of mouth. Rama was the very life of the men of Ayodhya. He was unparalleled in the qualities which makes a man great. He was a very brave young man and yet his bravery was combined with mercy. Even if someone spoke harshly to him, he would never reply in the same tone. If anyone did him any favor, even if it were a small task, he would always remember it with gratitude while his own good acts would be forgotten by him even if they were hundreds in number. Each man loved him as his own son. Ramayana Excerpt from the Ramayana Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org, http://www.hindunet.org

    9. The Mahabharata • The Mahabharata is the world’s second largest book, and is used to introduce readers to the basic themes of India’s culture. • It is a story of two sets of paternal first cousins who enter into a war over land, and are helped through ethical problems by Krishna, throughout the story. Krishna Source: http://web.utk.edu

    10. CLERGY • Priests in Hinduism are referred to as Brahmin. • Brahmins are at the top of the caste system and are considered to have great power in Hindu society. • It is legend that Brahmins have the power to make the Gods do things through use of their spells and rituals. Initiation of a Brahmin boy Source: http://wsu.edu

    11. In India, people are born into their caste; therefore, to be a Brahmin, your mother or father has to be a Brahmin. • Women have only been allowed to become Brahmin for about 25 years now. Today, there are about 10,000 women Brahmin; but some traditional Hindus still do not agree with this practice. Sources: http://www.hinduismtoday.com, http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu

    12. Ecclesiastical Law: The Caste System • One major aspect of the Hindu faith is the caste system: a rigid hierarchy of social classes. • You are born into your caste, you marry in your class, and you die in your class. • It is very important to Hindus to obey the strict regulations of their caste system. • The Caste System is divided into four categories, with a fifth outside of the caste. 1.Brahmans 2.Kshatriyas 3.Vaishyas 4.Shudras 5. Untouchables Source: http://codesign.scu.edu

    13. Brahmans • Brahmans represent the highest social class. • This class contains the priests, holy men, and arbiters. Brahman Priest Source: http://codesign.scu.edu

    14. Kshatriyas • Kshatriyas is the second highest class in the caste system. • It includes the kings, warriors, and soldiers that protect and guard the country. Source: http://codesign.scu.edu

    15. Vaishyas • The third highest class in the caste system is the Vaishyas. • This caste includes the businessmen, traders, and the commercial class. Source: http://codesign.scu.edu

    16. Shudras • Shudras is the lowest class of the caste system. • It contains the farmers, producers, and peasants. Source: http://codesign.scu.edu

    17. Untouchables • The untouchables are so low in the Hinduism social classes that they are not even considered part of the caste system. • They are regarded as unclean and inhuman, and are left to perform menial and degrading jobs. • In India about 25% of the population are untouchables. Source: http://codesign.scu.edu

    18. HOLY DAYS • There are many holy days and seasonal days that are celebrated by Hindus. An example of a few of them are: Festivals Diwali Holi Mahashivrati Dusserah Birthdays Rama Navami Wesak Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org, http://www.bbc.co.uk

    19. Festivals Diwali • Diwali is the Indian Festival of Lights, held in mid-November. • Holi is the festival that celebrates creation and renewal, held in the Spring. • Mahashivrati is the festival that is dedicated to Shiva. • Dusserah is a festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, also held in November. Holi Mahashivrati Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org, http://www.bbc.co.uk

    20. Birthdays • Rama Navami is the celebration of Lord Rama’s Birthday. • Wesak is the celebration of Buddha’s birthday in early April. Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org, http://www.bbc.co.uk

    21. Rights, Rituals, and Ceremonies • Communion with Gods or Holy Ones • Birth • Rites of Passage • Baptism • Marriage Rites • Death Rites

    22. Communion with God/ Holy Ones:Puja • There is no communion in Hinduism; however, Puja is a ceremony that is similar to communion. • Puja consists of three parts: 1.Seeing of the Deity 2. Worship 3. Retrieving and Consuming the Blessed Food Source: http://www.asia.si.edu

    23. BIRTH • In Hinduism, baby rites occur before the baby is even conceived. • Upon marriage, Garbhadana, a conception prayer, is recited. • When the fetus reached its third month, another prayer, Punsavana is recited. This is done in hopes of protecting the fetus and encouraging growth. • In the seventh month of pregnancy, the Simantonnyana, a baby shower, is held. • Other baby rites include: Namakarma (the naming ceremony), Nishkarmana ( the child’s first trip out), and Annaprasana (the child’s first taste of solid food). Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    24. Rites of Passage • Rites of passage include the sacred Upanayana ceremony which is explained later in the slide show, under “Age of Reason”.

    25. Baptism • There is no official baptism in Hinduism, but the Jatakarma ceremony is similar. • The Jatakarma welcomes the child into the world, and includes the family placing honey into the child’s mouth and whispering the name of God into the child’s ear. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    26. Marriage Rites • There are four main stages of a Hindu wedding: • Jayamaala • Madhu-Parka • Gau Daan • Kanya Pratigrahan

    27. Jayamaala • The bride and groom receive red kum-kum marks to the forehead. Members of both families meet. The bride and groom exchange garlands and declare: “Let all the learned persons present here know, we are accepting each other willingly, voluntarily and pleasantly. Our hearts are concordant and united like waters.” • Madhu-Parka • The groom is led to the “mandap”, a decorated altar, and given a welcoming drink. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    28. Gau Daan • “Gau” means cow and “Daan” means donation. During this stage, there is a symbolic exchange of gifts. The bride is given a Mangala Sootra (necklace) by the groom’s mother. The Mangala Sootra is the emblem for the marital status of a Hindu woman. • Kanya Pratigrahan • “Kanya” means daughter and “Pratigrahan” means an exchange of responsibility on both sides. The bride’s father declares that the bride accepts the groom and he asks them to accept her. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    29. Death Rites • Most Hindu bodies are cremated, in hopes of the soul escaping quickly. • Funerals are conducted by a priest and the eldest son. The ceremony includes several rituals such as: • A lamp is placed by the head of the body. • Prayers and hymns are sung. • Pindas (rice balls) are placed in the coffin. • Water is sprinkled on the body. • A mala (necklace of wooden beads) or a garland of flowers may be put around the dead person’s neck. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

    30. Major Tenets of Hinduism Reincarnation Four Goals in Human Life Trinitarian

    31. Reincarnation • One major belief of Hinduism is Reincarnation– the movement of the soul from one body to another. • Hindus believe that a person’s soul is reborn over and over, promoting the doctrine of non injury or non-violence (ahisma) more and more each time. Eventually the soul hopes to reach Moksha. Source: http://www.indialife.com

    32. Moksha Dharma Artha Kama Goals In Human Life

    33. Samsara is the uncertainty of the universe, and Moksha is the liberation from Samsara. Dharma is achieving righteousness in your religious life. Moksha Dharma Sources: http://wsu.edu, http://www.religioustolerance.org

    34. Artha is economic prosperity, or economic gain; but it can only be attained through noble means. Kama is gratification of the senses, such as: sensual and sexual pleasure, and mental enjoyment. Artha Kama Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org

    35. Trinitarian • Some label Hinduism as Trinitarian, because Brahman is viewed as one God with three persons: the Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. • Brahma is “the Creator who is continuing to create new realities”. • Vishnu is the Preserver of the new creations. • Shiva is the Destroyer. Brahman Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org

    36. Location of most people who practice this religion: • Hinduism is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. • There are also about 1.1million Hindus in the U.S. India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org

    37. Age of Reason: Upanayana • The Upanayana is a sacred ceremony that symbolizes the transition of a boy from his parents to his Guru (teacher). • It is ideally performed when a boy reaches 7 or 8 years old, but it can be performed as early as five. • It is only performed on males, and it consists of two parts: Gayatri Mantra Yugnopavit Source: www.kamakoti.org

    38. The Yugnopavit involves wearing the sacred thread. “The wearer of this thread is supposed to be constantly reminded of his commitment to the secular and spiritual goals which he has set upon himself on this solemn occasion; that this life may not pass away just in unconscious striving but become a means of the expansion of our "being"; that it may provide a view of one's self and the world without being in conflict with the action that comes by; that life, even at its worst, may still provide us a source of sharing the joyousness of our existence; this is the greatest art of life, which comes, not through wanton experimentation, but through prayer and humility alone and through that the divine grace. “ Source: www.kamakoti.org

    39. After the boy is adorned with the sacred thread, he is taught the Gayatri Mantra by his Guru. • “The focal point of the whole Upanayana ceremony is the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra and teaching its essence to the initiated. The Mantra is considered to be the most sacred and according to Manu `there is nothing more exalted than the Gayatri.”  Source: www.kamakoti.org

    40. “That splendid magnificence of Savitre, the Cosmic Sun permeating the three worlds, the Earth, the Space and the Heavens is assuredly Savitri; the inspirer, life giver, the stimulative force. May we meditate on the life giving divinity, Savitri assuredly is God, and therefore I meditate on his splendor. May He himself illumine our intelligence. May He himself breath it into us". “Om tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yonah prachodayat.” Gayatri Mantra Source: www.kamakoti.org

    41. Is the Hindu Faith Growing? • The number of adherents to Hinduism are staying fairly stable. • It has been slowly growing in some countries, while slowly decreasing in other countries. • Ex: Hindus increased in Africa from 1,986,000 people in 1996 to 2,411,000 in 1998. While in Fiji, Hinduism decreased from 375,000 in 1993 to 301,128 in 1997. Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org , http://www.adherents.com

    42. Hinduism Temple • “The Parshurama Templeand the Pushkara or "Lotus Pond"which is in its precincts.Every Hindu temple has a pond near it.Devotees are supposedto take a bath before entering the temple.” Source: http://www.hindubooks.org