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Introductory Questions: Hinduism • Where did Hinduism originate? • Hinduism is considered a major world religion. Why do you think this is? • Is Hinduism polytheistic or monotheistic?
Basics of Hinduism • Originated in India • Dates back to 1500 BCE and many consider it the oldest religion in the world • Third largest religion (# of adherents) • Practiced by 80% of India’s inhabitants • Derivative of word Hindu is the geographical term (Sindu River or Indus Valley)
Indus Valley 4000 – 2200 BCE Built houses for worship Stone sculptures and charms to ward off evil Fire altars & animal sacrifices Aryans 1500 BCE Poems and ritual texts called VEDAS (early sacred writings) Rig Veda – the oldest of the Sacred Texts Agni - worshipped forces of nature as gods Atman - human soul Origins of Hinduism
Sacred Texts VEDAS • Composed in Sanskrit • Vedas literally means “knowledge“ • Vedas called “Shruti” by the Hindus • RIG VEDA • Upanishads – mystical texts on human existence EPICS • Ramayana – Hindu Epic of about 24000 verses including hero story of Rama • Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita Legal Codes • Laws of Manu
Hindu Beliefs & Deities Categorizing the religion of Hinduism is somewhat confusing: • POLYTHEISTIC= worships multiple deities: gods and goddesses • MONOTHEISTIC = it recognizes only one supreme God: the panentheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity who is simultaneously at one with the universe and who transcends it as well • TRINITARIAN= Brahman is simultaneously visualized as a triad -- one God with three persons: Brahma (the Creator) Vishnu (the Preserver, Shiva (the Destroyer) • HENOTHEISTIC= recognize a single deity, and recognizes other gods and goddesses as facets, forms, manifestations, or aspects of that supreme God
Brahman Brahma(Saraswati) Shiva (Parvati) Vishnu(Lakshmi) HINDU TRINITY -is the supreme being-entity without form or quality-soul of universe-divine, invisible, unlimited Preserver Destroyer Creator
Son of Shiva and Parvati Human body and an elephant’s head with only one short tusk Worshipped as the remover of all obstacles Milk Miracle – Sept. 25, 1995 GANESHA
Ten Avatars Vishnu has many AVATARS (incarnations)who appear on earth as humans or animals to conquer evil and establish righteousness7th- Rama 8th- Krishna 9th- Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)
Beliefs and Goals • The ultimate aim of all Hindu thoughts is to attain the universal soul or divine wisdom called Brahman • Hindu’s believe in the freedom to individually worship and guide own spiritual experience. • The goals of Hinduism consist of personal conduct and righteous living which equals to dharma • Goal to achieve moksha, (liberation) from endless cycle of rebirths called Samsara and reunite atman with Brahman
Key Terms • MAYA= all forms of existence are temporary and illusionary • SAMSARA = endless cycle of reincarnation • KARMA = Basic belief of cause and effect (all actions have a consequence) • DHARMA =personal conduct and righteous living • MOKSHA= the liberation from samsara and the uniting of ATMAN (human soul) with Brahman (ultimate soul)
OM • ॐ । असतो मा सद्गमय । तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ।। • OMAsato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotirgamaya, mrityormāmritam gamaya • "OM (Lead me) from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality." • Aum (also Om, ॐ) is the most sacred syllable in Hinduism and Vedas • Used in meditation and prayer as sound gives supernatural power • Represents the original sound of creation • To chant “om” will steady and elevate the mind
Good luck symbol representing “well being” Usually illustrated in red Used on wedding invitations, drawings Used in rituals to bring good luck and protect against evil Swastika
4 Paths to Salvation 4 Stages of Life 4 Goals of Life Caste System Puja Upanayana Vegetarianism “holy cow” Arranged Marriages Diwali – Festival of Lights Ahimsa – non-violence Yoga – philosophy and exercise together – very spiritual HINDU PRACTICES
Best known Hindu in world Fought to end discrimination against Indians in South Africa Tolerant of all religions Religious ideals on duty, truth, non-violence (ahimsa) and spiritual liberation (moksha) Negotiated independence of India in 1947 Opposed social injustice of Hindu society (ie. untouchables) Assassinated in 1948 Mahatma Gandhi