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Hinduism. Origins and Beliefs Religious Texts. Hinduism cant be traced back to a single person or founder 750 and 550 BC. Hindu Teachers tried to interpret and explain the hidden meaning of the Vedic Hymns. Written Down and known as the Upanishands . Hinduism. Sacred Texts Beliefs .

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Origins and Beliefs

Religious Texts

  • Hinduism cant be traced back to a single person or founder
  • 750 and 550 BC.
    • Hindu Teachers tried to interpret and explain the hidden meaning of the Vedic Hymns.
      • Written Down and known as the Upanishands

Sacred Texts


  • The Upanishads
    • Written as dialogues
    • Discussions of how to achieve liberation from desires and suffering
      • Moksha
        • Perfect understanding
        • Understanding between atman and Brahman
    • Reincarnation
      • Born again until achieve Moksha
    • Based on Karma
      • Souls good or bad deeds
        • Determines life circumastances

Changes and Developments

Modern day beliefs

  • The World Soul: Brahman, was sometimes seen as having 3 personalities
    • Brahma
    • Vishnu
      • Krishna – cowherder
      • Rama- Perfect king
    • Shiva
  • Hindus can choose which god or not choose one
  • 3 paths to Moksha
    • Right thinking, right action, and religious devotion


  • Beliefs strengthened the Caste System
    • Born to good life came from good karma
  • Belief that only men in the top three varnas could hope to achieve moksha
  • People today still turn to religion when it comes to daily decisions
two other religions
Two Other Religions
  • Mahavira
    • Founder of Jainism
      • Born 599 BC and Died 527 BC
      • Everything in the Universe has a soul and so should not be harmed
  • Jain Monks
    • Carry the doctrine of nonviolence to its logical conclusion
    • Look for jobs that wont harm any creature
    • Don’t spread their religion with missionaries
    • 5 million in India


  • Founded by Siddhartha Gautama
      • Foothills in Nepal
  • Separated as a child from the rest of the world
    • Finally left at 29 years
      • Saw an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and a wandering holy man who seemed at peace with himself
    • Only spiritual life offers protection from suffering
becoming buddha
Becoming Buddha


Sacred Texts

  • Wandered for 6 years seeking enlightenment, or wisdom.
    • Explored other religions
    • Fasted
    • Meditated
      • 49 days of meditation, reached an understanding of suffering and became Buddha:
        • The Enlightened one
  • Teachings written after his death becamethe Jatakas


  • Preached to 5 companions
    • 1st sermon
      • Four Noble Truths
        • Life is filled with suffering and sorrow
        • Cause is selfish desires for temporary pleasures
        • End suffering by ending desires
        • Follow the 8 fold path to become enlightened
the eightfold path
The Eightfold Path
  • A Guide to Behavior
    • Master one step at a time
      • 1 Right Views
      • Right Resolve
      • Right Speech,
      • Right Conduct
      • Right Livelihood
      • Right Effort
      • Right Mindfulness
      • Right Concentration
    • Mastering them leads to Nirvana
      • Release from selfishness and pain
    • Not Achieved in one lifetime
      • Reincarnation

Buddhist Beliefs

  • Repetitive view of history
    • World is created and destroyed over and over again
  • Rejected many of the Gods of Hinduism
    • More focused on “the way” rather than the gods
  • Rejected the Caste system
    • Monks and nuns live a life of poverty
the three jewels
The Three Jewels
  • Sangha
    • The community of Monks and nuns
      • The Community of Buddhism as a whole
  • The Dharma
    • Buddhist doctrine and Teachings
  • The Buddha
  • Diffusion
    • Spread to the laborers and Craftspeople
      • Rejected the caste system
    • Also spread where Aryan race had less influence
  • Monks and Nuns
    • Lived in poverty, nonviolence, and single
    • Spread teaching through missionary work
      • Not too successful
        • Similar to Hinduism
          • Hindus view Buddha as a reincarnation of Vishnu
            • So no need to convert
diffusion through trade
Diffusion Through Trade
  • Traders brought with them the Buddhist teachings and way of life as they traded through the islands of Southeast Asia
    • Also along the Silk Road
      • Into China
      • Korea
      • Japan
  • Trade made Buddhism the most wide spread religions of East Asia
two more empires

Two More Empires

Seafaring Traders

trade spreads culture
Trade Spreads Culture
  • Two large civilizations spread their culture over large areas of the world and left lasting impacts
    • The Minoans of Crete
    • The Phoenicians of Phoenicia (Lebanon)
the minoans
The Minoans
  • Dominated trade in the Mediterranean from 2000 BC to 1400 BC
    • Traded fine painted pottery
    • Swords
    • Figurines
    • And Vessels made of Precious metals over a large area
  • Along with this the Minoans “traded” culture
    • Architecture
    • Burial customs
  • Much of Minoan Culture is seen in Greece
  • The Minoan Capitol City
    • Advanced Culture
    • Peaceful
      • No Fortification
  • Civilization named for king Minos
    • According to legend owned a half human half bull monster called the Minotaur
    • Kept it inside a complicated maze which no one could escape
      • Labyrinth
  • Artwork shows us a lot
    • Graceful, athletic people who loved sports
      • Boxing, Wrestling, and Bull leaping
    • Women are important
      • Mother Earth Goddess
      • Priestesses controlled many shrines
    • Sacrificed bulls and other animals
      • Excavation site revealed at least one human sacrifice of a 17 year old boy
end of minoans
End of Minoans
  • Ended around 1200 BC
    • Unclear why
      • Beliefs that:
        • Natural disaster
          • Had previously survived major disasters before but maybe one wakened the civilization
        • Overpopulation
        • Invasion
  • About the time the Minoans Declined a new power in trade in the Mediterranean appeared
    • The Phoenicians
      • From modern day Lebanon
        • Never created a country, just a series of connected city-states spread over a large area
          • Phoenicia, Byblos, Tyre, and Sidon
  • Shipbuilders and Traders
    • First to travel through the Straight of Gibraltar
      • Some believe made it to present day Great Britain
    • Some evidence suggests they even made it to around Africa
commercial outposts
Commercial Outposts
  • Traded a very valuable Purple Dye
    • Made of rotten snails
      • 60,000 snails to make one pound of Dye
  • Built trade centers all over the Mediterranean
    • 30 miles apart
      • About the distance a ship could cover in a day
    • Most successful colony was Carthage in North Africa
      • Traded Dye and Papyrus
      • Also traded goods they got from other lands
        • Wine, weapons, metals, ivory, and slaves
largest contribution
Largest Contribution
  • Writing System created to record daily transactions
    • Uses symbols to represent sounds
    • Phonetic
      • One sign was used for One Sound
    • Name Alphabet comes from the first two letters of the Phoenician Alphabet
      • Alpha and Beth
  • Introduced the Alphabet to the people they traded with
    • The Greeks
  • Learning became more accessible to more people