Hinduism Hinduism is more like an encompassing way of life, then a religion. Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 950 million followers -- about 14% of the world's population. 2 It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Hindu sacred texts are Vedas perhaps the most ancient religious texts still surviving today The primary sacred texts of Hinduism are the Vedas: The Vedas contain hymns,, and rituals from ancient India Important text/stories are the Ramayana & the Mahabharata (Gita) The Lords Song; Sorrow of Arjuna and Lord Krishna! Trinity of Gods Brahma the Creator Vishnu, (Krishna) the Preserver. Shiva, the Destroyer Brahman* The power behind and within the cosmos that makes it function and live. Vishnu & his incarnations/Avata r Whenever dharma (righteousness, religion, law and duty) is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations. Boar- 3rd Buddha- 9th Turtle- 2nd Goals of Hinduism The main goal is : moksa: break the cycle of reincarnation. This is considered the supreme goal of mankind. dharma: righteousness in their religious life. This is the most important of the three. Duties or obligation; which change depending on your age (student, parent, elder) Karma- every deed (action) in this life affects your fate in the next life. Reincarnation, determined by karma, reincarnation as animal, plant or human. If you do your Dharma, you will get good Karma and will be reincarnated into a higher life. Shiva makes his home in River Ganges & Varanasi Varanasi & grants enlightenment there. Sacred act to take a pilgrimage to city. Wash away sins, remember ancestors etc. Many come here to die & get cremated near the river. Holidays and Festivals Of the annual festivals, the two-day rites of Holi mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is a time of fun, joy, and hope for nature's rebirth. In late summer, Krishna's birthday is celebrated at the Janmashtami. Shortly afterwards, Ganesha is honored with the festival of Ganesh Charurti. Hindu Temples Visit temples any time, Puja (worship) happens any time of the day. Bells announce a worshipers, incense is burnt, flowers or candy offered. Many Hindus have area’s of worship in there homes to their favorite god. Idols represent gods in temples, awaken gods with bells, wash and dress for special occasions. Caste System Social System brought by the Aryans Exist throughout history in the sub continent. The System becomes illegal when India becomes Independent in 1947. Separate Notes for the Caste System Meditation is often Yoga practiced, with Yoga being the most common The priesthood is less important in rural Hinduism: non-Brahmins and non-priests often carry out ritual and prayer there. No founder, no formal organization, no Pope/ leader.