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I. Hinduism Evolves Over Centuries
a collection of religious beliefs that developed
slowly over time.
Unlike the other major religions Hinduism
cannot be traced back to one founder with a
single set of ideas.
A. Origins and Beliefs
Sometime b/w 750- 550 BC Hindu
teachers tried to interpret Vedic
interpretations written down, called
the Upanishads—written as dialogues
b/w priest/pupil
discussions talk about moksha— a
state of perfect understanding of all
- In order to reach moksha a person must
understand relationship b/w atman &
Atman— individual soul of a living being (each
person’s soul)
Brahman— world’s soul that contains and unites
all atmans
Moksha usually not
achieved in one lifetime
process of reincarnation used until
moksha is achieved
Reincarnation— individual’s soul or
spirit is born again and again
soul’s karma (good or bad deeds)
follows from one reincarnation to
Karma influences your caste system,
state of health, wealth or poverty…
B. Hinduism Changes and Develops
 Brahman seen as having personalities of
three gods:
1. Brahma—the creator
2. Vishnu—the protector
3. Shiva—the destroyer
C. Hinduism Today
Hindus today free to worship any of the 3
gods they choose
also free to pick any of 3 paths to reach
1. Path of right thinking
2. Path of right action
3. Path of religious devotion
D. Hinduism and Society
Hinduism strengthens the
caste system
born high in the system=
they are being rewarded
for karma in previous life.
born low in the system=
being punished for karma
in previous life.
Two other religions have formed from
Hinduism: Jainism and Buddhism
Jainism founded by Mahavria
Belief that everything has a soul and should
not be harmed.
A. The Buddha Seeks Enlightenment
Siddhartha Gautama, founder of Buddhism
born to noble family, raised in isolation - wanted
to learn about the world
 grows up seeks enlightenment, how to escape
human suffering
Tries many different methods - finally reaches it
through meditation
After reaching enlightenment known as the
Buddha “the enlightened one”
B. Origins and Beliefs
Buddhism based on the Four Noble Truths:
1. First Noble Truth—Life is filled w/ suffering
and sorrow.
2. Second Noble Truth—cause of all suffering is
ppl’s selfish desire for temporary pleasures of
this world.
3. Third Noble Truth—way to end all suffering is
to end all desires.
4. Fourth Noble Truth—way to overcome desires
and attain enlightenment is to follow the
“Middle Way” b/w desires and self-denial.
an Eightfold Path—right views, right resolve, right
speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right
effort, right mindfulness, and right
By following this path anyone could reach
nirvana—the Buddha’s concept of being
released from selfishness and pain- a perfect
state of being
C. Buddhism and Society
Due to Buddha’s rejection of the caste
system many early followers were laborers
and craftspeople.
Monks and nuns vow to live a life of poverty,
nonviolence, and not marry.
Monks and nuns are also responsible for
spreading Buddha’s teachings.
Jatakas -Buddhist sacred writings.
Trade also helped spread Buddhism
list the 8 “rights” from the 8-fold path.
With a partner discuss what each “right” might mean to
a Buddhist and then write an example of actions you
might take for each
right views, right resolve, right speech, right conduct,
right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and
right concentration.