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Sarah Bingham
Ally Philyaw
Caitlin Whiten
Amy Wood
• The Vedas are scriptures that are considered
to be the world’s oldest writings.
• The Vedas may date back to as early as 5000
• There are four scriptures in the Vedas: the RigVeda, Yajur Veda, Sama-Veda and AtharvaVeda.
• The four Vedas were passed down orally for
many years
• They were later written in Sanskrit, which is
the sacred Hindu language.
• The Vedas have hymns, incantations and
rituals which reflect Indian culture.
The Rig-Veda
• Tells about thirtythree gods who all
came from Brahman.
• The main goddesses,
Lakshmi, Sarasvati and
Kali are also
associated with the
• These deities are very
important in
• The Yajur Veda describes the process of
sacrificial rites
• The Sama-Veda is a collection of poems used
during the Sama sacrifices
• The Atharva-Veda contains many incantations
and metaphysical texts
• The Atharva-Veda was written much later
than the other Vedas
• These are the end part of the Vedas
• Upanishad is a Sanskrit word meaning “sitting
down near”
• They were given this name because they were
only said very rarely in private settings
• This title also refers to “sitting beside” a guru,
since they mainly contain dialogues of a guru, or
spiritual leader
• They are deemed to contain a higher level of
knowledge since they deal with the
transcendence of knowledge about oneself
• There are about 250 Upanishads at present,
but the actual number is unknown since many
were lost due to the secrecy of their location
• They differ from the other Vedic writings
because they don’t focus on status or caste
• The Upanishads are meant to be inspiration
for any person no matter their status
• The knowledge of the Upanishads is not man
• It was realized by sages
The Atman
• The atman, or higher self, is a central part of
the Upanishads’ teachings
• The atman, a persons’ soul, must return to
Brahman, the universe’s soul
• A person can then realize that he is just one
part of the universal soul, not a separate
• This is achieved through meditation and selfsacrifice
• The most prominent author of Upanishads
• Known for spiritual wisdom and power
• He is the incarnation of Brahma, who is the
Hindu god of creation
• Wrote a handbook on the philosophy of yoga.
• Some of his many texts are: Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad, Pratijna Sutra, and YogaYājñavalkya
~Ronald Allen Forgie
The Ascetic
That’s an ascetic person with
lots of hair.
What is an ascetic?
• A person dedicated to a life of spiritual
austerity and self-discipline.
Do ascetics participate in the social
• No.
Side note-the
social system
is that in the
Hindu society
that shapes
it. Brahmins,
or priests,
are high up
in the social
What kind of life does an ascetic live?
• One of a hermit in the forest or gathered with
others to live lives of devotion and meditation.
What is the influence of ascetics on
• They inspired people away from dependence
on priests, creating a REVOLUTION of spiritual
thought and practice.
Ascetic people
have cool hair.
How did ascetics come into existence?
• In 7th century BCE,
these people called the
Aryans took over the
Indus Valley where the
Indus people lived. The
Aryans were “high
PRIESTS) and excluded
the “low class” Indus
people from activities.
This is why ascetic
people revolted away
from the Brahmins.
Works Cited
• "Introduction to the Upanishads of Hinduism."
Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism,
Zoroastrianism and Other Resources. Web. 15 Apr.
• Maheshwari, Krishna. "Yajnavalkya." Hindupedia, the
Hindu Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Apr. 2011.
• "Sacred-Texts: Hinduism." Internet Sacred Text Archive
Home. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. <>.