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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
perhaps the most ancient
religious texts still surviving
 The primary sacred texts of
Hinduism are the Vedas:
 The Vedas contain hymns,,
and rituals from ancient
 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
Shiva, the Destroyer
Brahman* The power behind and within
the cosmos that makes it function and
& his
Whenever dharma
religion, law and
duty) is threatened,
Vishnu travels from
heaven to earth in
one of ten
 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
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 & 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
 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
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
Exist throughout history in the
sub continent.
The System becomes illegal when
India becomes Independent in
Separate Notes for the Caste
 Meditation is often
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/