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Transcript
Ancient India
Chapter 4



Find out about the beginning of
Hinduism.
Learn about the teachings of
Hinduism.
Examine the practice of Hinduism.

brahman

avatar

reincarnation

dharma

ahimsa
Hinduism is a major world religion that
resulted when Aryan and Indian cultures
blended.
It is one of the world’s oldest living religions!


As Hinduism developed, it absorbed
many different practices.
 Hindus believe that since people are
different, they need different ways of
worshipping.
There are approximately 850 million
practicing Hindus in India today.


The Hindu
holy book.
It is a collection
of songs and
poems that
contain Hindu
beliefs.


Hindus worship
many gods and
goddesses and one
single spiritual
power, called
Brahman.
Hindus believe that
Brahman lives in
everything.


The gods and goddesses of Hinduism
stand for different parts of brahman.
Important Hindu gods are
 Brahma – the Creator,
 Vishnu – the Preserver, and
 Shiva – the Destroyer.



Hindu teachings say that Brahma
was born from a golden egg, and
then created everything.
Hindus believe that Vishnu is a
kindly god who is concerned
with the welfare of human
beings.
Vishnu visits Earth occasionally
in different forms.
 He does this to guide humans
or to protect them from
disaster.


Unlike Vishnu, Shiva is not concerned
with human matters.
 He is very powerful and responsible
for both the creative and destructive
forces of the universe.
Hindu gods have their own families.
 Many Hindus worship Shiva’s wife,
the goddess Shakti.
•It is unlike other major religions,
because it has no one single
founder.
Reading Check:
What are the
three main
Hindu gods?
The three main
Hindu gods are
Brahma (the
creator),
Vishnu (the
preserver), and
Shiva (the
destroyer).


Upanishad – one of
Hinduism’s religious
texts that means
“sitting near a
teacher.”
Much of the text is in
the form of questions
by students and
responses by teachers.

Reincarnation – rebirth of the soul.
 It is one of the main ideas in the
Upanishads.

Hindus believe that when a person dies,
the soul is reborn in the body of another
living thing.
 According to the Hindus, a person’s
life affects his or her fate in the next
life.

Good behavior is always rewarded in the
next life.
 If a person lives a good life, they may
be elevated to a higher position in the
next life.

Bad behavior is always punished.
 If a person lives a bad life, they may
be sent to a lower caste or even be
reborn as an animal.

If a person lives a perfect life, he or she
may be freed from the cycle and their
soul becomes one with brahman.


The duties depend on a person’s class,
age, and occupation.
To become united with the one spirit
and escape the death and rebirth cycle,
a person must obey his or her dharma.
 Dharma – religious and moral
duties of each person.


Ahimsa is another important Hindu
practice that states that all living
creatures are part of brahman and
therefore should not be harmed.
Many Hindus will therefore not eat
meat or harm living creatures.
 Ahimsa – nonviolence.
Reading Check:
According to
Hindu belief,
what happens to a
person’s soul after
death?
Hindus believe a
person’s soul is
reborn into
another living
thing or it becomes
one with brahman



Hindus believe that yoga exercises help
free the soul from the cares of the
world.
In this way, the soul can unite with
Brahma.
The word yoga means “union.”
For Hindus, there are many yogas that
can be used as paths to brahman.
1. Physical activity (yoga)
2. Yoga of selfless deeds (giving to
poor)
3. Yoga of knowledge (learning sacred
texts)
4. Yoga of devotion (honoring a
personal god)

Hindus worship in public by praying
and performing rituals in temples.
 They also show devotion at home.

It is common for Hindus to choose a
personal god, and honor that god by
offering food, gifts, and prayers at a
home altar.
 A Hindu’s devotion to the god brings the soul
closer to brahman.
Reading Check:
How is yoga
practiced by
Hindus?
Hindus who
practice yoga use
special exercises,
breathing, and deep
thinking to help
free their souls and
unite them with
Brahman.


Why do you think
Savitri chose Prince
Satyavan? What
about him
attracted her to
him?
What message
does this tale try to
teach?
1.(a) Explain
How did the early Aryan religion
grow into Hinduism?
As Aryan culture blended with
India’s preexisting cultures, new ideas
and beliefs formed and led to the
development of Hinduism.
(b) Compare and Contrast
How is Hinduism different from
other religions you have learned about?
How is it similar?
Hinduism is different from Judaism
because Hindus worship several gods
and Jews worship one god. It is similar
to the religions of ancient Egypt because
more than one god is worshipped by
both religions.
2.(a) Analyze Information
What is the relationship between
good and bad behavior and the Hindu
idea of reincarnation?
In Hinduism, good behavior results
in reincarnation into higher status or
unity with brahman; bad behavior
results in being reincarnated into a lower
class or into an animal.
(b) Find the Main Idea
What does “escaping the cycle of
birth and death” mean to Hindus?
To Hindus it means reuniting one’s
spirit with brahman.
3.(a) Describe
In what ways do Hindus practice
their faith?
They practice various forms of yoga
and worship in temples and at home.
(b) Draw Conclusions
How do you think the yogas bring
Hindus closer to brahman?
Practicing yoga helps Hindus lead a
more perfect life, which may help their
soul become one with brahman.