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The Vedic Age
• Named after the Vedas,
religious texts including the
Rig Veda
• The Rig Veda- detailed
procedures for rituals and
• Many groups migrated into the
area, including the Aryans
Hinduism has no single
founder, but originated
from the mixing of
Harappan and Aryan
cultures in ancient India
around 1500 BCE.
Hindus believe in one
unifying spirit, Brahman.
Brahman can manifest
in many, polytheistic,
forms or in one,
monotheistic form.
Hinduism is based on
the concept of
reincarnation (Spirits
return to earth many
times in different forms
trying to become one
with Brahman). The
soul moves up or down
a hierarchy depending
on their behavior in life.
A person moves closer
to Brahman by obeying
the law of karma. Karma
is the sum of all your
deeds, good and bad.
Good deeds involve
following your dharma,
or duties dependent on
your position, gender
and occupation.
The caste system (outlawed since 1948) was an
important part of Hinduism. Castes are social classes
into which a person is born and lives their entire life. If
a person has a good karma they may be reincarnated
into a higher caste.
This life
Next life
Good Karma
Higher caste
Bad Karma
Lower caste
Born into
A caste
The caste system separated Indian society
into distinct social classes in which everyone
knew their place and believed that if they
followed the dharma of their caste, they
would be reincarnated into a better caste.
Over the centuries Hindu
beliefs were recorded
into a number of sacred
texts including the Vedas
and the Upanishads.
The Ramayana is a
Hindu creation story.
Hinduism- Main gods
the Creator
Shiva, the
Vishnu, the
Hinduism- Basic Beliefs
One force that underlies
• The goal of life is to achieve
moksha, or union with
• Every person
has an atman,
or essential self,
and experiences
• Karma holds that our actions
affect our fate in the next life.