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• Almost exclusively practiced in India
• no definable point or person can be traced to the
origin of Hinduism
• there is no founder for Hinduism
• Originated from the Vedas-sacred writings
• the world's largest and oldest polytheistic religion
• Hinduism teaches that there is one universal
spirit called Brahman.
– Brahman - a spiritual power that is the source of all
existence and is present in every thing and every place
• They also worship Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva,
three gods that are different forms of Brahman.
• Brahma is the god of knowledge and the
creator of the universe whose work is almost
• Vishnu is the preserver of the universe who
protects from evil.
• Hindus believe that Vishnu often takes on
human forms called avatars, so he can guide
all living things.
• Shiva is the god of destruction
and re-creation.
• Shiva represents change, from
day to night, across the
seasons, and throughout our
• Reincarnation is the belief in a cycle of life,
death, and rebirth that is repeated by the soul
many times until the soul reaches the state of
Nirvana (internal bliss) and unites with
Brahman (the universal soul)
– Nirvana is the highest state a Hindu can get; a
place of perfect peace and happiness
• Karma
– a person's actions in life affect the quality of his or
her existence. (Reincarnation)
• Dharma
– the idea of a person’s duty and the obligation to
fulfill that duty
• Karma and Dharma helped to establish the
Caste System
• The goal of Hindu faith is to eventually merge
with the Brahman after a series of
reincarnations. This is called Moksha.
• Moksha can be obtained one of three ways:
– work
– knowledge
– devotion
• The Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagaad-Gita
are holy books in Hinduism
1. Vedas - A collection of four books
containing sacred poems and hymns.
• 2. Upanishads - Text studied by students and
• 3. Bhagavad Gita - a text that is a part of the
Indian epic Mahabharata which teaches what
Hindus must do to become one with God.
• Hinduism spread throughout the Indian
subcontinent and Southeast Asia through
trade, education, and the teaching of priests.