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Monday Sept
Vocab Due Thursday
Make Sure to check the website every day this week
Turn in your test corrections to the box up front
Religion Unit disclaimer
This week we will be learning about the major world religions. Our job this
week is to learn about the fundamentals of each religion to help us better
understand the motives and culture of nations, peoples groups, or
civilizations throughout the history of the world. It is not my job nor motive
to convince you of one religion over another, or convert you to any religion.
We will cover each religion equally. Throughout the week we will examine
several primary sources relating to different religions. These texts will be
used only for the purpose of studying, or gathering a better understanding
of each religion.
Introduction to Hinduism
“There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his
The vast
majority of
Hindus live
in India and
Hindu Beliefs
• Hindus believe in a single Divinity or supreme God that
is present in everything called Brahman.
• Hindus also believe in other gods who are aspects of
that supreme God such as Shiva, Shakti, and Ganesh.
Goal of Hinduism
Moksha: “release or liberation
United forever with the divine
Infinite bliss and awareness
Hindu Life Goals
• Hinduism is about the sort of life one should lead in order to be born
into a better life next time and ultimately achieve liberation. There
are 4 legitimate goals in life:
• dharma (appropriate living)
• artha (the pursuit of material gain by lawful means)
• kama (delight of the senses)
• moksha (release from rebirth).
Hindu Duties
• Each Hindu has 4 daily duties:
• Revere the deities
• Respect ancestors
• Respect all beings
• Honor all humankind
Samsara is the wheel of rebirth which means the soul is reborn
from one life form to another.
People may be reincarnated at a higher or lower level of existence depending on
their karma from their present life.
People may be reborn as plants or animals or they may be elevated to a higher
caste as a human.
Death is not final for Hindus as they expect to be reborn many times.
Karma and Reincarnation
• Reincarnation is the belief that the soul
repeatedly goes through a cycle of being
born into a body, dying, and being
reborn again in a new body.
• Karma, a force that determines the
quality of each life, depending on how
well one behaved in a past life.
• Hinduism says we create karma by our
actions on earth. If you live a good life,
you create good karma. If you live a bad
life, you create bad karma.
Karma & Dharma
Karma: “action” or “deeds”
 Every action produces a Justified effect based on its moral
Karma determines all the particular circumstances and Situations of
one’s life.
Dharma: ethical duty based on the divine order of reality. The word is
the closest equivalent to “religion.”
• Each time a Hindu soul is born into a better
life, it has the opportunity to improve itself
further, and get closer to ultimate
• This liberation is called Moksha.
• One attains Moksha when one has
"overcome ignorance", and no longer
desires anything at all.
• The ones who reach this state no longer
struggle with the cycle of life and death.
• The way to get to Moksha is to not create
any karma.
Sacred Writings
• The Vedas collections of Sanskrit hymns (written down 1200-900BCE,
but based on older oral versions).
• The Upanishads which means the inner or mystic teaching that were
passed down from guru (teacher) to disciple (student).
Sacred Texts
Rig Veda:
Hinduism’s oldest text- nearly 4000 years.
Bhagavad Gita:
Hinduism’s most popular sacred text
Caste System
Five major castes
Brahmin (Mouth) : priests
Kshatriya (Arms): warriors and administrators
Vaistrya (Thighs): farmers, merchants, teachers, artisans
Sudras (Feet): servants, laborers
Dalit: untouchables, not connected to Manu
Origins of Buddhism
The Big Idea
Buddhism began in India
and became a major religion.
Main Ideas
• Siddhartha Gautama searched for wisdom in many ways.
• The teachings of Buddhism deal with finding peace.
• Buddhism spread far from where it began in India.
Was the Buddha a God?
He was not, nor did he claim to be. He was a man who
taught a path to enlightenment from his own
Quest for Answers
• Siddhartha was born a
prince, but he questioned
the meaning of life.
• Found it under the Tree of
Wisdom while meditating
• Determined to find
answers using:
• Meditation
• Fasting
• Learning from
different teachers
• Called the Buddha
(Enlightened One)
• Spent the rest of his life
traveling and teaching his
Teachings of Buddhism
Four Noble Truths
Suffering and unhappiness are a part of human life. No one
can escape sorrow.
Suffering comes from our desires for pleasure and material
People can overcome desire and ignorance and reach
nirvana, a state of perfect peace.
People can overcome ignorance and desire by following an
4. eightfold path that leads to wisdom, enlightenment, and
The Eightfold Path
What are the 5 Precepts?
The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of
which the main five are: 1) not to take the life of
anything living, 2) not to take anything not freely
given, 3) to abstain from sexual misconduct and
sensual overindulgence, 4) to refrain from untrue
speech, 5) and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing
Karma, Reincarnation
• Buddhist believe in Karma like the Hindus bigger emphasis on Nature
• Buddhist believe in Reincarnation like the Hindus ends in Nirvana
• Definition- a state of blissful
peace without desire or
• Buddhist follow the 8 fold
path to follow nirvana
• No more death or rebirth
Challenging Hindu Ideas
Ancient Ways
Changing Society
Caste System
• The Buddha
taught that
following the
Vedic texts was
• A more
approach to
• Opposed caste
• Challenged the
authority of
Hindu priests
• Rebirth as a
means to evolve
• The Eightfold
Path could lead
any individual to
• The Buddha’s
reached all
Early Spread of Buddhism
Do Buddhists Worship Idols?
Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the
Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favors. A statue
of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a
compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop
peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the statue
is an expression of gratitude for the teaching.
Buddhism began in India and then became a major religion.
Buddhism branches out
• Asoka, one of the most powerful kings in India, became a
Buddhist and spread Buddhism in India and foreign lands.
• Buddhist missionaries traveled the world to teach
Buddhism splits
• Buddhism split into two main sects: Theravada and Mahayana.
• Members of the Theravada followed the Buddha’s teachings
exactly. (Skinny Buddha)
• Members of the Mahayana believed that individual
interpretation was important. (Fat Buddha)