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Transcript
Hinduism Content Notes

(3rd
Oldest Religion
largest)
o Believed to have begun about 4000 years ago in the Indus River Valley by Aryans
 Flexible and practical religion
 85% of Hindus live in India
 330 million Gods
 700 million Hindus around world
 No set rules
o Allows people to worship in many different ways
o Depends on a person’s particular needs
 Reincarnation – the soul is reborn into either an animal or person
o Samsara – cycle of death and rebirth
o Karma – through actions and its results will determine reincarnation
 Moksha “Salvation”
o This is the goal of all Hindu
o Try to break the cycle of reincarnation and reach salvation
 By leading a good life, one can be reborn into a higher caste and move
closer to moksha
 Sacred River “Ganges River”
o Wash away sins, puts one closer to moksha
 Sacred City – Benares which is located in NE Central India on Ganges River
 Sacred Animals:
o Cow – provides life (milk)
o Monkey – wisdom
o Cobra – strength
Sacred Texts
 Vedad
o Set of hymns, prayers and magic spells
o Discusses how to worship the gods
o Fire and sacrifices
 Upanishads
o Teachings of Hinduism
o Explains relationship between Brahman and the individual person
Cremation
 Destroying of the human body
o Frees soul
 Placed into Ganges river
Other Beliefs
 Dharma “eternal law”, set of rules that have to be followed (caste system)
 Four Paths to reach Moksha
o Path of Devotion – prayer, worship and devotion to a personal god
o Path of Knowledge – study and learn with a priest’s guidance
o Path of Right Action – acting selflessly, without any thought of reward for
yourself
o Path of Yoga – participate in yoga in meditation
Hindu Gods
 Brahman – supreme soul or spirit, who is not a person, has no shape or form but is
everywhere
 Three Main Gods
o Brahma “Creator”
 One day for Brahma is like 4 billion years to us
o Least widely worshipped (Earth has already been created)
o 4 heads (4 points on a compass)
o rides a white goose
o creator of the universe and the god of wisdom
 Vishnu
o Protector god and god of goodness
o Rides a huge eagle
o 4 arms which hold conch shell, lotus flower, and a club
o one of the most popular gods in Hindu religion
 Shiva
o Destroyer god and the master of yoga
o Causes day and night, seasons, birth and death
o Rides a bull
o One of the most popular goddesses
Caste System
 Social classes within Hindu religion
 Born into a caste
 Can be reborn into an upper or lower caste system depending on Karma
 Caste System
o Brahmins – priests; determine what’s right and wrong
o Kshatriyas – warriors and nobles
o Vaishyas – merchants
o Sudras – ordinary laborers, unskilled workers; these have to be told what to do
and how to do it
o Untouchables – not part of the caste system, do the dirtiest jobs, no social
standing