Download Ancient India: Religious Beliefs

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• One of the world oldest Religions-”Sanatana
dharma” : “the eternal teaching”
• Began 4000 years ago-Indus River Valley
• Followers: “Hindus”- Began in India
• Religion govern what they eat, how they live
& how they see the world.
• No founder and no single sacred book
• Aryans invaded and mixed with• You have to be born Hindu you can not
become one.
• Flexible ways to practice: pray everyday or ever
• Not necessary to visit the temple-Free choice
• Believe in reincarnation: soul reborn in another
body-human or animal- Cycle: SAMSARA
• The quality of your next life depend on this
• Chain of actions / energy is called KARMA
• Many Gods but one single spiritual power
called BRAHMAN which lives in everything.
• Ultimate goal : to gain “Moksha”: Higher you
are reborn higher you are to Moksha
• Karma is basically about the kind of energy you
give out that will come back to you. It is the law
of attraction. What you give out will come back to
you as matter of attraction. So if you do good
with focused thoughts, that's what you will reap
and the same applies to bad too.
• Hinduism also believes that Karmic balances are
on an endless journey of paybacks that can cross
life time.
Hindu society divided in 4 groups: ( Castes)
1.Brahmans: Priests
2. Kshatriyas: nobles and soldiers
3. Vaishyas: traders
4. Sudras : Servants
Use to affect peoples lives, never mixed,
today more flexible. Traditional parents still
use it to marry their kids.
• Most Vegetarian
• Believe in Ahimsa : Non Violence
• Ahimsa: forbid killing living beings even for
• Typical Vegetarian food: rice, chapatis, dhal(
lentils) vegetables spicy…..yogurts
• Supreme spirit : Braham
• Believe in hundreds of Gods –who are different
representations of Braham
• 3 most important:
a. Braham , the creator of the universe
b. Vishnu, the preserver of the universe
c. Shiva , the destroyer of evil
Rama: Virtue and Courage ( hero of epic Ramayana)
Krishna: Fond of performing miracles( Bhagavad Gita
Ganesh: Elephant –headed God- son of Shiva& Parvati.
“According to the legend, Shiva cut off Ganesh original head in a
rage and later replaced it with a wise elephant’s head”. God who
solves difficulties, when you start something new….
At home
Visit to temple: no regular
Braham Priest
Yoga and Meditation
• Not only one book: Many sacred writings
• Language: Sanskrit- language of Arian people
• The Vedas: most ancient sacred texts-written
by Arians 3500 years ago- Rig Veda: still read
• The Upanishads: deal with the eternity and
• Epic poem: Two great poems: “Mahabharata
and “Ramayana”.
• The sacred Ganges
• From the Himalayas to Bay of Bengal
• Varanasi: holiest of the 7 cities ( tirthas)
• Holi: the end of winter
• Diwali: festival of lights- 5 days
• Hindu religion calendar : 12 months
• Based on the phases of the moon
• Runs from full moon to full moon
• Celebration of Birth: 10 days after baby is
born - Naming ceremony- Priest special
ceremony• The sacred threat: boys from top 3 castesbetween 9 and 11-Receive sacred threat
from the priest- wear it all their lives, under
right arm.
• Wedding day: arranged by parents-last for
several days- many rituals and ceremonies-