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Hinduism Beginnings •Evolved over centuries •Polytheistic •Deity - god •Brahman – universal spirit People began to ask… •Why are some people born into a life or ease while others are born into a life of poverty? •What happens to people when they die? •How should we live our lives before we die? Hinduism •Main religion of India today •Share certain beliefs, values, or traditions •Beliefs and celebrations may vary based on region •837 million Hindus - worldwide Hinduism - Beliefs •Search for truth •Most believe gods help to achieve goals •Same gods as family or caste Polytheism •Belief in more than one god •Gods are incarnate of Brahman •Believe everything in the world is part of Brahman Atman •Soul •Holds person’s personality Goal of Christians To become “free” of sin and be united with God Hindu Goal •Unite the soul with Brahman •Soul will eventually join Brahman because the world is viewed as an illusion (maya) •Must see through the illusion •Brahman is the only reality 3 Ways to achieve goal… •Devotion •Wisdom •Right Actions Reincarnation •Hard to see through illusion •Takes several lifetimes •The belief in the rebirth of the soul into another body •Form of body depends on …. Karma •The sum/effects that good and bad actions have on a person’s soul •Evil/bad actions = bad karma = reborn in lower caste or life form • Got up late • Did not make bed • Gripped about breakfast • Sassy to mom • Did not do history homework • Helped student pick up books • Tripped student walking by • Late to class • Offered to help pass out papers -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 +1 -1 -1 +1 -5 Karma •Good karma brings salvation •Affects present and future lives Dharma •Spiritual duties/laws that each person should fulfill •Led to preservation of the caste system •It required and taught accepting one’s place in life Ahimsa •Belief in nonviolence •Many did not kill living things Moksha •Salvation; liberation •Freedom from life’s worries and cycle of rebirth 3 Main Gods •Brahma – Creator •Vishnu – Preserver •Shiva – Destroyer Brahma • The Creator • Vehicle: swan • has 4 heads, 4 arms, and a reddish complexion • not commonly worshipped • not to be confused with Brahman (the ground of all being) or the Brahmin (priestly caste) Vishnu • The Preserver • Vehicle: garuda (bird) • has 4 arms, a blueish complexion, and rests on a snake • was incarnated (born as an animal or human) nine times with one more still to come Avatar •God who descends to earth •Incarnation of a deity who comes to earth in human or animal form Anti-clockwise from left top corner: Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parshurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Kalki surround Vishnu Shiva • • • • Shiva The Destroyer / Transformer Vehicle: bull has matted hair, a third eye, a blue throat and a trident in his hand Saraswati • Goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts • Vehicle: swan • wife of Brahma • sits on a white lotus playing a veena Parvati • The Divine Mother • Vehicle: lion • the reincarnation of Shiva's first wife • has many forms, such as the popular Durga and Kali; often shown together with Saraswati and Lakshmi as the tridevi ('triple goddess') Ganesh • God of the intellect and the remover of obstacles • Vehicle: mouse • son of Shiva & Parvati • has an elephant's head Murugan • • • • God of war Vehicle: peacock son of Shiva & Parvati also known as Skanda Durga • A fiercer form of Parvati • Vehicle: tiger • has ten arms holding many weapons Kali • Goddess of time and death • Vehicle: donkey • usually portrayed as dark and violent Rama • Rama • The 7th avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu • the central figure in the epic story Ramayana Krishna • Krishna • The 8th avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu • usually portrayed as a child and a prankster; often shown playing the flute Hanuman • an ape-like god known for assisting Rama • Worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion Surya • God of the Sun • pulled on a chariot by horses Diw(v)ali •Oct. / Nov. – lunar calendar •Festival of lights – light the path for Lakshmi th •4 day – visit friends/family; exchange gifts Not all followed Hinduism… Many looked to new religious ideas!