Bellringer Fill at least 3 lines. What did you do yesterday to deserve your new caste? Questions: 1. 2. What do you already know about Hinduism? List the kinds of powers / abilities that person can possess. For example: Strength, etc. Hinduism Hinduism Origins: No single founder But defined as religion of “those who believe in the Vedas, follow the dharma of the four varnas, and the stages of life” Hinduism Origins: Slowly evolved from ancient Aryan culture in India around 1500 BC Incredibly complex variations as a result Because of variations, Hinduism is very tolerant Hinduism Beliefs: Estimated 330 million different gods worshipped among all of India’s Hindus Followers may most often describe Hinduism as monotheistic How is this possible? Hinduism Beliefs: Brahman Nameless, formless, unlimited supreme force of such complexity it is unimaginable to humans Hinduism Beliefs: Vishnu -preserver of life Shiva -destroyer Hinduism Beliefs: Each family may worship hundreds of additional minor deities specific to a particular village or family Some include: Hinduism Beliefs: Ganesha God of wisdom Hinduism Beliefs: Saraswati Goddess of knowledge & the arts Hinduism Beliefs: Durga Goddess of war & female creative energy (shakti) Hinduism Beliefs: Krishna Hinduism Beliefs: Ahimsa: Absence of desire to injure others Reincarnation (samsara) After death the soul leaves the body & is reborn in the body of new person or animal Life is cyclical - seen as endless entanglement Hinduism Beliefs: Reincarnation – cont. Quality of new birth determined by accumulated merit and demerit that result from actions (karma) Beliefs: Hinduism Thus reincarnation & karma are the result of life’s stages and goals Stages 1. Pure Student Goals 1. Chaste study 2. 3. 4. Householder Gradual Detachment Renunciation Withdraw from world Dharma Righteous behavior 2. 3. 4. Material success Pleasure Moksha Release Hinduism Practices: Unity of Hinduism comes from what followers “do” rather than what they “believe” In this way, Hinduism has a profound impact on all aspects of life Hinduism Practices: Every Aspect of Life: In times without television or radio, entertained by stories of epic poems & mythology Daily bathing & removing shoes before entering a house reflects beliefs of purity & pollution Hinduism Practices: Every Aspect of Life: Reverence for Brahmins & cows Abstention from meat (esp. beef) Marriage within caste Hope of producing male heirs Make offerings to gods Daily ritual in home Ceremonially in temple Socially celebrate rites of passage Hinduism Practices: Caste System Most important characteristic of Hindu practice Society is divided into four strict hierarchical ranks: caste or varna Brahmans: teachers, priests Kshatriyas: warriors, princes Vaishyas: merchants Sudras: commoners Hinduism Practices: Caste System Even each varna is broken is subcastes or jati Determines occupation, marriage, status, ability to end cycle of rebirths (only Brahmins) Below caste structure is a group so polluted they are untouchable: dalits or scheduled castes Hinduism Practices: Seemingly contradictory life paths 1.Those seeking rewards of world Follow first 3 life stages & goals in an attempt to fulfill one’s dharma 2.Those seeking release from world Follow final life stage to gain unity with Brahman (universal) & be released from rebirths Hinduism Reflection: In what ways is Hinduism polytheistic? Monotheistic?