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Transcript
Hinduism
A Brief Introduction
History of Hinduism
• Originated between 4000 and 2000 BC
• Over 750,000 followers, mostly in India
• No single founder
• Vedas: the oldest scriptures of Hinduism
• Veda means “to know”
• Upanishads explain the philosophical ideas in story
and dialogue form
Scriptures
• Hundreds of scriptures
• oldest scriptures: the four
Vedas
• Most popular scripture:
Bhagavad Gita
Concept of God
• Believe in many gods
• You can have your own
god, your family can
have its own god
• Brahman – ultimate
“god” or existance
• Brahma – creater
• Vishnu – preserver
• Shiva - destroyer
Basic Beliefs
• Karma - the law of cause and
effect; “you reap what you
sow”
• Reincarnation - eternal soul
traverses through different
bodies till it finds liberation
• Caste System:
•
•
•
•
•
Brahmins - priests
Kshatriyas – government
Vaishyas – land owners
Sudras – peasants
Untouchables – lowest of low
(illegal)
Hindu Trinity
• Brahma - the Creator
• Vishnu - the Preserver
• Shiva - the Destroyer
• Three aspects/powers
of the same divine
being
Ultimate Goal for Hinuism
• Moksha – freedom from
want
• Escaping the cycle of
rebirth
• Evolving out of the caste
system
Four Paths to Moksha
• Karma Yoga - Path of
righteous action
• Bhakti Yoga - Path of
selfless devotion
• Jnana Yoga - Path of
rational inquiry
• Raja Yoga - Path of
renunciation
Holy Cow!
• Hindus have always had
great respect for
Mother Nature and its
creatures
• Cow is especially
significant because it
symbolizes gentleness
Temple Worship
• Although Hindus worship
anywhere, homes, etc. also
have temples
• Temples are centers of
social and cultural
activities
• Provide a place for
collective worship and
prayers
Veda Vyasa
• 1500 BC
• classified the Vedas into the
four traditional collections
• composed the 18 Puranas
• composed his great poetic
work, the Mahabharata in a
period of two and a half
years
Sankara
• Advaitha philosophy
• 7th century AD
• traveled all over India
having public debates
with other philosophers
• true happiness can be
attained by removing
avidya(ignorance) and
maya (self deception)
Festivals
• Hinduism is a celebratory religion
• The motive: Festivals keep us close to Gods,
invigorate our household and renew our
personal life.
• Festivals signify victory of good over evil.
• Every month of Hindu calendar has atleast one
significant festival. Each festival has regional
significance also.
• Celebration of diversity.
Sri Ramanavami
Birthday of
Lord Rama,
the prince of
Ayodhya, and
his coronation
as a king.
Mahavir Jayanti
Buddha Jayanti
Birthday of Mahavira,
the founder of Jainism
Birthday of Buddha,
the founder of Buddhism
February/March
Mahashivaratri
Birthday of Lord Shiva
Holi
Holi, the festival of colors
commemorating the victory of
Lord Krishna over the demon Holika