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Global History I: Spiconardi
Developed over thousands of years combining
the beliefs of the Aryans & Indus peoples
NO single founder
The word Hindu is derived from the river
Sindhu or Indus
The Universal Spirit
Hindus believe in one unifying spirit called
Brahman is too complex for humans to
Hindus worship many gods to give a more
concrete form to Brahman
The Three Main Hindu Gods
Brahman The creator
Vishnu The preserver
Shiva The destroyer
Hindu Pantheon
Ātman our innermost and true selves
It is unchanging (unlike our bodies and minds)
We lose sight and awareness of our ātaman in our
search for material things and “true happiness.”
We cannot find true happiness this universe
We must achieve moksha
The main goal of life is to achieve union with
Brahman (moksha)
Moksha can only occur when you free
yourself from all your selfish desires
Most people cannot achieve moksha in one
Reincarnation  the soul is reborn in a new
Each new lifetime allows you to get closer to
Hindus get closer to this union by being born
into higher levels of existence
Karma & Dharma
Karma  the deeds & actions (both good &
bad) of a person’s life that affects his/her
existence in the next life
Dharma  The moral & religious duties that
are expected by of an individual
A persons gender, class/caste, age, & occupation
can affect his/her dharma
The Caste System
Social groups into which people are born in & out
You cannot move into a different caste during
your life time
The Caste System
Brahmins (Priests)
Kshatriyas (Rulers & Warriors)
Vaisyas (merchants, farmers, & artisans)
Sudras (non-Aryan farmers & servants)
Untouchable (butchers, gravediggers, trash collectors)
Other Facts
The Ganges River is sacred
Bathing in it can purify, cleanse, and cure the sick
Upon death many Hindus are cremated & have some of
their ashes spread in the Ganges
Sacred Texts
Bhagavad-Gita  most important text; it is a dialogue
between a prince and the Vishnu in disguise.
Vedas Book of hymns, prayers, and philosophies
Other Facts
Reverence towards the cow (“The Sacred Cow”)
Seen as a symbol of life and nourishment
Cow Dung
Used for energy, tilaks (religious markings), & fertilizer
Other Facts
The Bindi
 Forehead decoration that
symbolizes the relationship
status of a Hindu women
Red = Married
Black = Single
Black can also ward off
evil spirits