What is Hinduism?

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Transcript What is Hinduism?

Do Now:
What is my religion IQ?
(in basket):
What is my pre-existing
knowledge of Hinduism?
What is Hinduism?
Objective: To Define, describe, and analyze
the origins and
beliefs of Hinduism.
Essential Question: What are the major world
religions and how are they interconnected?
Intro to Hinduism
• Main religion in India
• No founder/ formal church (changed over
thousands of years- early as 3000 BC
under Dravidians- Aryan invasions
• Is a way of life and a religion
Sacred Texts:
• The Vedas (eternal truthsCollection of Sanskrit hymns
and poetry)
• The Upanishads
• The Ramayana*
• The Mahabharata*
• *= two most famous
“Who abhors violence in every form, who
strives for harmony in every behavior, who
loves wisdom, who respects all teachers of
wisdom, who practices some form of
mediation, such a one may be said to be a
• Hindus are polytheistic
(worship of more than 1
God) – they worship
millions of godsreflecting complexity of
• Each god is part of a
single force=Brahman
• It is nameless, faceless, • Hindus believe in unity of all life
and limitless
Atman= essential self (same as
• Only a select few
understand the Brahman • All things part of same universal
soul- stress nonviolence
•Respect Nature
 The 3 Main Gods of
Hinduism are :
1. Brahma- The Creator
2. Vishnu- The Preserver
3. Shiva- The Destroyer
→All Gods/ Goddesses are
incarnations of Brahman;
all other gods= aspects of
• People suffer due to pursuit of
material things
• True goal in life = moksha (freeing of soul
from body to unite with the Brahmancannot be achieved in 1 life)
• Reincarnation/ transmigration is the rebirth
of the soul in various forms
Karma: “What goes around
comes around.”
• The cycle of death/ rebirth continues
until souls achieves union with
• achieving union depends on karma
• Karma: holds that every deed (mental
&physical) affects a person’s fate in the
future life
• Your present situation is a direct result of
your past existence
o Every good deed brings 
o Every bad deed brings 
Hinduism & The Caste System
• Karma & reincarnation link to caste
• A person’s caste is a result of karma (deeds
from past life)
• Strict social/ religious order
• Little social mobility: a person born into a
caste & remained member for life
• Brahmins- highest caste - closest to
moksha (perform sacrifices and rituals)
The Caste System
• Dharma: each caste
has one- duties/
• Obedience to caste/
moral rules
• You can improve your
caste in the next life
by carrying out duties
in present one
Classes of the caste system
Priests, academics, those closest to
Warriors, Kings
Merchants, landowners
Commoners, Peasants, servants
•The system grew and changes over thousands of years
• higher castes purer and closer to moksha
•As invaders absorbed into caste system- sub-caste emerges
Rules & A Way of Life
• A way of life- government,
habits, marriage, cooking
eating and jobs
• Each job has its own caste
Water carrier
Money lender
• Which Gods you worship,
where you live and clothes
all depend on caste
• Caste helps higher castes
remain spiritually pure
• Risk of “spiritual
pollution” if high caste
had contact w/ low caste
• Ex. A Brahman could only
eat foods prepared by a
fellow Brahman
Hinduism Today
• Over 700 million followers
• Consider Ganges River one of most Holy
• Have gurus, temples and meditative practices
What is a Lingam?
• Lingams are one of the most
sacred icons of the ancient and
modern world. They are are
yielded only by the Narmada
River in India.
• The subtle vibration given off
by these unique one of a kind
energetic stones, reacts to the
unique one of a kind vibrations
of the human soul, "tuning" it
into a harmonious melody. The
Lingam never retains negative
energy and helps to bring
prosperity, and balance the
subtle energy vibrations within
your surroundings.
• Google Images
• Clip art
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBxy1R0j