The term ‘Hinduism’ was introduced by British writers in the 1800s. The name comes from the ‘Indus’ River and tells us nothing of the religion (there was no holy person called ‘Hindu’) In fact, calling Hinduism ‘Hinduism’ is about as useful as calling Indigenous Australian beliefs ‘Murrumbidgeeism’
It’s bizarre to think that the average ‘Hindu living in rural India has probably never heard of the term ‘Hinduism’.
Hinduism is not one neat, easily understood religious system.
It finds its roots as far back as 1500BC
HINDUISM John Dickson. A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions
Hindus believe in one God and they call God Brahman. They believe that God has different personalities.
But it’s still not as simple as that… Brahman is a hard concept to grasp…
BRAHMAN A fire produces sparks They flit awhile and vanish Often back into the flame The spark and flame are both separate and not separate. The spark is visible independently for a moment But, the spark came from the flame, is made of the same stuff and ultimately returns and is absorbed. Brahman is the flame from which all originates. Creation, humans, gods and so on All flicker for a while and then return to the source The Ultimate Reality. Pantheism Everything is God Some contemporary Hindu’s believe in a single God and regard emanations of that God (Vishnu etc) as metaphors of divine character.
BRAHMAN BRAHMA VISHNU SHIVA CREATOR PRESERVER DESTROYER ONE GOD – MANY FORMS Known as the Trimurti Tri = three Murti = image
It is the main religion of India
SOME FACTS ABOUT HINDUISM
It is over 3000 years old
ONE OF THE WORLDS OLDEST RELIGIONS
There is not one founder or starter of the religion like Christianity or Islam. There are around 900 million Hindus in the world today... How many in Australia?
Key points in Hinduism The central belief is that of Reincarnation and Karma Moksha is the liberation (or release) of the human’s soul from suffering back to Brahman. Dukkha – is the process of rebirth and suffering that all Humans experience.
What is Karma?
Karma is cause and effect This means that every action leads to a consequence FOR EXAMPLE: if you misbehave you get a detention OR if you smile at someone, they might smile back and you will both feel happier GOOD KARMA = good actions BAD KARMA = bad actions Karma
What is reincarnation?
Hindus believe that when the body dies, the soul is born again in a new body. The soul is called the ATMAN. If you have lived a good life you will be reincarnated as something better , like a soldier or a priest. If you have lived a bad life you will be reincarnated as something worse , like a servant or even an animal. Reincarnation
Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world today. Hindus believe it has always existed and always will.
The word ‘Hindu’ comes from the river Indus (as does the word ‘India’)
(Note: Most Hindu’s probably wouldn’t call themselves a ‘Hindu’… it is a Western word invented in the 1800s)
Fire and water are very important to Hindus.
Water reminds Hindu’s of God’s power.
Why do you think Water is so important to Hindus (and other religious people). Why do you think fire is so important?
Most Hindus live in India but Hinduism has spread all over the world.