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  1. 1. Hinduism
  2. 2. The Roots of Hinduism <ul><li>One of the world’s oldest religions </li></ul><ul><li>Grew out of the beliefs of the Aryans </li></ul><ul><li>Today, nearly 800 million followers </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Vedas <ul><li>Sacred songs passed down by the Aryans to Harappans </li></ul><ul><li>“ Books of Knowledge” </li></ul><ul><li>Songs were considered holy and contained hymns and prayers praising deities, or gods and goddesses </li></ul><ul><li>Written in Sanskrit </li></ul><ul><li>1 st building blocks of Hinduism </li></ul><ul><li>Told Hindus how they should live and explained life </li></ul>
  4. 4. Hinduism and Culture <ul><li>Vedas explained how Hindus believe people were created and what is the proper way to live </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Priest was his mouth; The princes became his arms; His legs produced the Professionals and Merchants; His feet gave birth to the servant. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Brahmins- priest and scholars </li></ul><ul><li>2. Kshatriyas- warriors and rulers </li></ul><ul><li>3. Vaisyas- workers (average Joe) </li></ul><ul><li>4. Sudras- servants </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Caste System <ul><li>A way of organizing people into hundreds of different levels </li></ul><ul><li>A person’s place in society is determined by the rank of the family he or she is born into. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. People born in priestly caste of India have the highest rank and respect. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Do people have any control over their caste? <ul><li>YES!!! </li></ul><ul><li>The Vedas state that people move in a constant cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. </li></ul><ul><li>REINCARNATION </li></ul><ul><li>Bad deeds done in one’s lifetime must be paid for in the next life. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What does that mean? <ul><li>People born as servants are paying for wrongs done in a past life. </li></ul><ul><li>Priests have done many good things in past lives. </li></ul><ul><li>This is KARMA! </li></ul><ul><li>Karma is a force created by each person’s good and bad acts. </li></ul>
  8. 8. How did Hindus know what was right and wrong? <ul><li>They followed the dharma of their caste. </li></ul><ul><li>Laws and Duties </li></ul><ul><li>100s of rules that instructed the Hindus how to live </li></ul><ul><li>Vedas told each caste what jobs they could and could not do </li></ul>
  9. 9. What happens if I break a law? <ul><li>Following dharma helped keep society orderly. </li></ul><ul><li>The Vedas warned that not following dharma would result in disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.- people who married against the rules of the caste or who did a job outside their caste were forced to live outside of all castes </li></ul><ul><li>“outcastes” “untouchables” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Outcastes <ul><li>Looked down upon by others </li></ul><ul><li>Said to be impure </li></ul><ul><li>Hindu priests performed a cleansing ceremony if they were touched by even the shadow of an outcaste </li></ul><ul><li>Had few rights </li></ul><ul><li>Because the children of outcastes were born outside of all castes, they were outcastes </li></ul>
  11. 11. Many paths to truth Over time, Hinduism developed 100s of different forms.
  12. 12. Different Forms, Different Beliefs
  13. 13. <ul><li>Some Hindus believed their dharma called them to become priests or to perform special exercises. </li></ul><ul><li>Some felt it was important to eat no meat, eggs, or fish. </li></ul><ul><li>Still others explored non-Hindu beliefs in their search to understand the meaning of life and the proper way to live. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Was it okay to explore other beliefs? <ul><li>YES!!! </li></ul><ul><li>This did not upset Hindu priests. Hinduism allowed for the worship of more than one god and more than one way to truth!! </li></ul><ul><li>The important aspect was finding truth! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Excerpt from Hindu Book, Bhagavad Gita <ul><li>The god, Vishnu, says, “Howsoever people approach me, even so do I accept them; for on all sides, whatever path they may choose is mine.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Hinduism Today <ul><li>800 million followers </li></ul><ul><li>Still worship many gods and goddesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite gods are: Vishnu, “The One That is The All,” Shiva, “ The God of Time and Destruction,” and Devi, “ The Mother of All Creation.” </li></ul><ul><li>Most Hindus worship at home, temples, or special festivals </li></ul><ul><li>Vedas are still important, as well as other epics </li></ul>
  17. 17. MAJOR CHANGE TODAY <ul><li>In 1950, the Indian government made it illegal to mistreat or to show disrespect for Hindu “outcastes.” </li></ul>
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