History of Hinduism• Originated between 4000 and 2000 BC• No single founder• Vedas: the oldest scriptures of Hinduism• Veda means “to know”• Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda• Upanishads explain the philosophical ideas in story and dialogue form
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)
Ramanuja• 10th Century AD• Vishistadvaitha• wanted everybody irrespective of social standing to enjoy the eternal bliss of Lord Narayana• Bhakti - complete surrender to the Lord
Madhva • Dwaitha philosophy • 12th Century AD • the world is not an illusion. • solitary study of the scriptures, performing ones duty without self-interest, practical acts of devotion
Vivekananda• First Hindu leader to visit America• Famous address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September 11,1893• Spent three years preaching the Vedanta philosophy in America and England• Founded the Ramakrishna Mission
Contemporary Hindu Leaders in America • David Frawley • Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami • Mahesh Yogi • Satchidananda • Mata Amritanandamayi
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.
April/MayYugaadi/Ugaadi:•The first day of the year according to the National Calendar of India.•The day falls in the beginning of spring - Vasanta Ritu – When the Goddess of Nature gets bedecked as a divine bride.
Sri Ramanavami Mahavir Jayanti Buddha Jayanti Birthday of Birthday of Buddha, Lord Rama, Birthday of Mahavira, the founder of Buddhism the prince of the founder of Jainism Ayodhya, and his coronation as a king.
May/June Guru Purnima •Guru: One’s teacher. The dayLord Muruga commemorates the birthday of• Worshipped mostly in Veda Vyasa. South India •Time to remember and felicitate one’s teachers.
July/August Raksha Bandhan KrishnashtamiSymbolizes the love betweenbrother and sister. Birthday of Lord Krishna, favorite lovable God of many :)
August/SeptemberGanesh Chaturthi Durga Pooja/NavaratriBirthday of the elephant God,Ganesha A nine day celebration signifying the victory of Mother Durga over the evil demon King Mahishasura.
October/NovemberDeepavali: The festival of lights Mother Lakshmi •Mother Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped on this day. •Beginning of the Hindu financial year.
December/January Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Sankranti/PongalBirthday of Guru Gobind Celebration of theSingh, one of the Sikh Gurus harvest festival
February/March Mahashivaratri HoliBirthday of Lord Shiva Holi, the festival of colors commemorating the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Holika
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