Hinduism
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  • 1. HINDUISM Often known as Sanātana Dharma , a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law"
  • 2. World Population
    • Hinduism:
    • Is the third largest religion in the world.
    • Has approximately 837 million followers.
    • Followers make up 13% of the world population.
    • Makes up more than 80% of India’s population.
  • 3. Origins
    • Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in existence.
    • It was originated about 4000 years ago.
    • The religion of Hinduism originated in Northern India, near the river Indus.
    • It originated with the Aryan culture and with the people of the Indus Valley.
    • Hinduism developed from their religious practices, literature and systems for social order.
  • 4. Founders and Spiritual Leaders
    • Hinduism:
    • Has no single founder.
    • It existed from time unexplored (prehistoric times), as a religion
    • It grew out of the overlapping beliefs of the diverse groups who settled India.
    • Developed out of Brahmanism.
    • Their spiritual leaders are called Gurus, or, more respectively, Gurujis.
  • 5. Sacred Texts
    • Vedas - Written in Sanskrit language, the texts form the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and of Hinduism.
    • Upanishads - They consider the nature of the individual soul (Atman) and the universal soul (Brahman.)
    • Bhagvad-Gita - ethical ideas of Hinduism
    • Ramayana - A poem that clearly portraits the fact that good will always triumph over evil and Rama and Sita are held up as role models for the perfect husband and wife.
    • Mahabharata - An epic poem telling the story of a war between two branches of a family.
    • Puranas - A collection of ancient tales about the different incarnations and the lives of saints.
  • 6. Major Beliefs
    • Hindus believe in a universal soul or God called Brahman.
    • Brahman takes on many forms that some Hindus worship as gods or goddesses in their own right.
    • Hindus believe that there is a part of Brahman in everyone and this is called the Atman.
    • Hindus believe in reincarnation - a belief that the soul is eternal and lives many lifetimes, in one body after another.
    • Hindus also believe in Samsara which means going through the cycle of repeated births and deaths as part of reincarnation. They believe that this cycles exists due to karma.
  • 7. Everyday Practices
    • Worship (puja)- made offerings as representations of gods.
    • Cremation - a ritual for the funeral where the dead are burned and not buried.
    • Study Vedas and other scriptures.
    • Provide food for those who are in need.
    • Serve guests with love, respect, and reverence. This practice is the basis for the traditional hospitality of Hindu households.
  • 8. Place & Language of Worship
    • Most Hindus worship (puja) every day at home with an established shrine.
    • A shrine can be anything from a room, a small altar or simply pictures or statues.
    • The Hindu building for a community worship is called Mandir (Hindu Temple).
    • Language of worship differs as India consists of most states who follow Hinduism, but also has their own, specific language.
    • Although, the official language of India is Hindi.
  • 9. Religious Divisions
    • Hinduism is divided into 4 major divisions:
    • Vaishnavism - devotees of Vishnu.
    • Shaivism - devotees of Shiva.
    • Shaktism - worships Shakti, the Divine Mother.
    • Smartism - accept and worship all major forms of God, (Ganesha, Siva, Sakti, Vishnu, Surya and Skanda).
    • One may consider themselves a Shakta (a devotee of Shakti), a Shaiva (a devotee of Shiva), and a Vaishnava (a devotee of Vishnu) all at the same time Many gods of Hinduism.