HINDUISM19 October 2011 By: Brealynn Jarrett & Hope Johnston
ORIGIN OF HINDUISM Originated in India Cannot be traced to any one individual Scholars believe the earliest scripture of Hinduism (The Rig Veda) was written before 6500 B.C. The word “Hindu” is not mentioned in these scriptures, but was established from foreigners referring to those on the other side of the River Indus or SindhuBJ
THE MEANING OF LIFE Absolutely open-minded Does not force followers to accept god Hindu scriptures serve as a “guide” to how they may want to live their lives as opposed to telling them the right way to live it A general god and a personal god Their god does not have a specific form or name Hindus see their god in different forms when they have different emotionsBJ
AFTERLIFE One can be born again multiple times before their soul “dies” (Reincarnation) They believe one can be born as a human, animal, plant, and even a divine that rules over nature When one is done living their life/lives, they reach a state of liberation, which is the ultimate state Karma is when one commits good/bad deeds and these deeds go to the “karma bank” and each of the deeds have either good or bad consequencesBJ
HINDU SYMBOLS The folding of hands symbolizes prayer Hindu people greet one another by folding their hands and bowing while saying the phrase “namaste” Tilaka is the mark that most Hindus have between their eyebrows The Aum (or Om) is a very important Hindu symbol. Made up of the letters a-u-m, it represents the three worlds of earth, atmosphere, and heaven; the three major Hindu godsBJ
SACRED ANIMALS Some animals are considered “sacred” in Hinduism and are to be respected. These include: Cows Mice Peacocks ElephantsBJ
MYTHS AND RITUALS Hindus often do yoga daily to remain “one” with nature and at peace with themselves Puja is a religious ritual that Hindus perform daily after they shower and get dressed. They gaze upon an image and it provides a connection to a god or goddess. It can be performed by simply being silent, or by praying.BJ
HOLY DAYS & FESTIVALS Diwali - This is the festival of lights which celebrates the return of Lord Rama from his exile in the forest. It is celebrated in late October & the middle of November. Dussehra - This is a celebration of good conquering evil which lasts 10 days and is in late September through mid October. Holi - This is a spring festival to celebrate creation andHope renewal.
PLACES OF WORSHIP The Home Practice of Rites: At dawn, a man and his wife rise and purify themselves with a bath. They make an offering to the fire god, Agni, in their household fire. The man turns to the rising sun and says a mantra to the sun god, Savatar. He asks for blessing and understanding. Shrines: Small shrines to the gods are important to the house. They are the focus of household worship. They offer them food and drink and say mantras and prayers at these shrines. The Temple: The people go to a local temple for everyday worship, but on special occasions they go to a grander cathedral. They say mantras, listen to the priest chant, sing, & read from sacred texts. Road-side Shrines: Shrines to gods are placed beside the road as permanent statues or they are placed on carts pushed by an attendant. The people say a short prayer orHope mantra as they pass it to receive a blessing.
THE HOLY BOOK The Vedas: Samnitas – the core part which is composed of mantras brAhmaNa – the application & interpretation of the verdic samhitas Aranyaka & upanishats – the philosophy In Hinduism, reading the Vedas is not something that is required. You can still achieve Eternal Bliss without it.Hope
BURIAL PRACTICES Cyclical reincarnation Cremation - intended to release the soul from its earthly existence - the soul remains as long as the body remains - ritual cleansing, dressing, & adorning of the body - carried to the cremation ground while prayers & chants are being said - crack skull with a bamboo stick to release the soul - ashes are thrown into a river & the mourners leave without looking back - 11 day ritual is performed while the body is on its way to the OtherworldHope
MARRIAGES Pre-marriage: A day before the wedding the brides feet & palms are decorated with “mahendi.” The bride & groom are anointed with turmeric, sandalwood paste and oils. Then they bathe to the chanting of Vedic mantra. The marriage ceremony: In the mandapa or canopy covered with flowers the ceremony begins. The event is long and rooted in Vedic tradition.Hope