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  • Perhaps the most famous of all holy places is Varanasi, situated on the banks of the Ganges some 450 miles south of Delhi. It is also called Benares and Kashi. It may be one of the oldest cities in the world and is included in the list of India's "seven ancient cities." It is mentioned in the Epics and Puranas as "the foremost city of Shiva." Its most famous mandir , the Golden Temple dedicated to Visvanatha (Shiva), was destroyed and then rebuilt under Muslim rule. Many Hindus retire to Varanasi in the hope of achieving liberation. The city is famous for its cremation ghats . Corpses are transported hundreds of miles for burning here. Relatives often bring the ashes of their loved ones and scatter them in the Ganges in the belief that this will benefit the departed soul.

Hinduism Hinduism Presentation Transcript

  • Hinduism
  • Basic Facts
    • Followers: 1 billion (3 rd largest world-wide)
    • Founder: None
    • Location of Origin: Indus Valley (3000 B.C.
    • Place of Worship: Temple
    • Holidays: Dwali
    • **Does not actively seek converts
  • Indus Valley
  • Basic Information
    • Supreme Being: Brahman (universal spirit)
    • Gods that Make Up Brahman: Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma
    • Scriptures:
      • The Vedas— “Wisdom”
      • The Upanishads—Mystical ideas
      • Bhagavad Gita—Most sacred…talks about devotion to a specific deity
  • Brahman
    • The Universal Spirit
    • Is made up of 3 gods
  • Brahma
    • Member of Hindu Triad
    • Creator god
    • Will recreate world in 2,160,000,000 years
  • Vishnu
    • Member of Triad
    • Preserver god
    • A force of transcendent love
  • Shiva
    • Member of Triad
    • God of destruction
  • Basic Beliefs
    • The Vedas are divinely inspired
    • The physical world is an illusion
    • We are accountable for every thought, action, word.
  • Basic Beliefs
    • Good works
    • Reincarnation
    • Many paths to God
    • Gods within God
    • Ahisma—Non-Violence
    • Dharma—Fulfillment of one’s true purpose
    • Worship animals/nature as a symbol of god
  • Beliefs about Life and Death
    • Hindus believe in a LONG cycle of reincarnation
    • Reincarnation is based on Karma
    • Goal—for the soul to be liberated from the cycle to find Nirvana
  • Holy Sites
    • Pilgrimage Cities include Varanasi
    • Ganges River
  • The Caste System
    • Not sanctioned by government
    • Still practiced because of tradition but many more caste than the 5 below.
    • Traditional Castes:
      • Brahmins (Priests/Philosophers)
      • Kshatriyas (Rulers, Warriors, Leaders)
      • Vaisyas (Merchants/Farmers)
      • Sudras (Laborers/Servants)
      • Harijan (Untouchables)