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  1. 1. Introduction Hinduism is the oldest religion of Indian people and Nepalese people. It refers to the cultural activity and daily morality base on karma, dharma and social norms of those people. It includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism among numerous other traditions. Hinduism is considered a major world religion because of its approximately 700 million believers and it has influence on many other religions during its long history.
  2. 2. Beliefs of Hindu people Hindu people believe in many different things. But there are a few fact concepts on which most Hindu act together. The following nine beliefs, though not exhaustive, offer a simple summary of Hindu spirituality. 1. Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and non-manifest Reality. 2. Hindus believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
  3. 3. 3. Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution. 4. Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds. 5. Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be deprived of this destiny. 6. Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.
  4. 4. 7. Hindus believe that an enlightened master, or guru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation and surrender in God. 8. Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, non-injury, in thought, word and deed. 9. Hindus believe that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets of God's Light, deserving tolerance and understanding. Hindu people also believe that there is a part of Brahman in everyone and this is called the Atman and reincarnation.
  5. 5. There Three Yogas in the context of monotheistic Hinduism are three religious paths for the human spirit to achieve union with Ishvara or Supreme Being.Thoes yogas are: Karma Yoga or the Path of Action. Bhakti Yoga or the Path of Devotion. Jnana Yoga or the Path of Knowledge. These concepts are introduced in the Bhagavad Gita and become extremely popular in the course of the Bhakti movement. They are elaborated upon in the Vaishna Bhagavata Purana.
  6. 6. The sound, “Om” or “Aum” shown above, is the most sacred syllable for Hindus. It often is used in prayers. Om - Aum is the standard sign of Hinduism, and is prefixed and sometimes suffixed to all Hindu mantras and prayers. It contains an enormous and diverse amount of symbolism; Hindus consider its sound and vibration to be the divine representation of existence, encompassing all of manifold nature into the One eternal truth. Thus it represents the supreme energy or Brahman. The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of examination papers and so on. May Hindus, as an expression of spiritual perfection, wear the sign of Om as a pendant. This symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple premise or in some form or another on family shrines. But according to the Mandukya Upanishad, “Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it.
  7. 7. Sects of Hinduism Saivism Saivite Hindus worship the Supreme God as Siva, the Compassionate One. Shaktism Shaktas worship the Supreme as the Divine Mother, Shakti or Devi. She has many forms. Vaishnavism Vaishnavites worship the Supreme as Lord Vishnu and His incarnations, especially Krishna and Rama. Smartism Smartas worship the Supreme in one of six forms: Ganesha, Siva, Sakti, Vishnu, Surya and Skanda. Because they accept all the major Hindu Gods, they are known as liberal or nonsectarian. And there are another two sects 1. Devotional sects: which are categorized based on their deity of worship, scriptures that are given importance, philosophy followed 2. Philosophical sects: which are categorized based on their beliefs on god, liberation and ways to attain liberation.
  8. 8. Clergy of Hinduism There is no real clergy in Hinduism, but there are groups of Hindu teachers and priest who perform different roles: Brahmans are the offer spiritual help and the way to the local community. They have duties to explain the scriptures to the people, and help them preform the rituals and important ceremonies such as the festival of Holy and the birth rites. Pandit or Pujari is a priest who has responsibility of religious duties and ceremonies in Hindu Temples. Gurus are the teachers of the Hindu people and can offer advice and guidance them. Swamis are very learned men who have studied the scriptures and developed their spiritual practice. They have duties to teach the student in philosophy and meditation. Sannyasins are the wandering holy men who have no responsibilities in the world. They seek spiritual enlightenment, but may offer some words of wisdom to those who support them in their homeless lives.
  9. 9. Prophets and founders Actually, there is no single founder of Hinduism as Hinduism was not founded as a religion. Hinduism cannot be called an organized religion. Rather, it is a federation of loosely banded religions and cultures. Whereas the majority of other religions are based on a person or prophet, Hinduism has no main prophet or person that founded the religion. Many people of Hindu faith do not consider Buddhism, Sikhism, & Jainism to be separate from them.
  10. 10. Holy Books Shruti is oldest authoritative: There are four Vedas as below: 1. The Rigveda, containing hymns to be recited by the hotar, or presiding priest. 2. The Yajurveda, containing formulas to be recited by the adhvaryu or officiating priest. 3. The Samaveda, containing formulas to be sung by the udgatar or priest that chants. 3. The Atharvaveda, a collection of spells and incantations, apotropaic charms and speculative hymns. Upanishads is metaphysical speculation and Plus other texts. Smriti is the Great Indian Epics: Ramayana, Mahabharata (includes Bhagavad-Gita) and Plus others.
  11. 11. Funeral practices and rituals Most Hindus people are cremated as it is believed that this will help their soul to escape quickly from the body. Hindu people, they believe that when the people die, they are going to bring dead body to Gangga river for soaring the dead body on by flow. Various rituals may take place around the dead body A lamp is placed by the head of the body - Prayers and hymns are sung - Pindas (rice balls) are placed in the coffin - Water is sprinkled on the body - A mala (necklace of wooden beads) may be put around the dead person‟s neck as may garlands of flowers
  12. 12. Holidays and Ceremonies Hindu festivals are largely linked with the movements of the sun and moon and with seasonal changes, but they also incorporate the myths of the Ramayana, and Krishna 's activities. Diwali/Dipawali(October/November, lasting several days) A festival of lights which celebrates the New Year. It is celebrated between late October and mid-November. Dasara/Dassehra(October) Ten days of celebration in honour of Durga or Kali. It is held between late September and mid-October and lasts nine days to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Holi (February/March, 2–5 days) The spring festival associated with Krishna when people throw coloured powder and water at each other. Holi also celebrates creation and renewal. Makar Sankrant (January) Makar Sankrant is the first Hindu festival of the solar calendar year.
  13. 13. Mahashivratri (February/March) Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival dedicated to Shiva, one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity. Ram Navmi (March/April) Rama Navami celebrates the birth of of Lord Rama, son of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. Ganesh Chaturthi (August/September) The last week in August sees Hindus all over the world celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesh (Ganesh Chaturthi). Vaisakhi (Baisakhi) An April harvest or New Year's festival depending on area, Vaisakhi is also celebrated by Sikhs . Raksha Bandhan (July/August) The Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love. Janamashtami(August/September) The festival marks the birth of Krishna , the most highly venerated God in the Hindu pantheon.
  14. 14. Holy places in Hinduism Holy places are very important sites for Hindus people to worship of their daily life, there are many places but we are going to present the most import places only as below: Ganga is the river for Hindus connecting with the death ceremonies of ancestors for which they visit the place. After the rituals are performed at Gaya the soul of the dead is supposed to attain salvation. Mathura is on the banks of Jamuna, near Agra, is the birth place of Krishna. The atmosphere of Mathura is in direct contrast to that of Benares. Mathura represents the religion of the living, while Benaras emphasizes the permanence of death. Dwaraka,in Gujarat, is another important shrine. It was the capital of Krishna‟s kingdom and has some very important temples devoted to hit. The city is located on the Western coast of India. Puri,in Orissa ,has the Jagannath temple which attracts pilgrims from all over India. It has an idol considered to be a manifestation of Krishna. The temple, containing idols of Balarama and Subhadra (sister of Krishna), is on the Eastern corner of India.
  15. 15. Rameswaram, from where Rama is said to have launched his attack on Lanka is in the extreme south of India. Rama is said to have installed a Shiva lingam here; hence the place is sacred to both Shaivas and Vaishnavas. Ujjain, it is called the navel of earth. It has the famous temples of Ganesha and Kal-Bhairav. During the time of Vikramaditya it used to be the capital of India. Two parts of the Skanda-Purana were said to have been written here. Haridwar, it is another very important holy city of India. It is at the foothills of the Himalayas and is the place where the Ganga enters the plains. It is also called the „gateway of the Ganga‟.
  16. 16. Conclusion In conclusion, Hinduism is a very broad religion. Even Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are, in a sense, different Facets of Hinduism. Even though, Hinduism has been viewed as a polytheistic religion in the west, we believe Hinduism is a religion which recognizes a single Deity, but which recognizes other gods and goddesses as aspects of that supreme God. It is more of a way of life than a religion.
  17. 17. Reference From website: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/basics/nine-beliefs http://library.thinkquest.org/28505/hinduism/intro.htm http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/homework/religion/hinduism.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism http://hinduism.about.com/od/omaum/a/meaningofom.htm http://www.umich.edu/~aamuhist/smullang/pubspeak.htm http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_clergy_in_Hinduism_called#q30847669/page/7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas http://www.himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/basics/four-sects http://aumamen.com.topic/hinduism-sects http://pujas.com/Hindusim-Holydays.html http://www.faithology.com/holidays/hinduism http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/01/religious-holidays-2013_n_2372650.html#Hindu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makar_Sankranti http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasant_Panchami http://www.calendarlabs.com/holidays/india/maha-shivratri.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Navami http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanuman_Jayanti http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshaya_Tritiya http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Purnima http://pujas.com/Hindusim-Holydays.html http://history-of-hinduism.blogspot.com/2008/09/sacred-places.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Yogas