• Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also
exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has
over 900 million adherents worldwide.
• In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least
elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism
resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and
beliefs found within it. It is also closely associated conceptually and
historically with the other Indian religions Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
• Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single
scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Throughout its
extensive history, there have been many key figures teaching different
philosophies and writing numerous holy books. For these reasons, writers
often refer to Hinduism as 'a way of life' or 'a family of religions' rather
than a single religion.
3. Who is the founder of Hinduism ?
Hinduism has no single founder , it has been evolving over the
thousands of years and will continue .
It developed out of Brahminism.
Role of Shankaracharya
5. The Ancestors of the Hindu and Their Religion
• The ancestors of the Hindus known as Aryas . The English
counterpart of Sanskrit word Arya is Aryan , or Indo-
Aryan . The Aryas called their religion Arya Dharma →
the religious of the Aryas . The word Hinduism was
completely unknown to them . The word Dharma , in
this context , means religion or religious duties . Sanskrit
, which belongs to the Indo-European family of
languages , was the language of the Indo-Aryans .
• The Aryan also called their religion Manava Dharma , or
the religions of Man , meaning that it was not an
exclusive religion of the Aryans , but was meant for the
whole of mankind . Another name was Sanatana Dharma
→ the Eternal Religion , illustrating their belief that the
religion was based on same eternal truths .
6. Where does the name Hindu came from ?
• The name of Hinduism came much later . One of the neighboring
countries , Persia , had a common border with ancient India , which at
that time known as Aryavatra – land of the Aryans . This common
border between Persia and ancient India was the river Indus , called
in Sanskrit , Sindhu . The Persians could no pronounce Sindhu
correctly ; the pronounced it Hindu . They also called the Aryans ,
living on the other side of the river Sindhu , Hindus ; thus the religion
of the Aryans became known as Hinduism .
7. What is Hinduism’s Holy book ?
• Hinduism does not just have one sacred book but several scriptures. The
Vedas scriptures guide Hindus in their daily life. They also help to preserve
the religious dimensions of family and society. Hindus have developed their
system of worship and beliefs from the scriptures.
• The most ancient sacred texts of the Hindu religion are written
in Sanskrit and called the Vedas.
• There are two main categories of the Hindu scriptures:
• Shruti ("that which is heard") consists of the four Vedas and Upanishads
• Smriti ("that which is remembered") composed of traditional texts,
including the Dharma Shastras (legal and ethical texts), the Puranas, and
the folk/historical legends known as the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
8. Holy books
• The Hindu Holy Scriptures are mainly comprised of the following works written in the Sanskrit language:
• 1. The Vedas Rg-Veda (Rigveda), Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Atharva-Veda (see further down )
• 2. The Upanisads - These consider the nature of the individual soul (Atman) and the universal soul (Brahman.) One of
the Upanishads contains the earliest reference to the reincarnation of the soul in different bodies (transmigration) of
• 3. The Smrutis - (‘tradition) are the Laws of Manu (250 BC)
• 4. Ramayana - Contains the story of Rama and his devoted wife Sita. She is kidnapped by the demon king Ravana but
is later freed by Rama with the help of the monkey god Hanuman. The poem is about how good will always triumph
over evil and Rama and Sita are held up as role models for the perfect husband and wife.
• 5. Mahabharata - An epic poem telling the story of a war between two branches of a family. The Bhagavad-Gita forms
part of this and means "The Song of God."
• 6. The Puranas - A collection of ancient tales about the different incarnations and the lives of saints. In all , 18th
Puranas are available today , among which Bhagavata Purana , Skanda Purana , Vayu Purana , Padma
Purana , Markandeya Purana and Agni Purana deserve particular mention .
9. What are the Vedas?
• The Vedas are the oldest religious texts in Hinduism. The word Veda means knowledge. It is believed that the Vedas were orally revealed by
Brahma to certain sages, who heard them and passed them down in an oral tradition. They were not written down; in fact this was
prohibited. Because of this earliest oral tradition continuing even now when the Vedas are available in the written form, the Vedas are still
known to be Sruti or shruti - ' that which is heard '.
• The Vedas are mainly comprised of of hymns or mantras written in the Sanskrit language. They cover various subjects, from nature to
everyday life and behaviour, and form the basis of all other religious writings. The books are so special that they are often kept in glass cases.
• The four Vedas are:
• Rg-Veda (Rigveda) - The oldest and holiest Veda.
• Each Veda is divided into four sections:
• The Samhitas - The oldest portion - Contains the mantras and hymns The Brahmanas - The ritualistic teachings - They are written in prose
and explain the hymns. The Aranyakas - The meditational section
• The Upanishads - The mystic and philosophical. They consider the nature of the individual soul (Atman) and the universal soul (Brahman.)
One of the Upanishads contains the earliest reference to the reincarnation of the soul in different bodies (transmigration) of the soul.
• The Vedas are the law. Most beliefs, concepts, and ceremonies are based on information contained in the Vedas.
11. History of Hinduism
• Religion in the Indus valley :
• Religion in the Indus valley seems to have involved temple rituals and
ritual bathing in the 'great bath' found at Mohenjo-Daro. There is some
evidence of animal sacrifice at Kalibangan. A number of terracotta figurines
have been found, perhaps goddess images, and a seal depicting a seated
figure surrounded by animals that some scholars thought to be a prototype
of the god Shiva. Others have disputed this, pointing out that it bears a
close resemblance to Elamite seals depicting seated bulls. One image,
carved on soapstone (steatite), depicts a figure battling with lions which is
reminiscent of the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh myth.
• There may be continuities between the Indus Valley civilization and later
Hinduism as suggested by the apparent emphasis on ritual bathing,
sacrifice, and goddess worship. But ritual purity, sacrifice and an emphasis
on fertility are common to other ancient religions.
12. Vedic religion
If we take 'Vedic Period' to refer to the period when the Vedas were composed, we can say that
early vedic religion centred around the sacrifice and sharing the sacrificial meal with each other
and with the many gods (devas). The term 'sacrifice' (homa, yajna) is not confined to offering
animals but refers more widely to any offering into the sacred fire (such as milk and clarified
Some of the vedic rituals were very elaborate and continue to the present day. Sacrifice was
offered to different vedic gods (devas) who lived in different realms of a hierarchical universe
divided into three broad realms: earth, atmosphere and sky.
Earth contains the plant god Soma, the fire god Agni, and the god of priestly power, Brhaspati.
The Atmosphere contains the warrior Indra, the wind Vayu, the storm gods or Maruts and the
terrible Rudra. The Sky contains the sky god Dyaus (from the same root as Zeus), the Lord of
cosmic law (or rta) Varuna, his friend the god of night Mitra, the nourisher Pushan, and the
13. The Epic, Puranic and Classical Age (c.500 BCE–500 CE)
This period, beginning from around the time of Buddha (died c. 400 BCE), saw the composition of further texts, the
Dharma Sutras and Shastras, the two Epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and subsequently the Puranas,
containing many of the stories still popular today. The famous Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata.
The idea of dharma (law, duty, truth) which is central to Hinduism was expressed in a genre of texts known as Dharma
Sutras and Shastras. The Dharma Sutras recognise three sources of dharma: revelation (i.e. the Veda), tradition
(smrti), and good custom. The Laws of Manu adds 'what is pleasing to oneself'.
During this period the vedic fire sacrifice became minimised with the development of devotional worship (puja) to
images of deities in temples. The rise of the Gupta Empire (320-500 CE) saw the development of the great traditions
of Vaishnavism (focused on Vishnu), Shaivism (focused on Shiva) and Shaktism (focused on Devi).
From this period we can recognize many elements in present day Hinduism, such as bhakti (devotion) and temple
worship. This period saw the development of poetic literature. These texts were composed in Sanskrit, which became
the most important element in a shared culture.
14. Islamic rule and Bhakti movement of Hinduism
(c. 1200-1750 CE)
• The Islamic rule period witnessed Hindu-Muslim confrontation and violence, but "violence did not normally
characterize the relations of Muslim and Hindu. "Enslavement of non-Muslims, especially Hindus in India, was part
of the Muslim raids and conquests, but after the 14th century slavery become less common, and in 1562 "Akbar
abolished the practice of enslaving the families of war captives." Akbar recognized Hinduism, protected Hindu
temples, and abolished discriminatory Jizya (head taxes) against Hindus, but occasionally, Muslim rulers of
the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, before and after Akbar, from 12th century to 18th century, destroyed
Hindu temples and persecuted non-Muslims.
• Though Islam came to Indian subcontinent in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders, it started
impacting Indian religions after the 10th century, and particularly after the 12th century with the establishment
and then expansion of Islamic rule. During this period Buddhism declined rapidly, and a distinct Indo-Islamic culture
emerged. Under Akbar an "intriguing blend of Perso-Islamic and Rajput-Hindu traditions became
manifest." Nevertheless, many orthodox ulamas ("learned Islamic jurists") opposed the rapprochement of
Hinduism and Islam, and the two merely co-existed, although there was more accommodation at the peasantry
level of Indian society.
• According to Hardy, the Muslim rulers were not concerned with the number of converts, since the stability and
continuity of their regime did not depend on the number of Muslims. In general religious conversion was a gradual
process, with some converts attracted to pious Muslims while others converted to Islam to gain tax relief, land
grant, marriage partners, social and economic advancement, or freedom from slavery. In border regions such as the
Punjab and eastern Bengal, the share of Muslims grew as large as 70% to 90% of the population, whereas in the
heartland of Muslim rule, the upper Gangetic Plain, the Muslims constituted only 10 to 15% of the population.
15. • Between 14th and 18th century, Hinduism revived in certain provinces of India under two powerful states,
viz. Vijayanagar and Maratha. The 14th and 15th century Southern India saw the rise of the Hindu
Vijayanagar Empire, which served as a barrier against invasion by the Muslim sultanates of the north, and it
fostered the reconstruction of Hindu life and administration. Vidyaranya, also known as Madhava, who was
the 12th Jagadguru of the Śringeri Śarada Pītham from 1380-6, and a minister in the Vijayanagara
Empire, helped establish Shankara as a rallying symbol of values, and helped spread historical and cultural
influence of Shankara's Vedanta philosophies. The Hindu Maratha Confederacy rose to power in 18th
century and ended up overthrowing Muslim power in India .
• Hinduism underwent profound changes, aided in part by teachers such as Ramanuja, Madhva,
and Chaitanya. Tantra disappeared in northern India, partly due to Muslim rule, while the Bhakti movement
grew, with followers engaging in emotional, passionate and community-oriented devotional worship,
participating in saguna or nirguna Brahman ideologies. According to Nicholson, already between the 12th
and the 16th century, "certain thinkers began to treat as a single whole the diverse philosophical teachings
of the Upanishads, epics, Puranas, and the schools known retrospectively as the "six systems" (saddarsana)
of mainstream Hindu philosophy." Michaels notes that a historicization emerged which preceded later
nationalism, articulating ideas which glorified Hinduism and the past.
16. Modern Hinduism (from c.1800)
• With the onset of the British Raj, the colonization of India by the British,
there also started a Hindu renaissance in the 19th century, which
profoundly changed the understanding of Hinduism in both India and the
west. Indology as an academic discipline of studying Indian culture from a
European perspective was established in the 19th century, led by scholars
such as Max Müller and John Woodroffe. They
brought Vedic, Puranic and Tantric literature and philosophy to Europe and
the United States. Western orientalist searched for the "essence" of the
Indian religions, discerning this in the Vedas, and meanwhile creating the
notion of "Hinduism" as a unified body of religious praxis and the popular
picture of 'mystical India'. This idea of a Vedic essence was taken over
by Hindu reform movements as the Brahmo Samaj, which was supported for
a while by the Unitarian Church, together with the ideas
of Universalism and Perennialism, the idea that all religions share a
common mystic ground. This "Hindu modernism", with proponents
like Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan, became central in the
popular understanding of Hinduism.
• In the 20th century, Hinduism also gained prominence as a political force and a source for
national identity in India. With origins traced back to the establishment of the Hindu
Mahasabha in the 1910s, the movement grew with the formulation and development of
the Hindutva ideology in the following decades; the establishment of Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS) in 1925; and the entry, and later success, of RSS offshoots Jana Sangha and Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) in electoral politics in post-independence India. Hindu religiosity plays an
important role in the nationalist movement.
18. What do Hindus believe?
• For many Hindus, religion is a matter of practice rather than of beliefs. It's
more what you do, than what you believe. 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. The soul is sometimes born in a
human body, sometimes in an animal body and sometimes in a plant body
etc.. Hindus believe that all forms of life contain a soul, and all souls have
the chance to experience life in different forms.
• Samsara means going through the cycle of repeated births and deaths
(reincarnation). Hindus believe that existence of this cycle is governed by
19. What is Karma?
• Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives
and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life
was lived. (Similar to Buddhist beliefs) Karma is the cause of our
particular destiny. Misfortunes in our present life are the result of acts
that we have committed in the past. In the same way, our actions in
our present lives will determine our fate in the lives that follow.
Hindus therefore aim to live in a way that will cause each of their lives
to be better than the life before.
20. What is Moksha?
• The spiritual goal of a Hindu is to become one with Brahma. This freedom is referred to as moksha.
Until moksha is achieved, a Hindu believes that he/she will be repeatedly reincarnated in order that
he/she may work towards self-realization of the truth (the truth being that only Brahman exists,
21. Purusharthas :
• For many Hindus there are four goals in human life (purusharthas);
• Kama-satisfying the desire for sense pleasure
• Artha-acquisition of worldly possessions or money
• Dharma-observance of religious duties
• Moksha-liberation achieved through God- realization!
23. Hindu Philosophy
• Hindu philosophy is divided broadly in six different parts called as
3 Nyaya or Logics
24. How do Hindus achieve Moksha?
There are four different paths to achieve Moksha which a Hindu can take.
The Hindu can choose one or all four of the paths they are:
1 The path of knowledge - Jnana-Yoga :
Spiritual knowledge -leading to the knowledge of the relationship between the soul (atman) and God
2 The path of meditation - Raja-Yaga :
The idea is to concentrate so you can reach the real self within you and become one with Brahman
3 The Path of Devotion - Bhakti-yoga :
Choosing a particular god or goddess and worshipping them throughout your life in actions, words and
4 The path of good works - Karma-yoga :
This involves doing all your duties correctly throughout your life.
25. The Three Gunas
• According to the Bhagavad-Gita , the gunas ( the primary qualities of nature ) are three in
number : Sattva , Rajas and Tamas . They exist in all beings , including human beings , in various
degrees of concentration and combination . Depending upon their relative strengths and
combinations , they determine nature of beings , its actions , behavior and attitude and its
attachment to the objective world purpose of the gunas is create bondage , through desire for
sense objects leading to attachment with them and keep the beings under the perpetual control
of Prakriti .
26. Two Different Spiritual Paths
• 1 Pravritti Marga : the path of permitted Sensual Desires
• 2 Nivritt Marga : the path of Renunciation of Sensual Desires
27. Sex and Hinduism
• According to Hinduism, sex is an integral part of life. It is not a taboo. In fact, it is part of the four Purusharthas of
life. Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha are the four Purusharthas of a Hindu’s life. The Kama here means all the
activities, which give us pleasure. Sex is also one of those activities.
• Kamasutra is the oldest book about the sex written by Vatsayana, a Hindu sage. This book gives detailed
descriptions about sex like types, positions, importance, compatibility of partners, eunuchs, etc.
• The ancient Khajuraho Temple in India is famous for the sculptures on it in which the statues of men and women
are depicted as having sex in different positions.
• According to Hinduism, sex is sacred only if it is marital. Hinduism prohibits premarital or extramarital sex .
• Some sects in Hinduism worship Yoni (female genitalia) as the Goddess .
• Hindus worship Lord Shiva in the form of Lingam, which is a symbol of male creative energy, and is always shown
with Yoni, the symbol of female creative energy.
• In ancient India, a widow without children was allowed to have sex with the appropriate person in order to have a
child. This process was called as Niyoga.
• In Mahabharata, Draupadi is depicted as having five husbands who were Pandavas .
• Though Hinduism does not support prostitution, you will find prostitutes in all parts of India. Sex without marriage
is a bad Karma and the person has to pay the price for it.
28. Why are there so many Hindu Gods?
• Hindus actually only believe in one God, Brahman, the eternal origin who is the cause and foundation of all existence. The gods of the
Hindu faith represent different forms of Brahman. These gods are sent to help people find the universal God (Brahman).
• Most Hindus have a personal god or godess such as Shiva, Krishna or Lakshmi to whom they pray regularly.
• The three most important Hindu gods (forms of Brahman) are:
• Brahma - known as the Creator.
Shiva (Siva)- known as the Destroyer.
Other Hindu gods include:
• Saraswathi - Goddess of Wisdom - Wife of Lord Brahma.
Saraswathi is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music and all the creative arts.
• Lakshmi - Goddess of Wealth - Wife of Lord Vishnu.
Lakshmi is the goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth.
• Parvati - regarded as a representation of Shakti. Parvati is the wife of Lord Shivaand the Goddess of household and motherhood.
(Shakti is by literal definition sacred force, power, or energy. Shakti is the personification of Brahman as feminine)
• Ganesha - Son of Shiva and Parvati.
The Hindu god in a human form but with the head of an elephant.
Vishnu - Known as the Preserver
29. What is the Hindu place of Worship?
Most Hindus worship (puja) every day at home and have a shrine there. A shrine can
be anything from a room, a small altar or simply pictures or statues. Family members
often worship together. At the shrine, Hindus make offerings to a murti. A murti is a
sacred stautue of God, or a god or goddess.
The Hindu building for communal worship is called Mandir (Hindu Temple). The
temples are dedicated to different gods and are the focus of religious life. Outside India,
people mainly gather at the mandir at the weekend.
Worshippers repeat the names of their favourite gods, goddesses, and the mantras.
Water, fruit, flowers and incense are offered to the gods.
Animal sacrifice in ritualistic worship in Hinduism .
• Marriages : Ancient and Modern time
• Hindu Funerals :
31. Hindu Religious Festivals
• Major Hindu religious festivals are :
Deepavali or Diwali : Autumn festival of light . Observed all over India .
Maha –Shivaratri : Nocturnal worship of God as lord Shiva ; held in spring .
Observed all over India .
Pongal or Makar Sankranti : Worship of at the time of the winter solstice .
Observed in Eastern and Southern India .
Navaratri : Nine –day worship of God as the Divine Mother ; observed in
autumn . Observed in Northern and , Central and Southern India .
Ganesh Puja / Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi : Worship of God as the
giver of success ; observed in early autumn . Observed in Western India ,
particularly in the state of Maharashtra .
Ratha Yatra: festivals during which a symbolic image of God in a chariot is
pulled by devotees; held in summer. Observed in Eastern India ,particularly in
the States of Orissa and Bengal.
Holi : festival celebrating anevent of divine incarnation Lord Krishna’s life. Along
with His worship, devotees throw bright colored liquid and powder at each
other; helding inspring. Observed in Northern and Eastern India.
Chhat Puja : Worship of God in water using the sun as a symbol. Observed in
Eastern India , particularly in the state of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Durga Puja : four day worship of God as the divine Mother Durga ; held in
autumn. Observed in Eastern India , particularly in the state of west Bengal.
32. • Shri Krishna Janmashtami: Birthday celebration of the divine incarnation of the Lord Krishna; observed in
late summer. Observed all over india.
• Ram Navami: Birthday celebration of the divine incarnation Lord Rama; observed in spring time in North
• Sarasvati Puja : Worship of God as Divine mother Sarasvati , the bestower of success of education , music
and other art .
• Kali Puja : Nocturnal worship of God as Divine Mother of Kali .
• Bhratri Dvitiya or Bhai Duj : Festival known as Brother’s Day during which sisters pray to God for the long life
of their brothers ., held in winter .observed in Northan and Eastern India and Nepal .
• Vaishakhi or Navavarsha : festival in spring celebrating the advent of the New year according to Indian Lunar
• Pilgrimage is not mandatory in Hinduism, though many adherents undertake
them. While there are different yet similar pilgrimage routes in different parts of
India, all are respected equally well, according to the universality of Hinduism. The
following pilgrimage sites are most famous amongst Hindu devotees:
• Old Holy cities as per Puranic Texts: Varanasi formerly known as
Kashi, Allahabad formerly known as Prayag, Haridwar-Rishikesh,Mathura-
Vrindavan, and Ayodhya.
• Char Dham (Famous Four Pilgrimage sites): The four holy
sites Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath (or alternatively the
Himalayan towns of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) compose
the Char Dham (four abodes) pilgrimage circuit.
• Kumbh Mela: The Kumbh Mela (the "pitcher festival") is one of the holiest of
Hindu pilgrimages that is held every 12 years; the location is rotated
among Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain.
• Major Temple cities: Puri , which hosts a major Vaishnava Jagannath temple
and Rath Yatra celebration; Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple; Madurai,
which is home to Meenakshi Amman Temple; Three comparatively recent temples
of fame and huge pilgrimage are Shirdi, home to Sai Baba of Shirdi, Tirumala -
Tirupati, home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; and Sabarimala,
where Swami Ayyappan is worshipped.
• Shakti Peethas: Another important set of pilgrimages are the Shakti Peethas,
where the Mother Goddess is worshipped, the two principal ones
being Kalighat and Kamakhya .
• According to Bhagavad-Gita , whenever Dharma weakens as sins
on the earth increase to the limit , Lord Vishnu incarnates on the
earth and removes the sinners and protects the earth , so far ,
Vishnu has incarnated nine times and the tenth incarnation is
yet to come . Following are the 10 incarnations of Vishnu known
as Dashavataram .
10 Kalki Avatar
35. Symbol of Hinduism
• Hinduism has a developed system of symbolism and iconography to
represent the sacred in art, architecture, literature and worship.
These symbols gain their meaning from the scriptures or cultural
traditions. The syllable Om (which represents
the Brahman and Atman) has grown to represent Hinduism itself,
while other markings such as the Swastika sign represent
auspiciousness, and Tilaka (literally, seed) on forehead – considered
to be the location of spiritual third eye, marks ceremonious
welcome, blessing or one's participation in a ritual or rite of
passage. Elaborate Tilaka with lines may also identify a devotee of a
particular denomination. Flowers, birds, animals, instruments,
symmetric mandala drawings, objects, idols are all part of symbolic
iconography in Hinduism.
36. Eating Habits
• Most of the Hindus do not eat beef and/or pork . They do not eat
non-vegetarian food on auspicious days. Hindu strongly advocates
vegetarianism . Food is highly revered and wasting the food is
considered as a very bad habit .
37. THE FOUR STAGES OF ARYAN LIFE
• In ancient times the Hindus, known
then as Aryans, were expected to go
through four stages of Aryan life:
• Brahmacharya-the stage of a
• Garhasthya-the stage of a
householder or family man
• Vanaprasthya-the stage of a
retired person or hermit
• Sannyasa-the stage of a monk or
But today this is are not follow .
or Family man)
38. ARYANS AND THEIR GOTRA
• Aryans formed an urban society. Their wealth and livelihood depended mainly on raising cattle.
• A shelter for cattle is called-gatro , in Sanskrit. As these shelters were relatively small in number, many Indo-
Aryan families were obliged to put their cattle in the same shelter or gotra. As a result, the cattle of one
family often got mixed up with the cattle of other families and disputes arose over their ownership. To
resolve such disputes, supervisors were appointed to act as judges and give fair and just verdicts.
• These supervisors were endowed with great moral and spiritual virtues. They were appointed as supervisors
because of their exalted character and were called Gotra pati, meaning Lord or Master of the Gotra. Some of
them were later recognized as spiritually illumined souls. Among these highly venerated Gotrapatis are
Shandilya, Bharadvaja, Kashyapa and others, who are considered to be rshis or sages.
When an Aryan of one clan or family met someone belonging to another Aryan clan or family, he introduced
himself by using the name of his Gotrapati, such as Shandilya or Bharadvaja. The descendants of these Aryans,
now called Hindus, carry on that same tradition and use the Gotrapati's name to identify themselves. Every
Hindu, therefore, is expected to remember the name of his ancestral Gotra. To avoid inbreeding, marriage
between members of the same Gotra was forbidden. But, now that many centuries have passed, that custom is
not followed as strictly.
39. THE CASTE SYSTEM
• The caste system in Indo-Aryan Society :
• Out caste : Non-Aryan
• Untouchable : According to Manu Shastra
Brahmin •Priests /
41. Facts about sects in Hinduism
• Hinduism consists of different sects like Shaivism , Vaishnavism , and
• The common people follow all the three sects collectively worshiping
Lord Shiva , Vishnu and Devi .
• Yoga , Pranayama , Meditation , Ayurveda and Vegetarianism are the best gifts of Hinduism to the world .
• Tantric Sex , Palmistry , Acupressure , Acupuncture , Jotish Shastra, Martial art and many other ancient
wonders originated in India and are parts of Hinduism religion .
• Hinduism is the source of inspiration for three other major religion of the world . Viz – Buddhism , Jainism
and Sikhism .
• Zero , Point system and decimal system were invented in India , on the basis of which the modern science
43. Today Hinduism
• Intolerance in India now :
• Role of RSS and BJP
• Religion base party : Shiv Sana against Pakistan and Muslim
• The Babri Mosque was destroyed by hardline Hindu extremists during
a political rally which turned into a riot on 6 December 1992.
• ban cow killings and not eat beef