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  1. 1. Hinduism• "When you hear about the Self, meditate upon the Self, and finally realize the Self... you come to understand everything in life." --Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.5
  2. 2. OriginsHinduism is an ancient religion with noknown founder or known date of origin.
  3. 3. OriginsThe term "Hinduism" simply derives fromthe word "India" and refers to a widevariety of religious traditions andphilosophies that have developed in Indiaover thousands of years.
  4. 4. OriginsTherefore, Hinduism is really anindigenous religion of India that hasdeveloped over time to become what it istoday.
  5. 5. Adherents• Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world.• Approximately 900 million people follow Hinduism worldwide.
  6. 6. AdherentsThefollowers ofHinduismare called:Hindus
  7. 7. Views• Hinduism embraces a great diversity of beliefs, a fact that can be initially confusing to westerners.• One can believe a wide variety of things about God, the universe and the path to liberation and still be considered a Hindu.
  8. 8. Views • There is a common misconception that Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. While Hindu’s do worship many gods and goddesses, they are most often viewed as different manifestations of one supreme being, Brahman.
  9. 9. Three Major Forms of Brahman • Brahma the Creator
  10. 10. Three Major Forms of Brahman • Siva the Destroyer
  11. 11. Three Major Forms of Brahman • Vishnu the Preserver
  12. 12. Common Hindu Beliefs• Everyone has a soul or Atman
  13. 13. Common Hindu Beliefs• The Ultimate Goal: To reunite one’s soul with Brahman, the universal spirit
  14. 14. Common Hindu Beliefs• Reincarnation - Souls are born and reborn many times
  15. 15. Common Hindu Beliefs• Karma – the effects that good or bad actions have on a person’s soul.
  16. 16. Common Hindu Beliefs• Moksha – Salvation from the cycle of rebirth. This happens after building enough good karma.
  17. 17. Common Hindu Beliefs• Dharma – each person has a duty to accept his or her place in the world without complaint.
  18. 18. Life’s Purpose• Humans are in bondage to ignorance and illusion, but are able to escape.• The purpose of life is to gain release (moksha) from the cycle of rebirth, or at least a better rebirth.
  19. 19. Afterlife• Uniting with God (Brahman) as a drop of rain merges with the sea.
  20. 20. General Practices• Yoga• meditation• worship (puja)• devotion to a god or goddess• pilgrimage to holy cities• live according to ones dharma (purpose/ role)
  21. 21. Holy Text(s)• The Vedas (Book of Knowledge, most sacred)• Upanishads (means “Sitting near a teacher”)• Bhagavad Gita