Hinduism originated in the area now called India and is still practiced by 80% of its inhabitants. Hinduism is considered a major world religion because of its approximately 700 million believers and its has influence on many other religions during its long history. Some authorities date it back to about 1500 BC and consider it the oldest religion in the world. This religion cannot be traced to a specific founder and does not have only one &quot;holy book&quot; as a spiritual guide. Unlike most other religions, Hinduism does not promote the worship of one particular deity . A Hindu may worship one or many different manifestations of the divine. They consider themselves successful Hindus when the reach the &quot;Ultimate Reality&quot; or nirvana in their lives.
Rig Veda- authoritative scripture; earliest is Rig Veda which is earliest record of sacred knowledge which gave verse to interpretations called Brahmanas and mystical texts of human existence called Upanishads AGNI- worshipped forces of nature as gods; worshipped fire (AGNI) as link between gods and humans formed core of early Hindu practices ATMAN- emergence of atman (human soul) from Upanishads and prayer as breath of human life and fundmental aspect of Hinduism
Sanskrit ( saṃskṛtam संस्कृतम् ) is an Indo-European Classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism , Buddhism , and Jainism . It has a position in India and Southeast Asia similar to that of Latin and Greek in Europe , and is a central part of Hindu tradition. It is one of the oldest Indo-European languages in the world and boasts a rich tradition of poetry, literature, and philosophical and religious texts There are actually 4 Vedas (branches of knowledge) RIG VEDA = oldest text of 1028 hymns of praise or requests Upanishads (philosophical commentary in Vedas = more influence on modern day practices) Upanishads- deal with Vedic philosophy and form the conclusions of each of the Vedas. Specifically, they elaborate on how the soul (atman) can b united with the ultimate truth (Brahman) through contemplation, meditation, as well as the doctrine of karma (personal action) Ramayana- hero Prince Rama on various adventures displaying superior virtues and battle evil Mahabharata- longest story ever; conflict between man’s soul and good and evil; stress good values and moral lesson that forces of righteousness win out -best known is Bhagavad-Gita= universal soul and human soul will unite ; display bhakti yoga which is the intense devotion to a personal saviour god portrayed by Krishna
Brahma (the Creator) who is continuing to create new realities Vishnu , (Krishna) the Preserver, who preserves these new creations. Whenever dharma (eternal order, righteousness, religion, law and duty) is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations. Shiva , the Destroyer, is at times compassionate, erotic and destructive. Strictly speaking, most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic ; they recognize a single deity, and recognizes other gods and goddesses as facets, forms, manifestations, or aspects of that supreme God.
Introductory Questions: Hinduism • Where did Hinduism originate? • Hinduism is considered a major world religion. Why do you think this is? • Is Hinduism polytheistic or monotheistic?
Basics of Hinduism• Originated in India• Dates back to 1500 BCE and many consider it the oldest religion in the world• Third largest religion (# of adherents)• Practiced by 80% of India’s inhabitants• Derivative of word Hindu is the geographical term (Sindu River or Indus Valley)
Indus Valley Aryans• 4000 – 2200 BCE • 1500 BCE• Built houses for • Poems and ritual worship texts called VEDAS (early sacred• Stone sculptures writings) and charms to ward off evil • Rig Veda – the oldest of the Sacred Texts• Fire altars & animal Agni - worshipped sacrifices • forces of nature as gods • Atman - human soul
VEDAS• Composed in Sanskrit• Vedas literally means “knowledge“• Vedas called “Shruti” by the Hindus• RIG VEDA• Upanishads – mystical texts on human existenceEPICS• Ramayana – Hindu Epic of about 24000 verses including hero story of Rama• Mahabharata and Bhagavad GitaLegal Codes• Laws of Manu
Hindu Beliefs & DeitiesCategorizing the religion of Hinduism is somewhat confusing:• POLYTHEISTIC= worships multiple deities: gods and goddesses• MONOTHEISTIC = it recognizes only one supreme God: the panentheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity who is simultaneously at one with the universe and who transcends it as well• TRINITARIAN= Brahman is simultaneously visualized as a triad -- one God with three persons: Brahma (the Creator) Vishnu (the Preserver, Shiva (the Destroyer)• HENOTHEISTIC= recognize a single deity, and recognizes other gods and goddesses as facets, forms, manifestations, or aspects of that supreme God
Brahman -is the supreme being -entity without form or quality -soul of universe -divine, invisible, unlimited PreserverCreator Destroyer Brahma Shiva Vishnu (Saraswati) (Parvati) (Lakshmi)
• Son of Shiva and Parvati• Human body and an elephant’s head with only one short tusk• Worshipped as the remover of all obstacles• Milk Miracle – Sept. 25, 1995
Vishnu has many AVATARS(incarnations)who appearon earth as humans oranimals to conquer evil andestablish righteousness7th- Rama8th- Krishna9th- Siddhartha Gautama(Buddha)
The ultimate aim of all Hindu thoughts is to attain the universal soul or divine wisdom called Brahman Hindu’s believe in the freedom to individually worship and guide own spiritual experience. The goals of Hinduism consist of personal conduct and righteous living which equals to dharmaGoal to achieve moksha, (liberation) from endless cycle of rebirths called Samsara and reunite atman with Brahman
• MAYA= all forms of existence are temporary and illusionary• SAMSARA = endless cycle of reincarnation• KARMA = Basic belief of cause and effect (all actions have a consequence)• DHARMA =personal conduct and righteous living• MOKSHA= the liberation from samsara and the uniting of ATMAN (human soul) with Brahman (ultimate soul)
– ॐ । असतो मा सदमय । तमसो मा जयोितगमय । मतयोमामतं गमय ग ृ ग ृ ।। – OM Asato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotirgamaya, mrityormāmritam gamaya – "OM (Lead me) from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality."• Aum (also Om, ॐ ) is the most sacred syllable in Hinduism and Vedas• Used in meditation and prayer as sound gives supernatural power• Represents the original sound of creation• To chant “om” will steady and elevate the mind
• Good luck symbol representing “well being”• Usually illustrated in red• Used on wedding invitations, drawings• Used in rituals to bring good luck and protect against evil
• 4 Paths to • Vegetarianism “holy Salvation cow”• 4 Stages of Life • Arranged Marriages• 4 Goals of Life • Diwali – Festival of Lights• Caste System • Ahimsa – non-violence• Puja • Yoga – philosophy and• Upanayana exercise together – very spiritual
• Best known Hindu in world• Fought to end discrimination against Indians in South Africa• Tolerant of all religions• Religious ideals on duty, truth, non-violence (ahimsa) and spiritual liberation (moksha)• Negotiated independence of India in 1947• Opposed social injustice of Hindu society (ie. untouchables)• Assassinated in 1948