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Introduction to    Hindu / Sanatan DharmaThe search for Truth is called the Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Path.Practiced...
Contents of the presentation   What are the Hindu scriptures?   What is the concept of God?   Hindu concept of Individu...
Hindu Scriptures                       Sruti                           Smriti                    (Revealed)               ...
Concept of God (Brahman)In Hindu scriptures, the Cosmic Absolute/Absolute Reality is defined asTranscendent (impersonal) a...
Concept of God, cont’d                  Brahman , the Cosmic Absolute                              (beyond description)   ...
Concept of God (Bramhan)In its Immanent (personal) aspect, the SupremeReality, is called Saguna Bramhan. He is the persona...
Concept of God (Bramhan)However, on the personal level, its up to individuals tocreate a form/view of the same Supreme Bha...
Hindu Concept of the IndividualJust as a man living in a house is called a householder,Atman (meaning “God within”) living...
Hindu Concept of the Individual,              cont’d. Atman is uncreated, immortal and divine. Although Atman is general...
Hindu Concept of the Individual, cont’d     Why are individuals different form each other?                                ...
Hindu Concept of the Universe    Brahman (Infinite, Undivided and Changeless)                         Cosmic              ...
Hindu Concept of the UniverseHindus believe that the universe is without a beginning (anadi= beginning-less) oran end (ana...
10 AVATARS (INCARNATIONS)Lord Vishnus preserving, protecting powers have been manifested to theworld in a variety of forms...
Basic principles of Hindu Dharma   Divinity of the Atman   Unity of Existence   Ahimsa   Harmony of Religions   Law o...
Divinity of the Atman   Each human being, regardless of religion, geographic    region, gender, color or creed is in real...
Unity of Existence   Science has revealed that what we call matter is    essentially energy. Hindu sages tell us that the...
Ahimsa   Ahimsa means non-violence, non-injury, or non-    killing. Hinduism teaches that al forms of life are    manifes...
Harmony of Religions   Hinduism believes that there is no one religion that    teaches an exclusive way to salvation. All...
The Law of Karma   Hindus believe that God, who is all-loving and    merciful, does not punish or reward anyone. He    mo...
Doctrine of Incarnation   Hindus believe that God incarnates    Himself on earth to uphold righteousness,    whenever the...
Freedom of Thought   Hindus believe that wisdom is not an exclusive    possession of any particular race or religion.    ...
The Law of Dharma   The thought of dharma generates deep confidence in    the Hindu mind in cosmic justice. This is refle...
The Law of Dharma“Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.”                        Morality                    ...
3 Debts, 4 Stages, and 4 Ends of Human                             Life   Three Debts:    –   Debt to God    –   Debt to ...
Progress of Human thought Towards Dharma                                                             HumanityUniverse     ...
Who Is Hindu? – 9 Point TestHindus believe many diverse things, but there are a few bedrockconcepts on which most Hindus c...
Who Is Hindu? – 9 Point Test5) I believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many birthsuntil all karmas have bee...
Code of Conduct – DO NOT’s     Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh   28
Code of Conduct – DO NOT’s     Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh   29
Code of Conduct – DO NOT’s     Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh   30
Code of Conduct – DO’s     Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh   31
Code of Conduct – DO’s     Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh   32
Code of Conduct – DO’s     Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh   33
Hindu Temple                    Jain Temple   Sikh Gurudwara                Buddhist PagodaFour major religions of the wor...
Some Facts   Probably the first written language with    complete grammer is Sanskrit. 5000 years+.   Oldest civilizatio...
Sacred Cow – Why?         Everything is sacred for Hindus. Cows, Like in         all societies of all times, have been    ...
Caste SystemVedas speak of nobility of entire humanity (krinvanto vishvam aryam), and do notsanction any caste system or b...
Additional Resources              Idiots Guide To Hinduism                                                By Linda Johnsen...
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Introduction To Hindu Dharma

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Introduction To Hindu Dharma

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Introduction To Hindu Dharma

  1. 1. Introduction to Hindu / Sanatan DharmaThe search for Truth is called the Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Path.Practiced by people on the otherside of Sindhu river, so Hindu Dharma. Hinduism has been enriched by the contributions by many sages. Hinduism is as old as the world itself. Vedas form the basis. A Way of life that TRANSCENDS Religion Believes in ‘Truth is one. Paths are many’. World’s 3rd largest with 1 billion+ followers. Let Noble Thoughts Come From ALL Directions Focuses on personally experiencing the Truth within.Dharma: Dharma is the natural and rightful order and foundation of everyoneand everything. It is both why things are as they are and the path to therealization of why things are as they are. It is a way-of-life.Religion: is a way to understand or practice on how to realize God. Religion isconcerned with all of the relations existing between God and human beings,and between humans themselves because of the central significance of God. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 1
  2. 2. Contents of the presentation What are the Hindu scriptures? What is the concept of God? Hindu concept of Individual and Universe What are the basic principles of Hindu Dharma? Three Debts of Human Life Four Stages of Hindu Religious Life Four Ends of Human Life Who is a Hindu?. Code of Conduct Additional Topics References and linksThe Rig Veda has declared the Ultimate Reality (God) as:“Ekam sat, vipraha bahudha vadanti.” (Rig Veda 1.164.46) "Truth (God) is one, the wise call it by various names" http://www.dlshq.org/download/hinduismbk.pdf for more info. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 2
  3. 3. Hindu Scriptures Sruti Smriti (Revealed) (Remembered) Vedas are the eternal truths revealed Scriptures that change with time and space and summery by God to the great ancient Rishis. of Smriti in understandable format for common mind These eternal truths never change. ♦ Vedas (Four) ♦ Dharma Shastras (Law Codes) − Rig (21 shakas) Ex: Manu Smriti − Sama (109 shakas) ♦ Epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata) − Yajur (1000 shakas) ♦ Puranas (Mythology) – There are many; − Atharva (50 shakas) each tradition has its own. Ex: Shiva Purana ♦ Hymns, Brahmanas, and Bhagavat Purana Aranyakas and Upanishads ♦ Agamas and Tantras: (sectarian scriptures) ♦ Darshanas (Manuals of Philosophy) –Prajnanam Brahma:—‘Consciousness is Brahman’Aham Brahma Asmi:—‘I Am Brahman’ Each school has its own literature. Ex:Tat Tram Asi:—‘That Thou Art’ Yoga Sutras of Sage Patanjali.Ayam Atma Brahma:—‘This Self is Brahman’ http://www.dlshq.org/download/vedbegin.pdf for more info. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 3
  4. 4. Concept of God (Brahman)In Hindu scriptures, the Cosmic Absolute/Absolute Reality is defined asTranscendent (impersonal) and Immanent (personal).In the transcendent aspect, the Supreme Reality is called Nirguna Brahman, that isBrahman, without attributes. " Brahman is He whom speech cannot express, andfrom whom the mind is unable to reach Him, comes away baffled" states the TaittiriyaUpanishad.Nirguna Brahman is not an object of prayer, but of meditation andknowledge. It cannot be described, and It is absolute existence, absoluteknowledge, and absolute bliss (sat-chit-ananda). It is unborn, self-existent, all-pervading, and the essence of all things and beings in the universe. It isimmeasurable, unapproachable, beyond conception, beyond birth, beyondreasoning, and beyond thought". God cannot be defined in terms of any specificmanifestation, nor indeed in terms of their sum total. He is beyond all possibility ofdefinition. The Bhagavad Gita, the best-known scripture of India, states this pointclearly: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 4
  5. 5. Concept of God, cont’d Brahman , the Cosmic Absolute (beyond description) Immanent Transcendent (personal aspect, (impersonal aspect, can be prayed, and can be realized, but worshipped, but not not worshipped realized) We will focus on Immanent aspect of Brahman for now Male Aspect Female AspectIshvara or God (note capital G) Divine Mother, worshipped worshipped by many names by many names and forms and forms known as deities known as deities or goddesses or gods (note small g) (note small g) Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 5
  6. 6. Concept of God (Bramhan)In its Immanent (personal) aspect, the SupremeReality, is called Saguna Bramhan. He is the personalGod, the creator, the preserver, and the controller ofthe universe. In Hinduism, the immanent (personal)aspect of Bramhan is worshipped in both male andfemale forms. In the male form, He is worshipped asBrahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the creativeaspect, Vishnu is the protecting, sustaining aspect; andSiva is the transforming, dissolving aspect. In thefemale form, as Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi. ALL POWERFUL MOTHER GAYATRI BRAHMA -CREATOR VISHNU - PROTECTOR Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh SHIVA - DISSOLVER 6
  7. 7. Concept of God (Bramhan)However, on the personal level, its up to individuals tocreate a form/view of the same Supreme Bharman to pray.Hindu accepts only one God, the Supreme. Because of thisflexibility in giving a shape or form, it appears as if thereare many Hindu Gods/Goddesses to a non-Hindu. Hindussee divinity in all living creatures. Animal deities therefore,occupy an important place in Hindu dharma. Animals, forexample, are very common as form of transport for variousGods and Goddesses. This is dues to the concept of Atmanand Brahman being the same. We will discuss that in laterslides….. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 7
  8. 8. Hindu Concept of the IndividualJust as a man living in a house is called a householder,Atman (meaning “God within”) living in a human body iscalled an individual. When this “human house” becomes oldand irreparable, Atman leaves the house and we say that theindividual has died. But Atman is immortal and is part ofBrahman, Supreme God. Atman is divine so all the beings aredivine. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 8
  9. 9. Hindu Concept of the Individual, cont’d. Atman is uncreated, immortal and divine. Although Atman is generally translated as soul or spirit, Atman and soul do not mean the same. Atman and Brahman is same. So individual can reach the state of divinity. “Aham Brahmasmi” – I am God. In the human body, Atman is deluded by cosmic ignorance, called Maya in Sanskrit. In Hindu view, WE ARE CHILDREN OF IMMORTALITY and may commit sin under the influence of Maya. Thus, the purpose of Hindu religious life is to transcend Maya. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 9
  10. 10. Hindu Concept of the Individual, cont’d Why are individuals different form each other? Personality Atman + Physical Human Body = Individuality Spirituality Divinity just asElectricity + Type of Appliance = Type of ApplicationElectricity + Refrigerator = Cold OpposingElectricity + Oven = Heat FunctionsElectricity + Television = Audio & Video Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 10
  11. 11. Hindu Concept of the Universe Brahman (Infinite, Undivided and Changeless) Cosmic Cosmic EnergyCosmic Ignorance Consciousness Divine Mother (Maya) (Heavenly Father) (Shakti) Time Space Sattva Rajas Tamas Duality Appearance of Brahman as things and beings of the world The Infinite, Undivided and Changeless appears as finite, divided, and changing Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 11
  12. 12. Hindu Concept of the UniverseHindus believe that the universe is without a beginning (anadi= beginning-less) oran end (ananta = end-less). Rather the universe is projected in cycles. Each cycleis divided into four yugas (ages of the world). Satya yuga (golden age) 4,000,000 years Treta yuga (silver age) 3,600,000 years Dvapara yuga (copper age) 2,400,000 years Kali yuga (iron age) 1,200,000 years Pralaya (cosmic deluge ) 4000,000 years New Creation 400,000 years Duration of One Cycle 12,000,000 yearsTotal duration of the four yugas is called a kalpa. At the end of kalyuga theuniverse is dissolved by pralaya (cosmic deluge ) and another cycle begins.Each cycle of creation lasts one kalpa, that is 12,000,000 human years ( or12,000 Brahma years).Hindus believe that there is almost a universe hidden in each Atman andthat can be explored looking inward with the help of Yoga and Meditation. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 12
  13. 13. 10 AVATARS (INCARNATIONS)Lord Vishnus preserving, protecting powers have been manifested to theworld in a variety of forms, called Avatars, in which one or more of his divineattributes were embodied in the shape of a human being or an animal or ahuman-animal combined form, possessing great and sometimessupernatural powers.that are innumerable. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 13
  14. 14. Basic principles of Hindu Dharma Divinity of the Atman Unity of Existence Ahimsa Harmony of Religions Law of Karma Doctrine of Incarnation Freedom of Thought Law of Dharma Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 14
  15. 15. Divinity of the Atman Each human being, regardless of religion, geographic region, gender, color or creed is in reality Atman clothed in a physical body. Since Atman is inherently pure and divine, every human being is potentially divine. In Hindu view, a man is not born a sinner, but becomes a victim of ignorance under the influence of cosmic ignorance, called Maya. Just as darkness quickly disappears upon the appearance of light, an individual’s delusion vanishes when he gains self-knowledge. Practical Significance: Eliminates fear of God, encourages freedom of thought, and removes psychological barrier to human growth. No fear of eternal hell. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 15
  16. 16. Unity of Existence Science has revealed that what we call matter is essentially energy. Hindu sages tell us that the cosmic energy is manifestation of the Universal Spirit (Brahman). Brahman has become all things and beings in the world. Thus, we are all interconnected in subtle ways. “All is One and One is in all,” declare the sages. Practical Significance: Encourages universal brotherhood, reverence for all forms of life, and respect for our environment. Hindu scriptures address earth as Mother Earth. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 16
  17. 17. Ahimsa Ahimsa means non-violence, non-injury, or non- killing. Hinduism teaches that al forms of life are manifestations of Brahman. We must, therefore, not be indifferent to the sufferings of others. Practical Significance: Creates mutual love between humans and other forms of life, and protects our environment. Ahimsa provides basis for Hindu notion of morality. “That mode of living which is based upon a total harmlessness towards all creatures or (in the case of necessity) upon minimum of such harm, is the highest morality.” (Mahabharata Shantiparva 262.5-6). Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 17
  18. 18. Harmony of Religions Hinduism believes that there is no one religion that teaches an exclusive way to salvation. All genuine spiritual paths are valid and all great religions are equally true. “In whatever way humans love Me (God), in the same way they find My love. Various are the ways for humans, but in the end they all come to Me.” (Bhagavad Gita 4.11) Practical Significance: This doctrine lays foundation for universal harmony. The attitude of religious tolerance is one of Hinduism’s greatest gifts to mankind. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 18
  19. 19. The Law of Karma Hindus believe that God, who is all-loving and merciful, does not punish or reward anyone. He molds our destinies based upon our own thoughts and deeds. Every action of a person, in though, word, or deed, brings results, either good or bad, depending upon the moral quality of the action, in accordance with the adage, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Moral consequences of all actions are conserved by the Nature. Practical Significance: Eliminates fear of God and hell; enhances self-confidence and strengthens the concepts of righteousness and fairness. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 19
  20. 20. Doctrine of Incarnation Hindus believe that God incarnates Himself on earth to uphold righteousness, whenever there is a decline in virtue. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and predominance of unrighteousness, I (God) embody Myself. For the protection of the good and for the destruction of the evil- doers and for the re- establishment of righteousness, I am born form age to age.” (BG 4.6-4.7) Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 20
  21. 21. Freedom of Thought Hindus believe that wisdom is not an exclusive possession of any particular race or religion. Hinduism, therefore, provides everyone with absolute freedom of thought in religious matters. One is free to approach God in his or her own way, without conforming to any dogma or blind faith. An open mind is all that is needed to study Hinduism. Hindus place the greatest value on experiencing truth personally. Practical Significance: Eliminates blind faith and dogma. Encourages reason and logic for mutual understanding. Hinduism is a God-loving religion and not God-fearing one. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 21
  22. 22. The Law of Dharma The thought of dharma generates deep confidence in the Hindu mind in cosmic justice. This is reflected in the often-quoted maxims: “The righteous side will have the victory.” “Truth only prevails, not falsehood.” “Dharma kills if it is killed; dharma protects if it is protected.” “The entire world rests on dharma.” Dharma is the law that maintains the cosmic order as well as the individual and social order. Dharma sustains human life in harmony with nature. When we follow dharma, we are in conformity with the law that sustains the universe. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 22
  23. 23. The Law of Dharma“Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.” Morality Ethics Individual Resp. Dharma Social Resp. Laws of the Land Profession Ahimsa (non-violence) Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 23
  24. 24. 3 Debts, 4 Stages, and 4 Ends of Human Life Three Debts: – Debt to God – Debt to Sages and Saints – Debt to one’s parents and ancestors Four Stages: – Brahmacharya (Studentship) – Grhastha (Householder) – Vanaprastha (Retirement) – Sannyasa (Renunciation) Four Ends: – Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 24
  25. 25. Progress of Human thought Towards Dharma HumanityUniverse Nation Dependent (Independent) Truth Individual Community Family Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 25
  26. 26. Who Is Hindu? – 9 Point TestHindus believe many diverse things, but there are a few bedrockconcepts on which most Hindus concur. The following nine beliefs,though not exhaustive, offer a simple summary of Hindu spirituality.1) I believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the world’s most ancientscripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. Theseprimordial hymns are God’s word and the bedrock of SanatanaDharma, the eternal religion which has neither beginning nor end.2) I believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is bothimmanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.3) I believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation,preservation and dissolution.4) I believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which eachindividual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 26
  27. 27. Who Is Hindu? – 9 Point Test5) I believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many birthsuntil all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, spiritualknowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not asingle soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.6) I believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and thattemple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionalscreate a communion with these devas and Gods.7) I believe that a spiritually awakened master, or satguru, isessential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personaldiscipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry andmeditation.8) I believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, andtherefore practice ahimsa, “noninjury.”9) I believe that no particular religion teaches the only way tosalvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths arefacets of God’s Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance andunderstanding. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 27
  28. 28. Code of Conduct – DO NOT’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 28
  29. 29. Code of Conduct – DO NOT’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 29
  30. 30. Code of Conduct – DO NOT’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 30
  31. 31. Code of Conduct – DO’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 31
  32. 32. Code of Conduct – DO’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 32
  33. 33. Code of Conduct – DO’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 33
  34. 34. Hindu Temple Jain Temple Sikh Gurudwara Buddhist PagodaFour major religions of the world have originated from India: Hinduism,Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 34
  35. 35. Some Facts Probably the first written language with complete grammer is Sanskrit. 5000 years+. Oldest civilization to exist on the earth today. The science of Yoga and Meditation was developed in the Himalayas Birthplace of 4 major religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism World’s first University in Takshila in 700 BC Vedas are the oldest texts available to humans Sanskrit: Source of numerous languages  No Human Founder.  No known beginning  No One Scripture of authority  One Supreme God/ Ultimate Reality  Emphasis on personal experience  All Paths deserve equal respect  Whole world is one family  Let every one be happy, healthy and peaceful Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 35
  36. 36. Sacred Cow – Why? Everything is sacred for Hindus. Cows, Like in all societies of all times, have been considered to be “wealth”. Cows provide milk which helps sustain life, life of adults and children alike. The by- products of the milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, butter etc were an integral part of their daily diet. Their dung was a useful, year around fuel supply. By pulling carts and ploughs, they were partners in technology that helped develop new frontiers in the Indian sub- continent. Their usefulness meant they were valued as highly as any gold, gem or sometimes even kin. By giving it a very special place in our society, that of a pseudo mother, we made sure it was respected at all times. By giving it the same divine status as parents, the ancients made sure the humble cow had the same legal and social protection as humans ! All this to protect our wealth !! Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 36
  37. 37. Caste SystemVedas speak of nobility of entire humanity (krinvanto vishvam aryam), and do notsanction any caste system or birth-based caste system. Mantra, numbered10-13-1 in Rig Veda, addresses the entire humanity as divine children (shrunvantuvishve amrutsya putraha). Innumerable mantras in Vedas emphasise oneness,universal brotherhood, harmony, happiness, affection, unity and commonality ofentire humanity.Veda Mantra numbered 5-60-5 in Rig Veda declares, “All men are brothers; noone is big, no one is small. All are equal.” Mantra numbered 16.15 in Yajur Vedareiterates that all men are brothers; no one is superior or inferior.Hindu scriptures speak only about ‘varna’ which means to ‘select’ (one’sprofession, etc.) and which is not caste or birth-based.As per shloka numbered IV (13) of the Bhagavad Gita, depending upon a person’sguna (aptitude) and karma (actions), there are four varnas. As per this shloka, aperson’s varna is determined by his guna and karma, and not by his birth. ChapterXIV of the Bhagavad Gita specifies three gunas viz. satva (purity), rajas (passionand attachment) and tamas (ignorance). These three gunas are present in everyhuman in different proportions, and determine the varna of every person. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 37
  38. 38. Additional Resources Idiots Guide To Hinduism By Linda Johnsen On The Internet: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/basics http://www.atributetohinduism.com/ http://www.dlshq.org/download/vedbegin.pdf http://www.dlshq.org/download/download.htm http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/ans_00.html http://www.hindubooks.org/bansi_pandit/hindu_dharma/This is a presentation by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh(HSS). For more information, email at hindudharma@gmail.com Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh 38

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