Hinduism Presentation

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Rise of Hinduism

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Hinduism Presentation

  1. 1. Hinduism
  2. 2. • The earliest records of Hinduism are Aryan- The Aryans brought their spoken language of Sanskrit to India with them- This language evolved into written form- Aryans also brought a rich collection of myths (tales of their many gods they believed controlled the forces of nature)- Aryan priests memorized long poems and hymns suited to different religious rituals
  3. 3. - These hymns, poems, and rituals weregathered into four collections called Vedas- The Vedas record Indian history fromabout 1500 to 500 BC---a time period calledthe Vedic Age
  4. 4. - The oldest and most important Veda is the Rig-Veda- It includes 1,028 hymns of praise
  5. 5. • Around 400 BC, the wisest Hindu teacherstried to interpret and explain the hiddenmeanings of the Vedic hymns and rituals• Their answers were recorded in acollection of essays called the Upanishads.
  6. 6. • A universal spirit is present within all living things—Brahman. This is thought to be the mighty spirit that creates and destroys life – The Brahman is One but expresses itself as Many – Everything in nature is tied together by Brahman – Because all living things are considered a part of Brahman, Hindus forbade the killing of animals
  7. 7. •One aspect of Brahman is the Self, or the Soul, called Atman – The Atman is everywhere, though you can’t see it• Nothing that lives ever dies entirely – When a living thing dies, it is reborn in another form--- a process known as reincarnation
  8. 8. • All wise Hindus must seek to reach a state of perfect understanding called moksha. At this point the self will disappear and merge with Brahman• The authors of the Upanishads taught that forms of self denial—such as fasting, helped achieve union with Brahman.
  9. 9. • Also, theyencouraged thepractice of yoga—which combinesphysical and mentalexercises to reach astate of tranquility
  10. 10. • Hinduism includes a complicated set of divisions between groups of people known as the caste system - Consists of many varnas, or classes - According to the Rig- Veda, four different groups of people were created from the body of a Hindu god
  11. 11. • Created fromthe god’s mouth---they becamethe priestly classand the highestgroup in Indiansociety
  12. 12. • Created fromthe god’s arms---they became therulers and thewarriors
  13. 13. • Created fromthe god’s legs---they became thelandowners, merchants, artisans,and herders
  14. 14. • Created fromthe god’s feet---they became thelaborers, farmworkers, andservants
  15. 15. -The lowest“caste” ofuntouchables- People whoperformed jobsconsideredunclean
  16. 16. -Over time, these divisions became moreand more defined- Hundreds of sub-castes formed based onoccupation within each of the four castes
  17. 17. • A person’s caste was based on birth– born intothe same caste as parents - Determined occupation, spouse, dress, etc. - Purity (the meaning of castes) became key to ranking castes---the higher your caste, the purer you were and to associate with someone from a lower class risked contamination to your purity
  18. 18. • Is the caste system explicitly a religious part of the Hindu religion???? No!• HOWEVER, Hinduism played a large part in maintaining the rigid structure - Cycle of birth and reincarnation - Actions in this life determines your fate when born again - If faithful and dutiful in this life, you will have a better fate in the next life - In a previous life, Brahmins had committed no bad deeds while untouchables had
  19. 19. • To earn good rebirth a person had to be a good member of his or her caste - Each caste had its particular duty or set of obligations called dharma - The individual’s wishes did not matter - It was better to do your duty badly than to do someone else’s duty well
  20. 20. • Hindus believed in an ethical law of cause and effect called karma - Moral behavior in one life guaranteed rebirth in a higher caste - Immoral behavior automatically dropped a reborn soul to a lower caste
  21. 21. • Hindus believed in an ethical law of cause and effect called karma - Moral behavior in one life guaranteed rebirth in a higher caste - Immoral behavior automatically dropped a reborn soul to a lower caste

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