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Hinduism is the world's third largest religion with over five hundred million followers. ... It is believed that Hinduism goes back over four thousand years ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hinduism

What is Hinduism?
  • Hinduism is the world's third largest religion
    with over five hundred million followers.
  • It began in India.
  • Presently over two-thirds of its followers live
    in India.
  • It is believed that Hinduism goes back over four
    thousand years and is the oldest of all religions.

Om or Aum
Concept of God
  • This symbol (on the left) is a sacred syllable
    representing Brahman.
  • Brahman is NOT a god.
  • Brahman IS the nature of truth, knowledge and
  • Brahman is the ultimate reality underlying the
    universe from which everything comes and to which
    everything returns

Om or Aum
Concept of God
  • Hinduism recognizes thousands of lesser Gods that
    all come under the umbrella of Brahman.
  • Hinduism also recognizes the divine avatars,
    god-realized beings living on Earth.
  • An avatar is a Hindu god who takes a human or
    animal form. Rama and Krishna are the main

Concept of God
  • The core of the Hindu religion does not depend
    on the existence or nonexistence of God or on
    whether there is one god or many.
  • Religious truth can never be explained in words.

Concept of God
  • Every attempt at a specific definition of
    Hinduism has proved unsatisfactory in one way or
  • Even the finest scholars of Hinduism, including
    Hindus themselves, have emphasized different
    aspects of the whole.

Basic Beliefs
  • Karma - the law of cause and effect what you do
    in this life will affect the next life
  • Reincarnation the soul is born again and again
    until it finds freedom and that the soul of every
    person has lived since the beginning of time.
  • Dharma- a duty to behave in a certain way
    according to the religious code of Hinduism

Basic Beliefs
  • The Veda, the most ancient body of religious
    literature, is an absolute authority revealing
    fundamental and unassailable truth.
  • The first written evidence of Hinduism that we
    can read is the first Veda, called the Rig Veda,
    a long poem in Sanskrit probably composed about
    1000 BC.

Basic Beliefs
  • Also characteristic of Hinduism is the belief in
    the power of the Brahmins, a priestly class
    possessing spiritual supremacy by birth.
  • As special manifestations of religious power and
    as bearers and teachers of the Veda, Brahmins are
    considered to represent the ideal of purity and
    social prestige.

Basic Beliefs
  • The Rig Veda has hymns, magic spells, and
    instructions for what to say when you are
    sacrificing animals. People sacrificed animals to
    their gods.
  • The Rig Veda also explained the creation of the
    world. A god named Prajapati sacrificed himself
    and out of his body parts the universe was
    created, along with the four groups of Indian
    people, which became known as castes.

Basic Beliefs
  • About 600 BC, the idea of reincarnation became
    more and more common among Hindus.
  • Most people began to think that after you died
    you would be reborn into another body. If you had
    been good, you would get a good body, like a
    king. If you had been bad, you would come back as
    a cockroach or a rat.

Basic Beliefs
  • Gradually people began to hate the idea that you
    had to be endlessly reborn in different forms.
    They wanted to be free of the wheel of rebirth.
  • People began to think that sacrificing animals
    was a burden on your karma, or fate, that
    prevented you from getting free of reincarnation.
    So animal sacrifice became less popular.

Basic Beliefs
  • Around 300 BC, people began to worship new gods,
    who didnt need animal sacrifices. These new gods
    were Vishnu and Shiva.
  • Generally people gave Vishnu and Shiva flowers,
    incense, prayers, food, or music, but they didnt
    kill animals for them. They began to worship
    Vishnu and Shiva more, and paid less attention to
    their old gods.

The Hindu Trinity
  • The new gods evolved into the Hindu trinity of
  • Brahma - the Creator
  • Vishnu - the Preserver
  • Shiva - the Destroyer
  • Three aspects of the same divine being

The Mother Goddess
  • Much later, between 400 and 650 AD another new
    god came into Hinduism.
  • This new god was a Mother Goddess. Cows were
    sacred to this Mother Goddess, and so Hindus
    gradually stopped eating beef. Like Vishnu and
    Shiva, the Mother Goddess had many incarnations
    and many names.

Symbolism in Hinduism
Four Goals of Human Life
  • Kama fulfillment of desires
  • Artha accumulation of wealth
  • Dharma performance of social and religious
  • Moksha freedom from want

  • Moksha is liberation from samsara, the cycle of
    death and rebirth. This is also called
    reincarnation. The Hindu philosophy sees the
    world as full suffering and a Hindu would like to
    end the cycle of samsara.
  • In Hindu philosophy, moksha is seen as a
    transcendence of the being or a state of higher

Four Paths to Moksha
The Hindu word for being united or joined with
Brahman is Yoga. The exercises and meditation aim
to still the mind so that you can listen to
Brahman in the stillness and quietness.
  • Karma Yoga - Path of righteous action
  • Bhakti Yoga - Path of selfless devotion
  • Jnana Yoga - Path of rational inquiry
  • Raja Yoga - Path of renunciation

Temple Worship
  • The Hindu place of worship is called a temple.
  • Temples are centers of social and cultural
  • Provide a place for collective worship and prayers

Veda Vyasa
  • 1500 BC
  • classified the Vedas into the four traditional
  • composed the 18 Puranas
  • composed his great poetic work, the Mahabharata
    in a period of two and a half years

  • Hinduism is a celebratory religion
  • The motive Festivals keep them close to Gods,
    invigorate the household and renew the personal
  • Festivals signify victory of good over evil.
  • Every month of Hindu calendar has at least one
    significant festival.

Mahavir Jayanti
Sri Ramanavami
Buddha Jayanti
Birthday of Lord Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, and
his coronation as a king.
Birthday of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism
Birthday of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism
Ganesh Chaturthi
Durga Pooja/Navaratri
Birthday of the elephant God, Ganesha
A nine day celebration signifying the victory of
Mother Durga over the evil demon King
Mother Lakshmi
Diwali The festival of lights
  • Mother Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and
    prosperity is worshipped
  • on this day.

Holi, the festival of colors commemorating the
victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Holika
Birthday of Lord Shiva
  • What is the does the syllable called aum or om
    mean in the Hindu religion?
  • Is Brahman a god?
  • What is Brahman?
  • The Hindu religion does NOT have a holy book.
    What do they have?
  • What is the name of the Hindu scripture with a
    creation myth?
  • What are the names of the three gods in the Hindu
  • What is karma?
  • What is reincarnation?
  • What is moksha?
  • What is samsara?
  • What is the name of the type of mediation that
    Hindus practice in order to achieve moksha?
  • Where do Hindus worship?
  • Who founded Hinduism?
  • What is the Vedas?
  • Why does the Hindu religion have so many
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