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Hinduism The religion you have all been waiting for! Where there is no founder no required set of beliefs or practices and where all, no matter what religion, will ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hinduism

  • The religion you have all been waiting for!
  • Where there is no founder
  • no required set of beliefs or practices
  • and where all, no matter what religion, will
    eventually be saved

  • Hinduism is the oldest of the religions we will
    study, and the 3rd largest
  • It is both a religion and a culture (mostly in
  • As a culture, in includes
  • the caste system - began after the Aryans
    invaded in 1500 BCE
  • there are 4 classes priests (Brahmins),
    politicians, merchants, servants
  • vegetarianism, along with veneration of the cow
    (as a kind of mother)
  • arranged marriages

  • The culture became a religion shortly after 1500
    BCE, as the Brahmins began to expand their role
    as spiritual leaders and guides
  • there developed a body of religious literature,
    called the Vedas
  • the Vedas were written between 1200 and 300 BCE
  • There are other sacred text as well
  • Upanishads, Baghavad Gita
  • the Vedas describe in poetry and metaphor how one
    can live in such a way as to
  • please the forces of nature (gods)
  • attain the enlightenment of mind necessary to be
    freed from all suffering

  • As a religion, the basic beliefs include
  • That all existing things have a single divine
    source, Brahman, to which they are related (like
    a drop of water and the ocean)
  • That this divine source (Atman) exists in all
    sentient beings.
  • That the forces of nature (gods) are parts of
    Brahman, parts of the divine energy concentrated
    to perform specific tasks, for example...
  • Shiva god of wisdom, destroyer of evil
  • Vishnu god of love and beauty
  • Brahma god of power, creation

  • Shiva
  • as an ascetic, his hair is matted, looks like
  • he drinks Soma, a mixture of wine and cannibis
  • he has a third eye signifying wisdom

  • Vishnu
  • takes on many earthly forms, including Krishna
    and Buddha
  • he controls all forces of nature, including
    physical health and sexuality

  • Brahma
  • he has 4 heads signifying knowledge of all things
    N, S, E, W
  • he holds a copy of the Vedas in his hand
  • he is the god of knowledge and education

  • The gods are worshipped in temples
  • Their statues and pictures are objects of
  • Small sacrifices are made there (food, incense,
    small gifts)

  • Take Four

Goals in Life
  • In Hinduism there are four goals in living
  • kama
  • artha
  • dharma
  • moksha

The Four Goals Explained
  • Kama
  • is the life of pleasures. It can be the pursuit
    of pleasure in literature or in love making
  • Artha
  • is pursuing "politics or the materialism of
    commercial competition.
  • Dharma
  • is the goal for those who want to fulfill their
    duties with regard to their caste.
  • Moksha
  • is for those who have grown tired of the other
    pursuits and want to be released from the wheel
    of life.

The Stages in Life
  • Where are you?

Four Stages of Life
  • For the Hindu there are four stages in life.
  • Student
  • Householder
  • Renouncer
  • Seeker

  • Student - This stage is between 8 and 12 but no
    more than 24. He studies the Vedas and he has a
    sacred cord which shows that he is a member of
    one of the 3 highest castes.

  • At this stage a person is around 25 and usually
    married he lives as close to the ideals as he
    can. He tries to follow the rituals as
    prescribed for householders as closely as he can
    and he tries not to harm other creatures. Above
    all he tries to observe duties in marriage, in
    his occupation and in raising children.
  • He is a spiritual man who observes his duties.

  • This person renounces everything including wife
    and go to the forest his wife can follow him if
    he desires. He leaves the village and goes to
    live in the wilderness. He offers the five
    great sacrifices with various sorts of pure food
    or hermits . . .

  • This person seeks release (Samadhi) of the soul
    so that it can unite with Brahman. This can be
    do through raya yoga where the body is trained to
    serve the soul.

  • In Hindu tradition one desires to be liberated
    from the cycle of birth and death

Paths to Salvation
  • 1. The way of action (karma yoga)
  • 2. The way of knowledge (jnana yoga)
  • 3. The way of devotion (bhakti yoga)
  • 4. The way of meditation (raja yoga)

Karma Yoga
  • 1. karma yoga - the way of action is the path of
    unselfish action. One does ones duty but not
    for fear of punishment or hope of reward. The
    right action is done not for praise or blame.
    One does an act because it is ones duty dharma
    not because other people will praise you for it.
    Duties for men and women are prescribed. One
    performs the appropriate rituals every day. A
    persons whole day is filled with actions
    explained in the Vedas.

Jnana Yoga
  • 2. (jnana yoga) - the way of knowledge is the
    path of scriptural knowledge.
  • A persons ignorance keeps one in illusion. If
    the bondage of illusion can be broken one can
    experience liberation. One attempts to identify
    with the universal soul instead transient
    material things or the world. Salvation lies in
    a persons recognizing that his or her identity
    is ground not in the world but in Brahman-Atman.

Bhakti Yoga
  • 3. bhakti yoga - the way of devotion is the path
    of devotion and it is emphasized in the Bhagavad
    Gita. One serves a god wholeheartedly with no
    reservations. One embraces god in love. One
    commits oneself to one of the Hindu gods.
  • Some worship Shiva through trantrism, a
    religious practice that includes sexual
    intercourse as a ritual to generate the power of
    the spirit.

Raja Yoga
  • Raja Yoga - the Way of Physical Discipline. One
    wants to train the physical body so that the
    soul can be free. There are 8 steps to training
    the body.

Four Major Castes
  • 1. Brahmins - intellectual and spiritual leaders,
    priests - They perform the Vedic rituals and
    counsels. They are in demands a cooks because of
    the association with fire and sacrifice.
    Furthermore, they can prepare food for other
    castes as well as their own.
  • 2. Kshatriya - warrior-noble - has the role of
    protecting society. This is the traditional
    caste of the aristocracy.

Castes (cont)
  • 3. Vaisyas - the merchants - includes landowners,
    moneylenders, and sometimes artisans. Males of
    the thee upper castes receive a sacred cord
    during a ceremony in their youth and afterward
    are called twice-born.
  • 4. Shudras - the unskilled laborers - do manual
    labor and is expected to serve the higher castes.
    The origin probably goes back the Aryan
    subjection of native people, who were forced to
    do the work of servants. The peasant is called

  • mlechcha - outcastes, untouchables - are
    considered so low as to be outside the caste
    system. Untouchables do the dirtiest
    workcleaning toilets, sweeping streets,
    collecting animal carcasses, and tanning animal

  • There is subcaste system which developed over the
    years from the simple four caste and is quite
    large. Although the caste system is outlawed it
    is still practiced to some extent.
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