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Hinduism

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Title: Hinduism


1
Hinduism
2
What do we know?
3
Do you know any Hindus?
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon Apu seems to work at the
Kwik-E-Mart 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But please don't be thinking it's only work that
Apu is having on his mind, my goodness, no! He
manages to spend some of his free time with his
wife Manjula and his brother Sanjay. Apu peddles
the usual Kwik-E-Mart fare (at remarkably high
prices) luscious heat-lamp dogs, chewy frozen
microwave burritos, and the ever popular
squishee. Apu himself doesn't eat any of this
stuff himself since, in keeping with his Hindu
beliefs, he is a strict vegan. To Apu's great
disappointment, his attempt to bridge the gap
between East and West with tofu dogs, curry
crullers, and chutney Squishees met with
resounding disinterest from customers.
4
Texts
  • Vedas (The main set of texts)
  • There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda,
    Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
  • The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism.
  • They also had a vast influence on Buddhism,
    Jainism, and Sikhism.
  • The Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, was
    composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600
    B.C. It is unknown when it was finally committed
    to writing, but this probably was at some point
    after 300 B.C.
  • The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and
    rituals from ancient India.
  • Upanishads
  • The portions of the Vedas that contain the
    philosophy of Hinduism.
  • In the Upanishads the spiritual meanings of the
    Vedic texts are brought out and emphasized in
    their own right.
  • There are 18 principal Upanishads and several
    minor upanishads.
  • Bhagavad Gita
  • The name Bhagavad Gita literally means 'the song
    of the divine'.
  • Even though this text is not part of the Vedas,
    most Hindus consider this to be a text of great
    importance.
  • It contains a spiritual dialogue between Arjun
    and Sri Krishna from the epic Mahabharata.
  • This is one of the most popular and accessible of
    all Hindu scriptures, required reading for anyone
    interested in Hinduism.
  • The Gita discusses selflessness, duty, devotion,
    and meditation, integrating many different
    threads of Hindu philosophy.

5
Reincarnation
  • Individual souls (jives) enter the world
    mysteriously by Gods power, but how or for what
    reason we are unable fully to explain
  • Reincarnation is the process by which an
    individual soul (jiva) passes through a sequence
    of bodies
  • Life, death, rebirth

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
6
Karma
  • Karma the moral law of cause and effect
  • As a man sows, so shall he reap.
  • What we are now is based on what we did in our
    past
  • Equally, what we do now determines our future
  • Each action has its equal and opposite reaction

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
7
How Many Gods?
8
God
  • Brahman,
  • the name for the supreme reality. Br (breathe)
    and brih (to be great).
  • God is being, awareness, and bliss (sat, chit,
    and ananda)
  • God-with-attributes (Saguna Brahman)
  • God-without-attributes (Nirguna Brahman)
  • God as
  • Creator (Brahma),
  • Preserver (Vishnu), and
  • Destroyer (Shiva)
  • Hindus trinity

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
9
God
  • 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.
  • Most urban Hindus follow one of two major
    divisions within Hinduism
  • Vaishnavaism which generally regards Vishnu as
    the ultimate deity
  • Shivaism which generally regards Shiva as the
    ultimate deity.
  • However, many rural Hindus worship their own
    village goddess or an earth goddess. She is
    believed to rule over fertility and disease --
    and thus over life and death. The priesthood is
    less important in rural Hinduism non-Brahmins
    and non-priests often carry out ritual and prayer
    there.

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
10
The Stages of Life
  • Student
  • Lasts 12 years
  • Primary focus is learning
  • Apprenticeship, incarnated skills
  • Householder
  • Family (Pleasure)
  • Vocation (Success)
  • Community (Duty)
  • Retirement
  • Time to discover what life is about   
  • Those who responded fully to the spiritual
    adventure were know as forest dwellers
  • Sannyasin One who neither hates or loves
    anything
  • Starts when one feels a strong urge to find God
  • To goal is to remain a complete nonentity on the
    surface in order to be joined to all at root.
  • No fixed place, no obligations, no goal, no
    belongings, the expectations of the body are
    nothing
  • Two goals Find God and work for the good of
    mankind

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
11
What People Want
  • The Path of Desire --You Can Have What You Want!
  • Pleasure
  • Nothing wrong with seeking pleasure
  • Obey basics of morality

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
12
What People Want
  • Path of Desire -- You Can Have What You Want!
  • Success (Wealth, Fame, Power)
  • Exclusive, competitive and precarious
  • They do not multiply when shared
  • They cannot be distributes with out diminishing
    your own portion
  • If all were distributed equally no one would be
    wealthy, famous or powerful
  • The drive for success is insatiable
  • Hedonism
  • Neither fortune nor station can obscure the
    realization that one lacks so much else
  • Achievements are ephemeral you cant take it
    with you

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
13
What People Want
  • Path of Renunciation
  • Responsible Discharge of Duty
  • Community, giving to something greater than
    ourselves
  • Duty, self-respect and respect from peers

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
14
What People Really Want
  • Liberation
  • Being
  • Knowing
  • Joy

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
15
What is a human being?
  • Body
  • Personality
  • Atman-Brahman
  • A human self is not completely accounted for
    until all three are noted
  • In our culture we might equate this with Body,
    Mind, and Spirit

Atman Ultimate reality manifesting as the 'I' in
the individual. The real self. The silent
witness. Without any attributes. It is
imperishable and eternal. It does not die with
the body. BrahmanUltimate reality manifesting or
projecting itself as the universe and everything.
The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
16
What is the purpose?
  • Hinduism says lifes purpose is to pass beyond
    imperfection
  • Stricture (restriction) on our Joy
  • Physical pain
  • The conquest of fear can partly reduce pain
  • Psychological pain (Frustration from thwarting
    desire)
  • If the ego has no expectation there is no
    disappointment (Gods eye-view of humanity)
  • Elimination of ignorance
  • Restricted being
  • Boredom with life in general

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
17
The Paths to the Goal
  • Yoga is the method of training designed to lead
    to integration or union.
  • Where the West has sought strength and beauty,
    India has been interested in precision and
    control, ideally complete control over the bodys
    every function.
  • There are different types of people
  • Reflective
  • Emotional
  • Active
  • Experimentally Inclined
  • There are paths (Yoga's) for each type of person

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
18
The Path to God Through Knowledge
  • Jnana Yoga To distinguish between the surface
    self and the larger self
  • Learning
  • Thinking
  • Identification of oneself as Spirit

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
19
The Path to God Through Love
  • Bhakti Yoga The Path to God through love (most
    popular)
  • Out-going
  • Adoring God with every element of ones being

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
20
The Path to God Through Work
  • Karma Yoga Action
  • By Jnana (Knowledge)
  • By Bhakti (Devoted Service)

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
21
The Path to God Through Psychophysical Experiments
  • Raja Yoga Meditation The
    royal (raj) road to reintegration
  • Five Abstention
  • Injury
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Sensuality
  • Greed
  • Five Observances
  • Cleanliness
  • Contentment
  • Self-Control
  • Studiousness
  • Contemplation of the Divine
  • Keep the body from distracting the mind while it
    concentrates
  • The Lotus Position

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
22
The Path to God Through Psychophysical
Experiments (cont.)
  • Raja Yoga Meditation The royal (raj) road to
    reintegration
  • Mastery of Respiration
  • Slow breathing
  • Even breathing
  • Reduce the amount of air needed
  • No Bombardments (Outside Distractions)
  • No Mind Distractions
  • Resolution of the knower and the known
  • The mind is absorbed by God

Aum is an important symbol. It is the sound heard
in deepest meditation and is said to be the best
name for God.
The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
23
What happens?
  • Complete Identification with God
  • Some contend that a remnant of personal identity
    remains
  • The Universe grows from the Imperishable
  • The Cosmos collapses into a Night of Brahma, and
    all phenomenal being is returned to a state of
    pure potentiality
  • The universe had no beginning and will have no
    end
  • We live in the middle world,
  • between heavens and hell, good and evil, pleasure
    and pain, knowledge and ignorance
  • All in equal proportions
  • Dreams of utopia are doomed to disappointment
  • The world is a training ground for the human
    spirit

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
24
What happens?
  • Distinct Kinds of Beings
  • God as the divine base
  • Individual Souls
  • Nature
  • Non-dualist distinguish three modes of
    consciousness
  • Hallucination
  • Maya (The normal world, as it appears to us
    Illusion)
  • Super-consciousness (as appears to the Yogis)

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
25
What kind of world do we have?
  • A multiple world that includes innumerable
    galaxies horizontally, innumerable tiers
    vertically, and innumerable cycles temporally.
  • A moral world in which the law of karma is never
    suspended.
  • A middling world that will never replace paradise
    as the spirits destination
  • A world that is maya, deceptively tricky in
    passing off its multiplicity, materiality, and
    dualities as ultimate when they are actually
    provisional.
  • A training ground on which people can develop
    their highest capacities.
  • A world that is lila, the play of the Divine in
    its Cosmic Dance untiring, unending,
    resistless, yet ultimately beneficent, with a
    grace born of it infinite vitality.

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
26
Daily Living
  • Hindus organize their lives around certain
    activities or "purusharthas." These are called
    the "four aims of Hinduism," or "the doctrine of
    the fourfold end of life." They are
  • The three goals of the "pravritti," those who are
    in the world, are
  • dharma righteousness in their religious life.
    This is the most important of the three.
  • artha success in their economic life material
    prosperity.
  • kama gratification of the senses pleasure
    sensual, sexual, and mental enjoyment.
  • The main goal for the "nivritti," those who
    renounce the world. is
  • moksa Liberation from "samsara." This is
    considered the supreme goal of mankind.
  • Meditation is often practiced, with Yoga being
    the most common. Other activities include daily
    devotions, public rituals, and puja, a ceremonial
    dinner for a God.
  • Hinduism has a deserved reputation of being
    highly tolerant of other religions. Hindus have a
    saying "Ekam Sataha Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti,"
    which may be translated "The truth is One, but
    different Sages call it by Different Names"

27
Many Paths to the Same Summit
  • All major religions are alternate paths to the
    same goal.
  • Hinduisms classic contention that various
    religions are but different languages through
    which God speaks to the human heart. Truth is
    one sages call it by different names.
  • God has made different religions to suit
    different aspirations, times, and countries. All
    doctrines are only so many paths but a path is
    by no means God Himself. Indeed, one can reach
    God if one follows any of the paths with
    whole-hearted devotion. One may eat a cake with
    icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste
    sweet either way.
  • -- Sri Ramakrishna

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
28
India Caste System
  • Appendix

29
The Stations of Life -- Caste
  • People are different (a common theme within
    Hinduism) therefore society was divided into
    four groups or castes (and a fifth which is not
    completely accepted).
  • Seers
  • Administrators
  • Producers
  • Followers
  • Outcastes (Untouchables)

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
30
Caste
  • Seers (Brahmins)
  • Intellectual and Spiritual Leaders
  • Philosophers
  • Artists
  • Religious Leaders
  • Teachers

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
31
Caste (cont.)
  • Administrators (Kshatriyas)
  • Orchestrate people and projects

Prime Minister Vajpayee with Himachal Chief
Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at a public rally in
Shimla.
The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
32
Caste (cont.)
  • Producers (Vaishyas)
  • Skillful in creating the material things on which
    life depends
  • Artisans (Craftsmen)
  • Farmers

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
33
Caste (cont.)
  • Followers or Servants (Shudas)
  • Unskilled laborers
  • Their attention spans are relatively short
  • Under supervision they are capable of work and
    devoted service

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
34
Untouchables (Outcastes)
  • Seen as one of the cruelest features of the caste
    system
  • Anyone who worked in ignominious, polluting and
    unclean occupations
  • They had almost no rights in society
  • They could not touch anyone in the four castes
  • In extreme examples, those who had associated
    with a member of the caste system were beaten and
    murdered
  • Several prominent Indians have tried to abolish
    the untouchable as part of the Indian caste
    system

http//adaniel.tripod.com/untouchables.htm
35
Issues with the Caste System
  • The Outcastes is regarded as the basic perversion
    that the caste system can succumb to.
  • Even among the castes there are a proliferation
    of sub-castes, of which there are over three
    thousand.
  • Proscriptions against intermarriage and
    interdining
  • Privileges, with higher castes benefiting at the
    expense of the lower
  • Caste became hereditary

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
36
Issues with the Caste System
  • With its proscriptions regulating intermarriage,
    interdining, and other forms of social contact
    made it, in Indias first prime ministers wry
    assessment, the least tolerant nation in social
    forms while the most tolerant in the realm of
    ideas.
  • Between castes there was no equality, but within
    each caste the individuals rights were safer
    than if he or she had been forced to fend alone
    in the world at large.
  • Justice was defined as a state in which
    privileges were proportionate to
    responsibilities.
  • Lower caste held to lower standards.

37
Sikhism
  • Appendix

38
Sikhism
  • Sikhs means disciples, there are approximately 13
    million Sikhs
  • Revelation to Guru Nanak when he disappeared for
    three days while bathing in a river around the
    year 1500.
  • Sikhism is formed from both Hinduism and Islam.
  • Sikhs believe in the ultimacy of a supreme and
    formless God is beyond human conceiving
  • Sikhs reject divine incarnations (avatars), caste
    distinctions, images as aids to worship, and the
    sanctity of the Vedas.
  • There were a total of 10 Gurus
  • They now rely on the Collection of Sacred Wisdom

Guru being popularly explained as a dispeller of
ignorance or darkness (gu) and binger of
enlightenment (ru).
The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
39
Sikhism
  • Open to men and women who
  • Abstain from alcohol
  • Abstain from meat
  • Abstain from tobacco
  • And keep the five Ks
  • Keep their hair uncut
  • Have a comb on their person
  • Keep a Sword/Dagger
  • Wear a steel bracelet
  • Wear under shorts
  • Sikhs seek salvation through union with God by
    realizing, through love, the Person of God, who
    dwells in the depths of their own being.
  • Union with God is the ultimate goal.

The Worlds Religions by Huston Smith
40
Being a SikhTraditions and Beliefs
  • Basic Sikh Teachings
  • The essence of being a Sikh is that one lives
    one's life according to the teachings of the Sikh
    Gurus, devotes time to meditating on God and the
    scriptures, and does things to benefit other
    people.
  • Sikhs believe that there is a single,
    all-powerful God, who created the universe and
    everything in it.
  • Sikhism emphasizes social and gender equality,
    and stresses the importance of behaving
    altruistically.
  • Equality Everyone is equal in God's eyes
    whatever their caste, creed, or gender.
  • God is accessible without priests Everyone can
    be directly in touch with God. There are no
    clergy in Sikhism.
  • Accept other faiths Sikhs do not believe that
    any religion has a monopoly on the truth. They do
    not regard Sikhism as the only way to God.
  • Live in the world One should live a responsible
    life as part of the community. Withdrawing from
    the world or becoming an ascetic are not as
    worthwhile.
  • No ritual for its own sake Empty ritual is
    meaningless and should be avoided.
  • Devotion can take the form of action as well as
    prayer Personal devotion includes Nam simran
    (meditation on and awareness of God) and Sewa
    (community service).
  • A good world is just and fair to all Social
    justice is to be supported. The use of force as a
    last resort is justified to uphold it.
  • Death is not the end Death is seen as the
    transition to a life where the joy of being in
    the presence of God can be fully realised.

http//www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/
world_religions/sikhism_being.shtml
41
Sikhs and God
  • Sikhs believe that there is only one God.
  • God created the universe, and the universe
    depends on God's will for its continued existence
  • God has always existed and always will exist
  • God needs nothing else in order to continue to
    exist
  • God has no shape
  • God has no gender
  • God has never taken and will never take human
    form on earth.
  • The essence of God is truth.
  • God is without hatred or fear.
  • God reaches out to humanity through the word,
    which is conveyed by the Gurus, or teachers, and
    which is laid down in the form of shabads, or
    hymns, which form the backbone of Sikh worship.

http//www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/
world_religions/sikhism_being.shtml
42
Sikhism
  • A guru is a teacher...
  • There were ten human or living Gurus, or teachers
    in Sikhism.
  • The Gurus were human beings, not Gods, nor were
    they incarnations of God (God taking human form).
  • The Gurus are never worshiped, although Sikhs
    hold the Gurus in high esteem, and pictures of
    them are often seen in Sikh places of worship and
    homes.
  • The ten human Gurus
  • Guru Nanak, 1469-1539
  • Guru Angad, born 1504, Guru 1539-1552
  • Guru Amar Das, born 1479, Guru 1552-1574
  • Guru Ram Das, born 1534, Guru 1574-1581
  • Guru Arjan, born 1563, Guru 1581-1606
  • Guru Hargobind, born 1595, Guru 1606-1644
  • Guru Har Rai, born 1630, Guru 1644-1661
  • Guru Har Krishan, born 1656, Guru 1661-1664
  • Guru Teg Bahadur, born 1621, Guru 1664-1675
  • Guru Gobind Singh, born 1666, Guru 1675-1708

http//www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/
world_religions/sikhism_gurus.shtml
43
Hinduism
  • Appendix

44
Websites
  • The Hindu Universe has a great deal of
    information available on Hindu scriptures, news
    groups, WWW sites, festivals, customs,
    anti-defamation work, etc. http//www.hindunet.org
  • Sacred-texts.com has descriptions and
    translations of Hindu sacred texts.
    http//www.sacred-texts.com/hin/
  • Website that teaches Hinduism for School
    (U.K.)http//www.hinduism.fsnet.co.uk

45
A Summary of What Most Hindus Believe Nine
Beliefs of Hinduism
  • Hindus believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the
    world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the
    Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial
    hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana
    Dharma, the eternal religion which has neither
    beginning nor end.
  • Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme
    Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both
    Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
  • Hindus believe that the universe undergoes
    endless cycles of creation, preservation and
    dissolution.
  • Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and
    effect by which each individual creates his own
    destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
  • Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates,
    evolving through many births until all karmas
    have been resolved, and moksha, spiritual
    knowledge and liberation from the cycle of
    rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be
    eternally deprived of this destiny.
  • Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen
    worlds and that temple worship, rituals,
    sacraments as well as personal devotionals create
    a communion with these devas and Gods.
  • Hindus believe that a spiritually awakened
    master, or satguru, is essential to know the
    Transcendent Absolute, as are personal
    discipline, good conduct, purification,
    pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation.
  • Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be
    loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa,
    "noninjury."
  • Hindus believe that no particular religion
    teaches the only way to salvation above all
    others, but that all genuine religious paths are
    facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving
    tolerance and understanding.

http//www.beliefnet.com/story/26/story_2656_1.htm
l
46
A Summary of What Most Hindus Believe Five
Obligations of all Hindus
  • Worship, upasana Young Hindus are taught daily
    worship in the family shrine room--rituals,
    disciplines, chants, yogas and religious study.
    They learn to be secure through devotion in home
    and temple, wearing traditional dress, bringing
    forth love of the Divine and preparing the mind
    for serene meditation.
  • Holy days, utsava Young Hindus are taught to
    participate in Hindu festivals and holy days in
    the home and temple. They learn to be happy
    through sweet communion with God at such
    auspicious celebrations. Utsava includes fasting
    and attending the temple on Monday or Friday and
    other holy days.
  • Virtuous living, dharma Young Hindus are taught
    to live a life of duty and good conduct. They
    learn to be selfless by thinking of others first,
    being respectful of parents, elders and swamis,
    following divine law, especially ahimsa, mental,
    emotional and physical noninjury to all beings.
    Thus they resolve karmas.
  • Pilgrimage, tirthayatra Young Hindus are taught
    the value of pilgrimage and are taken at least
    once a year for darnana of holy persons, temples
    and places, near or far. They learn to be
    detached by setting aside worldly affairs and
    making God, Gods and gurus life's singular focus
    during these journeys.
  • Rites of passage, samskara Young Hindus are
    taught to observe the many sacraments which mark
    and sanctify their passages through life. They
    learn to be traditional by celebrating the rites
    of birth, name-giving, head-shaving, first
    feeding, ear-piercing, first learning, coming of
    age, marriage and death.

http//www.beliefnet.com/story/26/story_2656_1.htm
l
47
What does the mark on the forehead mean?
  • The colored dot is variously referred to as a
    "tilaka," "bottu," "bindiya," "kumkum," or
    "bindi." It is a sign of piety, and a reveals to
    other people that the wearer is a Hindu. It
    symbolizes the third eye -- the one focused
    inwards toward God. Both men and women wear it,
    although the practice among men is gradually
    going out of style. In the past, many unmarried
    women wore black marks, whereas many married
    women wore red. But in recent times, women often
    wear dots that match the color of their saris.
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