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Title: HINDUISM Author: Richard Trull Jr. Last modified by: richartr Created Date: 1/10/2004 2:03:35 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Hindu Gods
Hinduism -1 Video
Hinduism-2 Video
Hindu Gods
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Hinduism-4 Video
Hinduism-5 Video
Location of Hinduism
Hinduism World Status
  • Hinduism 900 million
  • 15 of world population
  • Third largest world religion
  • Christianity 32
  • Islam 22
  • Secular/Non-religious 15

Origins of Hindu Culture
  • Before the Aryans the Dravidians Indian
    civilization inhabited the Indus Valley.
  • Early tribal people, Dasas, described as dark
    skinned, thick lipped, possessing cattle and
    speaking a strange language
  • Advanced civilization from Harappa to
    Mohenjo-Daro planned cities with a sewage
    system connected to some houses
  • Language has not be deciphered.
  • Religion mainly unknown but had figurines and
    sculptures of people meditating fertility gods
    and goddess?

Origins of Hindu Culture
  • Indo-Aryans (Indo-Europeans) began to invade the
    India sub-continent about 1800 to 1500 B.C.
  • Source of Greek, Latin, Celts, German, Slav
  • Oral tradition called the Vedas
  • Rishi (seer) drank Soma a hallucinogenic to
    experience the gods and wrote down in hymns that
    would become the Vedas

Origins of Hindu Culture
  • Began to become acclimated to new environment and
    become agriculturists
  • Ruler (rajahrex), private army, priests
  • Priests would supersede simple rituals and be the
    only available source for sacrifice priests
    called Brahmins.
  • Brahmanas are the books of the Brahmins that
    record the sacrifices and their power

Origins of Hindu Culture
Origins of Hindu Culture
  • The term Hindu had its origin from the Muslims
    conquerors who used it to describe the
    inhabitants of Northern India.
  • Hinduism was use by the British for the diverse
    religious traditions of the people of India.
  • Today it is used popularly to describe the
    religious life distinct from Christianity and
  • There is no unified religious entity so it is
    best to talk of Hindu traditions.

Hindu Religion
  • We venture to predict that Hinduism is not a
    religion at all, but a series of loosely strung
    and infinitely varied sacerdotal and sociological
    artificial conventions to which a religious
    verisimilitude has been imparted by the ancient
    law-givers, but which is nevertheless daily
    undergoing endless fluctuations, not only in any
    given locality, but throughout the Hindu world.
    (V. N. Narasimmiyengar True Hinduism, 5)

Hindu Religion
  • Sanatana Dharma
  • Contemporary scholars prefer this term to
    describe the Hindu religion.
  • Meaning ageless way of moral order, duty and
    natural law of the cosmos.
  • Hindu-ness
  • Political identification

Hindu Religion
  • Sanatana Dharma Encompasses
  • Mystical texts referring to the formless and
    transcendent self
  • Abstract philosophical treatises that disagree
    with each other about the truth of existence
  • A wealth of ascetic meditation practices for
    realization of the eternal
  • Large pantheon of deities

Hindu Culture Religion
  • Extremely varied personal beliefs allowed
  • Cannot separate from the culture
  • To be Hindu, a religion has to
  • Regard the Vedas as divinely inspired and
  • Accept the caste system
  • Respect the veneration of the various levels of
    deities and spirits, including the protection of
  • Recognizing them as authoritative does not mean
    accepting them as literally true or practicing
    them as commanded
  • Winfried Corduan

Hindu Religion
  • Not a creedal religion
  • Both Christianity and Islam are creedal religion
    where people may come to faith in God through
    belief and conviction
  • Islam anyone can become a Muslim by saying the
  • Christianity through faith in Christ
  • A non-Hindu can hold the same beliefs as a
    Brahman friend but is still considered an outcast
  • Let him live a pious life and then, after many
    transmigrations, his soul may be at least reborn
    into a Hindu family.

History of Hinduism
  • Two Early Periods
  • The Vedic Period (1500 B.C. 500 B.C.)
  • The Philosophic Period (500 B.C. A.D. 500)
  • Vedas literally means knowledge but basically
    refers to the four sacred scriptures, often
    includes the Upanishads and their commentaries
    (sometimes used to refer to all the Hindu sacred
  • Originally revealed to holy men who wrote them

History of Hinduism
  • Vedic Period (1500 B.C. 500 B.C.)
  • Aryans, speaking Sanskrit, authors of the
    Rig-Veda (lit. knowledge enshrined in verses)
  • Rig-Veda oldest collection of 1,028 prayerful
    Sanskirt hymns prayers addressed devas (gods)
    shinning ones who dwell on earth, the heavens,
    and intermediate air (as early as 1500)
  • Like Greeks, practiced ancestor worship,
    worshipped nature gods or devas (Lat. deus).
    Devas invested with personal attributes, bright
    beings with superhuman powers dwelling in
    celestial regions.

Origins of Hindu Culture/Religion
  • Hinduism based on Vedic Texts written between
    1500 500 BC
  • Shruti that which is heard distinguish from
    later writings
  • Smriti that which is remembered also
    considered by some as authoritative (considered
    less sacred and non-Vedic)
  • Four parts of the Vedic texts
  • Samhitas (1500 900 BC) collection of hymns
  • Brahmanas (850 BC) Caste
  • Aranyakas Later part of Brahmanas
  • Upanishads (500 BC) Philosophical Brahman,
    Atman, Maya, Yoga, Nirvana

Origins of Hindu Culture/Religion
  • Other Vedas basically dependent on Rig-Veda
  • Yajur-Veda mostly in prose, meant to supply
    dedication, prayers, and litanies recited by
    priests in the course of their duties in
  • Sama-Veda Chants for worship by priests derived
    from Rig-Veda
  • Atharva-Veda Charms, incantations and spells
    (considered somewhat inferior and associated with
    folk religion)

Origins of Hindu Culture/Religion
  • Over time the sacrificial system developed to
    compel the gods to grant appropriate rewards.
  • Brahmans (priests) alone knew how to offer
    sacrifice aright and extract favors from the gods
    and they took on a sacred position.
  • Aryans kept a distinction between themselves and
    the darker skin indigenous population the Sudras
    (serfs) and they as Dvija (twice born).
  • Varna (color) distinction between races source
    of caste system

Philosophic Period
  • Caste system
  • Based on dharma (religious duty)
  • Each person born into a caste community
  • Each person has his/her duty with community
  • Every community has its own religion/god
  • Preservation of social and ceremonial purity

Origins of Hindu Culture/Religion
  • Aryans four castes (1st three twice born)
  • Kshatriyas warriors and princes
  • Brahmins priests and instructors
  • Vaishyas Agriculturalists and merchants
  • Shudras Workers (surfs)
  • Hundreds of subcastes (jati)
  • Twice born have full participation in Hindu life
  • Study of Vedas, puberty initiation, social
  • Aryans controlled study of Vedas
  • Aryans brought all of India under their control
    and people assimilated their beliefs with Aryan

Origins of Hindu Culture/Religion
  • Brahmins (priests) until recently were sole
    custodians of study of the Vedic texts
  • Different brahmans
  • Brahman the impersonal pantheistic god
  • Brahma the personal creator god
  • Brahmin the priest priestly caste
  • Brahmanas priestly commentaries on the Vedas

Origins of Hindu Culture/Religion
  • Development of deities per Corduan, p. 193

Deity Features
Dyaus Pitar Original supreme sky god, losing significance
Pritivi Mater Mother earth
Varuna Later sky god, losing significance
Indra King of gods, supreme during Vedic period
Mitra A sun god ritual and moral purity
Rita God of truth and right
Vishnu A sun god later the Preserver
Rudra Capricious mountain god later Shiva
Agni God of fire
Soma God of drink or immortality (soma)
Brahmanaspati Spoken word gaining significance
History of Hinduism
Way Origin Scriptures Practice
Works 1500 B.C. Vedas, Sutras, Brahmanas. Code of manu Detailed observance of laws rituals, governed by priests
Knowledge 500 B.C. Upanishads (Vedanta) Mystical recognition of Atman-Brahman identity, withdrawal
Devotion (Bhakti) 200 B.C. A.D.800 Bhagavad Gita, Tamil poetry, Puranas Attachment to one god or goddess three main schools
By Winfried Corduan, Neighboring Faiths, p. 192
Periods of Hinduism Beliefs
  • Three Paths (Margas) to Moksha
  • Karma Marga (Way of Action or works)
  • Vedic period
  • Dependent on priests and rituals
  • Jnana Marga (Way of Knowledge) by Yoga
  • 500 B.C.
  • System of mystical contemplation
  • Bhakti Marga (Way of Devotion)
  • 200 B.C. to A.D. 800
  • From south India Tamil
  • Love of a god or goddess provides salvation

Philosophic Period
  • Inana Way of Knowledge
  • Belief system with mystical contemplation
  • Reaction against priests and rituals controlled
    by priests
  • Recorded in Upanishads
  • Vedas focused on priestly ritual
  • Upanishads seek a deeper spiritual reality
  • Yoga
  • Form of Sankhya system
  • Perfect pose by which desire is subdued
  • No fresh round of karma set in motion

Philosophic Period
  • Two philosophic schools of thought
  • Sankhya source of Buddhism
  • Vedanta
  • Sankhya
  • Dualistic and atheistic
  • Denies any beginning or a creator
  • Two eternal realities praakriti and purushas
    which are both considered real
  • Matter (Western categories)
  • Spirit

Philosophic Period
  • Vedanta
  • Non-dualistic
  • Atman the only reality, all else is illusion

Philosophic Period
  • Way of Knowledge
  • Vendata or Vedantic philosophy
  • Search for ultimate secret of all existence
  • Search for release from transmigration of the
  • Epics literature legends of gods and heroes
  • Rise of Buddhism

Philosophic Period
  • Ultimate Reality
  • What is behind the changing phenomena?
  • Brahman pantheistic impersonal god
  • Atman true self
  • Brahman one true reality
  • Unchanging something reality
  • Impersonal, all-pervasive being
  • English referred to as world soul
  • Only true reality
  • Maya besides Brahman all else maya (illusion)
  • Gods and worship are manifestations of Brahman

Philosophic Period
  • Brahman
  • Since not by speech and not by thought,
  • Not by the eye can it be reached,
  • How else may it be understood,
  • But only when one says, it is?
  • Katha Upansishad
  • Tat, the All, Brahman without attributes
  • Tat tvam asi that art thou
  • Key is to transcend world of experience

Philosophic Period
  • Maya Lit. play
  • Related to the word magic
  • Daily life is just magic play
  • Life seen as illusion
  • Mayaa reality is derived from Brahman
  • No reality within itself
  • E.g. image created by a projector
  • Everything we experience rationally belongs to
  • Feelings, emotions, thoughts

Philosophic Period
  • Atman
  • Reality inside a person that is not maya
  • True self
  • Atman is Brahman message of Upanishads
  • God resides in the depth of person
  • Soul of the Universe
  • Beyond thought and distinction

Philosophic Period
  • Life of sannyasin
  • Leave ones previous environment and renounce
    worldly attachments discipline
  • Seek ones true identity apart from the world
  • Attain moksha, the release from samsara and maya
  • If attained, at death will return to
    Atman-Brahman (reenters Brahman as a drop of
    water in the ocean)
  • Nirvana a state of supreme bliss is accomplished

Philosophic Period
  • Bhakti (loving attachment) Way of Devotion
  • Mid-second millennium A.D.
  • Bhakti is at the heart of most contemporary
  • Popular in southern India (non-Aryan or
    dravidians) today are Tamil people
  • Not through impossible works nor secret knowledge
    not easily attainable but through a loving
    relationship with a god or goddess
  • Devotion to a god need not exclude serving others
  • Roots of Bhakti is found in the Bhagavad Gita
    (200 B.C.) where Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu
    tells heroic warrior, Arjuna to attach to him and
    do his caste duty

Philosophic Period
  • Two influential Hindu Philosophers
  • Sankara (8th century)
  • World is totally illusion
  • Only reality is brahman
  • Religion was the pursuit deliverance from
  • Ramanuja (12th century)
  • Absolute reality of this world
  • Human soul was separate from the godhead and
    could relate itself to god not by absorption but
    by devotion.

The Gods
  • Brahman manifests itself in three gods.
  • Rise of three gods above the pantheon of gods.
  • Brahma Creator of visible things since work is
    done there is no need to worship (what Brahma
    creates, Sheva destroys so new universe can be
  • Vishnu Lord of protection (avatars)
  • Shiva Lord of destruction
  • It is said that there are 330,000,000 gods
  • Exaggerated
  • Many gods and go by different names

The Gods
Primary Hindu Gods Bhakti Hinduism Schools
Brahma ---------------- Vishnu ----------------
Shiva ---------------- Goddess (devi) Sarasvati
Lakshmi Parvati
Durga, Kali -------- -------
Draupadi Avatars of Vishnu
Genesha Periachi and Lakshimi
Skandar Mariamman
Vaishnavite School
Shaivite School
Shaktite School
Vertical Marks
Horizontal Marks
Adapted from Corduan, Neighboring Faith p. 201
The Gods
  • Each male god is associated with a female deity,
    his shakti which means source of power
  • Generally a consort or broadly a wife
  • Goddess infuses the god with energy to do his
  • Each god has also has a certain symbolic
    representation and a riding animal.
  • Multiple arms represents power

The Gods
  • Brahma
  • Creator
  • Represented by four heads
  • Originally had five but Shiva cut it off
  • Images in many temples but not many temples
    dedicated to him
  • Not a major Bhakti god
  • His shakti, Sarasvati is a popular goddess
  • Receives a lot of veneration
  • Her representation is a musical instrument, e.g.

The Gods
  • Vishnu
  • People look to him for salvation
  • Also look to one of his avatars
  • Vertical line(s) on forehead
  • Known as the preserver
  • Emphasis on chanting, dancing, meditation
  • Recognized by having four arms with a conch
    shell, lotus blossom, a discus, and a mace.
  • Riding animal is a bird but also shown reclining
    on a snake
  • Most concern for maintaining dharma, duty
  • Born into the world as heroic person or animal to
    put world on right track then dies to reincarnate
    again (avatar)

The Gods
  • Avatars of Vishnu incarnations of Vishnu in
    various forms which veil rather than reveal the
    god within. Usually ten avatars from myths
  • Matsya Fish
  • Kurma Turtle
  • Varaha Boar
  • Narasimba Man-Lion
  • Vamana Dwarf
  • Parashu-Rama Rama with an ax
  • Rama Hero of Ramayana (wife sita, Hanuman)
  • Krishna Teacher of Bhagavad Gita (wife Rada)
  • Buddha (9th avatar) Founder of Buddhism
  • Balarama Alernate, brother of Krishna
  • Kalki Horse , future avatar (period when dharma

The Gods
  • Rama (avatar of Vishnu)
  • Hero of epic Ramayana
  • His wife, Sita
  • Abducted by demon king, Ravana
  • Rescues wife with help of friends
  • Brother Lakshman
  • Monkey god, Hanuman
  • Usually hold a long bow
  • Color green dominant
  • Rama Bhakti emphasizes Ramas love and grace to
    grant salvation
  • Baby monkey school (believer clings to mother)
  • Cat school (believer carried by mother, all Rama)

The Gods
  • Krishna
  • 8the avatar of Vishnu
  • Very popular god to worship
  • Color is usually dark or blue
  • Play a flute
  • Usually seen with his wife, Radha
  • Appears in the Bhagavad-Gita as a profound
  • Myth
  • Victorious over demon king
  • Another view is a mischievous and amorous
    wonder-worker in folklore with amorous and erotic

The Gods
  • Hare Krishna Movement
  • International Society for Krishna Consciousness
    (ISKON), form of Vaishnavite Bhakti
  • Krishna is the supreme form of a personal god
  • ISKON followers are basically monotheistic
  • Source is 16th century teacher, Caitanya
  • A. C. Bhktivedanta Prabhupada popularized it in
  • In 1960s at age 70, retired pharmaceuticals
  • Popular in U.S. in early 70s but has declined

The Gods
  • Krishna - Five Essential Teachings
  • Krishna is the supreme personal god
  • Salvation can be obtained by chanting the mantra,
    Hare Krishna
  • 1000 time a day
  • Special worship of singing and dancing
  • The Bhagavad-Gita is inspired scripture
  • Devotee must live a pure life devoted to Krishna
  • Abstaining from meat, caffeine, sweets, and sex
    for pleasure
  • Distributing literature to raise the
    consciousness of the message

The Gods
  • Shiva
  • Followed by most Bhakti Hindus
  • Highest god
  • Called the destroyer (of evil)
  • Worship more austere
  • Can cause harm
  • connected to early days being Rudra
  • Horizontal lines on forehead (tilaka)
  • self-inflicted extremes of devotion
  • Represented in various ways
  • Phallic symbol (lingam) with yoni (vagina
  • Rides a bull
  • Trident is main symbol

The Gods
  • Ganesha
  • Older son of Shiva Parvati
  • Myth Shiva severs head but after calms down
    vows to replace it with head he see, an elephant
  • Known as remover of obsticles
  • therefore his followers seek him to overcome
    difficulties in life
  • Learned in Hindu writings wise
  • Skandar
  • Younger brother of Ganesha
  • God of war

The Goddesses
  • Shaktism goddess is the principle object of
  • Two most popular, Durga or Kali
  • Unfaithful consorts of Shiva
  • Use of sexual motifs
  • Durga
  • Conquering poses
  • Overcame buffalo-headed demon
  • One of ten arms hold trident and other war
  • Given blood as worship items

The Goddesses
  • Kali goddess of violence
  • Directed toward evil demons
  • Black Gruesome look
  • Necklace of sculls
  • Belt of severed arms
  • Given blood in worship
  • Stands on a tiger or Shivas body
  • Thagis cult of Kali that practiced human
  • Outlawed by Britain in late 19th century
  • Tantrism sexual emulation to release energy

Elements of Hinduism Beliefs
  • Transmigration of the soul
  • Samasara (reincarnation) lit. means wandering,
    chains of finite existence that holds the soul to
    this world
  • An individual is transmigrated from one existence
    to another according to ones behavior (karma) or
    merit or lack of merit
  • Not mentioned in Vedas
  • Important source for caste system - hope
  • Possibly assimilated from indigenous people
  • Negative being in world is suffering

Elements of Hinduism Beliefs
  • Karma cause and effect
  • A persons life consists of actions both good and
    bad (not sin or judgment)
  • The amount of merit or demerit to be worked off
    will determine ones next status in life
  • Could be a Brahman, an outcast, a woman, a dog, a
    plant, or a worm eaten by a fish
  • Explains differences in human life
  • Good or bad health or poverty and riches due to

Elements of Hinduism Beliefs
  • Highest goal of Hinduism
  • Find release from the samasara cycle
  • Moksha release from action and rebirth
  • Find nirvana by knowledge of the supreme Truth of
    the brahma-atman the soul is released from the
    life cycle
  • Found by very few
  • As rivers flow and disappear at last
  • In oceans waters, name and form renouncing
  • So too the sage, released from name and form,
  • Is merged in the divine and ultimate existence.
  • Mundaka Upanishad

Hindu Worship
  • Temple (jagopuram)
  • Usually dedicated to one god
  • Has images to other god in separate rooms or
    inset in walls
  • Gods live in their statues so statues must be
    washed and cared for
  • Daily worship person removes shoes and places
    money before god, can chant, color mark on head
  • Temple service (puja sacrifice)
  • Procession of gods with music, ring bells, no

Hindu Worship
  • Daily Worship
  • Dependent on caste
  • High caste Hindu men pray three times a day,
    sunrise most practiced
  • Household that house a god must perform puja,
    washed, dressed, decorated, and given food at
    every meal.
  • Puja homage, showing respect to the deities
  • Usually performed by father of the household
    (wealthy families have their own Brahmin priest)

Life Cycle Rites of Passage
  • Code of Manu divides life into four stages
  • First is student
  • Rituals regarding birth
  • Ritual to protect unborn from evil spirits
  • Rituals to help new child to be a boy
  • Rituals for god to protect child, goddess
  • Ritual for males of Twice Born castes
  • Cord over shoulder, renewed once a year
  • Begins in theory to study Vedas
  • Marriage (2nd stage with raising children)
  • Arranged and within caste
  • Walk around sacred fire
  • Red dot on wifes forehead to indicate married

Life Cycle Rites of Passage
  • Withdrawal from earning living and devoting more
    time to prayer, meditation, and worship for the
    man 3rd stage
  • Partial renunciation and withdrawal
  • Complete renunciation (4th stage)
  • Pursuit of the Vedantic ideal of seeking moksha
  • Withdraw from family and live alone to achieve
    final goal
  • Funeral rites
  • Body bathed with water, milk, honey coconut
  • Burned on funeral pyre
  • Sati practiced primarily in past

Festivals Special Days
  • Each goddess has a day of descent or birthday
    which celebrated in the temple
  • Holi celebration of Krishna
  • Many festivals associated with various gods and
  • New Years
  • Homes are decorated with mango leaves
  • Women draw auspicious diagrams on temple floor
  • Festival of Lights
  • Autumn to honor goddess Lakshmi usually
  • Lights to guide goddess to bring prosperity

Hindu Worldview
Universal Reality
Material World
Christianity Hinduism
  • Both have a sense of transcendence
  • Illusionary satisfaction (pleasure does not bring
  • Bhakti worship and devotion to a supernatural
  • Self-knowledge know who we are
  • Karma as sowing what you reap
  • Self-denial
  • Sacrifice

Important Terms in Hinduism
  • Sacred Cow honored by Krishna
  • Indian scriptures tell us that the cow is a gift
    of the gods to the human race. It is a celestial
    being born of the churning of the cosmic ocean.
    Guias the cow is called in Hindi, is symbolic of
    Earth itself . It follows that the cow represents
    the Divine Mother that sustains all human beings
    and brings them up as her very own offspring. . .
    Hence to take care of this innocent and
    self-sacrificing animal is a matter of virtue for
    Hindus who identify the act ad dharma or moral

Important Terms in Hinduism
  • Ahimsa doing no injury by word or deed
  • Atman the soul
  • Avataras alternate forms that gods take
  • Bhakti devotion
  • Brahma the personal creator god
  • Brahman the impersonal pantheistic god
  • Brahmanas priestly commentaries on the Vedas
  • Brahmin the priest priestly caste
  • Sacred Cow honored by Krishna

Important Terms in Hinduism
  • Dharma duty everyone in whatever place in life
    has his/her dharma
  • Karma cause and effect
  • Maya conscious illusion making power
  • Moksha transcend samsara get off the wheel of
    rebirth and redeath
  • Om primordial sound vibration
  • Pandit One from the hereditary priestly caste
    learned in the ancient texts, customs, and
  • Puja Homage, showing respect to the deities

Important Terms in Hinduism
  • Puranas Mythological texts of ancient times and
    popular devotional texts
  • Rishi (seer) A poetic sage and authors of Vedic
  • Samsara life cycle rebirth redeath
  • Shakti consort of god
  • Tilaka decoration on the forehead to indicate
    god worshipped Sanskrit Ancient language of the
    Hindu scripture
  • Yoga (yoking to divinity) techniques for
    transforming consciousness and attaining
  • Sudra Serfs, low caste
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