Presentation on theme: "Hinduism Comparative World Religions March 2006. Hinduism - Overview Beliefs, practices, and socio-religious institutions of the Hindus Indian civilization."— Presentation transcript:
Hinduism Comparative World Religions March 2006
Hinduism - Overview Beliefs, practices, and socio-religious institutions of the Hindus Indian civilization over last 2000 years Evolved from Vedism
Hinduism - Overview Estimated that Hindus makeup 13% of world’s population 700 million Hindus, most live in India 82% of the population of India More than 1 million Hindus in North America
Hinduism among other nations Country Percent Hindu Bangladesh11 Bhutan25 Fiji41 Mauritius50 Nepal 89 – state religion Sri Lanka 15 Surinam27 Trinidad25
Hinduism – Overview Literary, artistic, social, economic, and religious aspects Composite of diverse doctrines, cults, and ways of life
General Nature Worship of local deities does not exclude belief in pan-Indian higher gods Does not exclude belief in a single high God Tolerant – allows others to believe what suits them best.
General Nature Hindus distinguish by practice rather than doctrine Both a civilization & a congregation of religions
Common Characteristics of Hindu belief Authority of the Veda and the Brahman class
Veda & Brahman class Veda – most ancient body of religious literature Reveals fundamental truth Brahmans are the priestly class Possess spiritual supremacy
Doctrine of atman-brahman Uncreated, eternal, infinite, transcendent, and all-embracing principal Comprising in itself being and nonbeing Sole reality Ultimate cause & foundation Ultimate reality is called Braham Atmam (self) is extended from and one with Brahman
Brahman Brahman is in all things, the ultimate reality Brahman is the Self (atman) of living beings Brahman is the creator, preserver, or transformer and reabsorber of everything May be thought of as a high God (Vishnu or Siva)
Ahimsa: non-injury Absence of the desire to harm Keystone of ethics Combined with idea of vegetarianism Growing importance of veneration and protection of the cow
Ahimsa Neither ahimsa or vegetarianism ever found full acceptance Many Hindus eat beef Nonviolence has never been a notable characteristic of Hindu behavior
Goals in Life You can have what you want But: What do you want?
Goals - Four Aims of Humans 1. Pleasure 2. Worldly Success 3. Path of Renunciation - Duty 4. Something more
Pleasure If pleasure is what we want do not suppress the desire Seek it intelligently and morally Eventually realize that pleasure is not all Pleasure is too trivial to satisfy one’s total nature
Worldly Success Wealth/Power/Fame All 3 are exclusive thus competitive Do not multiply when shared Centers meaning in the self which is too small for perpetual enthusiasm Achievements are not eternal
Path of Renunciation/Duty Life holds more than what it is now offering Serve others - the community Brings respect and gratitude from peers In the end insufficient
What else? Back to what do we really want?
What we really want 1. Being 2. We want to know 3. People seek joy 4. We want these infinitely
We already possess them! Underlying human self is the Atman Reservoir of being that never dies Atman is no less than Brahman the Godhead Eternal is buried under an almost impenetrable mass of distractions Realization of total being cannot be described
Transmigration and Karma Reincarnation Karma – previous acts that determines the conditions into which a being is reborn Moral equivalent of natural law of cause and effect We reap what we sow.
Transmigration and Karma Reincarnation – actions from previous life follows us into this life Samsara – whole process of rebirths Ever revolving wheel of life, death, and rebirth Moksha – final freedom from Karma Realizing the individual self is an illusion and only undifferentiated oneness with Brahman is real
Transmigration and Karma Goal is for individual self to lose its separate identity in the universal Self.
Religions that sprang from Hinduism Jainism Buddhism Sikhism
Summary Hinduism God Impersonal force of existence, beyond all distinctions Humanity Continuous in the sense of being extended from the Being of God Humanity’s Problem Ignorance The Solution Liberation from illusion and ignorance The Means Striving to detach oneself from the separated ego and seeking to be aware of one’s unity with the divine through self effort The Outcome Merge into Oneness; the individual disappears