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Hinduism through Sacred Texts and Divinities. Hinduism Contrary to much of others religions, Hinduism does not have a founder but only Fathers and there.

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Presentation on theme: "Hinduism through Sacred Texts and Divinities. Hinduism Contrary to much of others religions, Hinduism does not have a founder but only Fathers and there."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hinduism through Sacred Texts and Divinities

2 Hinduism Contrary to much of others religions, Hinduism does not have a founder but only Fathers and there is no Revelation. It does not have either any authority which would be charged to define an orthodoxy, but it takes its origins in sacred texts. One cannot convert to Hinduism and the Hindus never carried out "holy war". The most famous sacred places are on the river Ganges with the purifying baths rituals that are practiced there.

3 The Hindu philosophy Philosophy based on the research of perfection, purity and absolute Indian society divided into castes: the fact of being part of a caste depends on the acts of the former life (Karma). In the rebirths cycle (Samsara), every Hindu occupies a place in the social or cosmic scale which is linked to the actions of its preceding existence. Hinduism implies the respect of the cosmic and social order of the world (Dharma), but also a personal aiming towards the perfection and the absolute. Purity is not reserved to the only Brahman. Anyone can remain pure by the research of the knowledge, the asceticism, the refusal of the violent activity and the vegetarianism, and some practice, including sexual one (Kama Sutra).

4 Sacred texts The oldest sacred texts of the Hinduism are VEDA (7200 BC), containing the Rig-Veda dedicated to nature bounty and the worship of cosmic elements. Then the most important sacred texts are the MAHABHARATA and RAMAYANA (4 th century BC - 4 th century AD): epic poems reporting the war between the Kaurava and the Pandava. The Bhagavad Gita, part of the Mahabharata, delivers the fundamental lesson of Hindu spirituality: divinity is present everywhere, even in man. PURANAS are the most recent sacred texts (4 th century AD)

5 Mahabharata Mahabharata means in Sanskrit "great epic of Bharata" in northern India War between Kaurava (symbolizing the forces of the Evil) and Pandava (symbolizing the forces of the Good), lasting 18 days, after 3 months of preparations Bhagavad Gita (means in Sanskrit "the song of the Happy Lord"), book VI of Mahabharata, is a dialogue between Arjuna (prince Pandava) and Krishna, incarnation of Vishnu and driver of chariot. It shows that Universal God is in all creatures, and that the man is God Himself.

6 Ramayana Ramayana is the “epic of Rama”, 7 th incarnation of Vishnu. Drawn aside of the throne of his father, Rama must be exiled, with his partner Sita. But she is captured by the demon Ravana. With the assistance of an army of monkeys and Hanuman. Rama, after a long research, delivers Sita. Rama finds its throne and controls with wisdom. Not a sacred text initially, but highly symbolic and spiritual, Ramayana recitation is regarded as act of devotion. Like Mahabharata, Ramayana exerted a very great influence on the literature and arts of India.

7 Gods in sacred texts VEDA - early Vedic gods triad (Cosmic Trinity): Agni (fire), Vayu (air), Surya (energy/life) MAHABHARATA and RAMAYANA: the popular heroes of the Vedic age were transformed into Gods PURANA - post-Vedic gods or Puranic gods: the gods assumed a substantial shape and individual character and the concept of TRIMURTI emerged and gained importance over the centuries to traduce the three characteristics of GOD: Generator, Operator and Destructor => basis of the Hindu Trinity

8 Hindu Pantheon The Hindu Pantheon was organized around a trinity including –Brahma, the Creator of the universe, –Vishnu, who ensure the conservation of it, –Shiva, who is the principle of destruction. Each male God of the Trinity has is female Goddess as a fundamental complement. Each Hindu has a personal veneration for one of the three. These three gods are surrounded of many others divinities. The Hindu Pantheon is immense with about 33 millions of Gods and avatars of the Trimurti.

9 The Creator Brahma was born of the golden egg. When the egg divided into two parts, heaven and earth were formed. Between these was the sky. A day of Brahma is called as Kalpa and is equivalent to 4320 million years. He is the uncreated creator, the self-born first person and his wife Saraswati is born from his body and all creatures of the world resulted from their union. From Brahma's body also came the four Hindu castes: the BRAHMANS or priests from his mouth; the KSHATRIYAS or soldiers from his arms; the VAISHYAS or traders from his thigh and the SUDRA or menial workers from his feet.

10 Brahma and Saraswati Brahma and his wife Saraswati - the goddess of arts - are both associated with sculpture, architecture, painting, writing, drama, dance and music They are worshipped by those seeking spiritual and intellectual advancement. Saraswati is represented as an extremely beautiful woman with milk-white complexion, sitting on a lotus and playing on a lute. And she is credited with the invention of writing.

11 The Preserver His presence is linked to fire on earth, to lightning in the atmosphere and to the sun in the sky. He is in control of all universe phenomena and has an undisputed power over others. Vishnu is the ultimate arbitrator of disputes, between human beings and celestial beings. Extremely gentle of nature and personality, he symbolizes tolerance and patience. Vishnu looks after the well being of all creations and preserve the universe. He has taken various incarnations for this purpose. And one of his most famous incarnation is the charming god Krishna.

12 Vishnu and Lakshmi Vishnu has a blue body, with four hands. He rests on the king serpent Shesh Nag. His wife Lakshmi, is the goddess of wealth and well-being. She is also personified as the goddess of loveliness, grace and charm. She is depicted seated on a lotus flower. In her pictures gold coins are dropping down from the her hands. Conch shell Disc Lotus Mace Gold coins

13 The Destroyer Shiva represents male energy and reproduction. His wife Shakti is the female energy. The union of male and female energies is represented by the union of LINGA (phallic symbol) with the YONI (female organ). His two sons are Kartikeya, the lord of war and Ganesha, the elephant god remover of all obstacles. He lives in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. His vehicle is the white bull Nandi and he is the lord of all animals. The holy river Ganga spouts out of its hair. As NATARAJA, he is the lord of dances. Shiva's anger is legendary and his power of destruction regenerates.

14 Shiva and Shakti Shakti, the wife of Shiva, is perhaps the most important goddess of Hindus. She is a multi-dimensional goddess with many names and personalities. –In her gentle form she is PARVATI (the mountain-girl), UMA (the light), GAURI (the yellow-complexioned beauty), HIMAVATI (daughter of Himalaya), JAGATMATA (mother of the world) and BHAVANI (the goddess of the universe). –In her terrible form she is DURGA (the inaccessible), KALI (the dark), CHANDI (the fearful one) and BHAIRAVI (the terrible). –All these personalities are included under the name of DEVI or MAHADEVI (the great goddess).

15 Others Gods The transition from Vedic gods to the Puranic gods lead to the personification of nature and the legendary heroes of the Puranas were elevated to the status of gods. And today, these gods can be individually worshipped or are seen in temples beside the main three gods. HANUMAN - the monkey god - devotee of Rama INDRA – the god of the hearth YAMA - the god of death GANGA - personification of the holy river VARUNA - the god of oceans KAMADEVA - god of love …

16 Kama Deva Kama, the god of love, is very fair and handsome. He carries a bow made of sugar cane. Rati (passion) his wife and his friend Vasanta (spring), who selects for him the arrows to be used on the current victim accompanies him. Surrounded by beautiful nymphs, he loves to wander around especially in springtime, loosing his arrows indiscriminately, but with a preference for innocent girls, married women and ascetic sages…

17 Mahabharata (plus) Mahabharata (in Sanskrit "great epic of Bharata" in northern India), the longest of the epic poems of India, divided into 18 books. It is composed of approximately verses, and is attributed to Vyasa. The central subject of Mahabharata is the war between Kaurava (symbolizing the forces of the Evil) and Pandava (symbolizing the forces of the Good), lasting 18 days, after 3 months of preparations. Dharmaraja, the elder one of Pandava, started to play the dice, and a day it loses their kingdom during a part; Pandava wish to reconquer it. Mahabharata was transmitted orally at the time of festivals, the manuscripts which were written thereafter, between the 4th century BC and 4th century AD, are the subject of alternatives according to the authors and areas' of India. The recitation and the hearing of Mahabharata constitute a Hindu rite of a very high value. Still today, the Indian literature and theatre is inspired from its multiple topics. Bhagavad Gita (which wants to say "the song of the Happy Lord" in Sanskrit), book VI of Mahabharata, is a Sanskrit symbolic poem of 700 verses (shlokas) divided into 18 songs, going back to approximately years. It is a dialogue between Arjuna, prince Pandava and remarkable archer, and Krishna, driver of tank. this last is a representative of God and in fact God Himself. It shows that Universal God is in all creatures, and that the man is God Himself. He says it in this famous formula: "having impregnated the whole universe of a piece of Myself, I remain". Bhagavad Gita delivers the fundamental lesson of Hindu spirituality; it is considered by the whole of the Hinduism currents as the synthesis of the wisdom of the older sacred texts. Large Western thinkers wrote that it was "the largest book which left the hand of the man".


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