Presentation on theme: " Hindu tradition is the world’s oldest living tradition dating back to more than 2000 BCE. As its name suggests, Hindu tradition developed and flourishes."— Presentation transcript:
Hindu tradition is the world’s oldest living tradition dating back to more than 2000 BCE. As its name suggests, Hindu tradition developed and flourishes mainly in India. It’s a vast and profound tradition that has no known founder or seminal event. It is not based on the words of any inspired man or woman but on the eternal laws of nature. Overview INDIA
It is practiced by more then 1 billion people. It is estimated that 1 in 6 persons on earth is a Hindu. It is the 3rd largest faith/tradition, next only to Christianity and Islam. 80% of all Indians are Hindu. There are more than 60 million Hindus living outside India today and more than 1 million in North America. Hindu Population
Concept of God According to Hindu Tradition Hindus believe in One Supreme Being Brahman both in its formless and manifest aspects God is meant not only to be worshipped but to be experienced Images of deities are temporarily brought to life, so the divine can be worshipped in them. There is no Devil in Hindu tradition. Ignorance of one’s spiritual nature is the cause of evil.
That Hindus “worship idols” is the single most common misconception of Hindu tradition. Hindus worship deities or murtis which are images (tools) that help to connect to God They fully understand that the Divine itself is much greater than the physical image in the temple. Hindu Worship
Temples are the community places of worship Worship is called puja Most Hindus have an altar in their homes in which they perform a puja. Temples and Pujas
Vedas are ancient scriptures composed over 6000 years ago. They are massive holy books for Hindus. They were organized by Vysa in 1500 BCE into 4 main books. Hindus regard the Vedas as not having been created or invented by anyone, but instead as the repositories of eternal wisdom. The Vedas: The Holy Scriptures (Shrutis)
The Four Vedas The best known and oldest is the Rig Veda which contains 1017 hymns, prayers, poems, riddles and legends. The Sama Veda has melodies that can be sung. The Yajur Veda had hymns that are used to certain sacrifices. The last one, the Atharva Veda has hymns for attracting love, subduing enemies, regulating weather and curing sickness. It is the most practical of the 4 Vedas.
The Upanishads (Shrutis) The Upanishads are philosophical and spiritual analyses and meditations on the Vedas The Upanishads are in the format of conversations and debates between sages, teachers There are many Upanishads, eleven of which are famous: Katha, Isha, Kena, Mundaka, Shvetasvatara, Prashna, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya. Upanishadic truth is “you are that which you are seeking”
The Epics & Puranas (Smrits) The Puranas are the layperson’s Vedas. The Mahabharata is the story of the battle between light and darkness. The Ramayana is the story of the perfect Hindu man and woman.
The Bhagavad-Gita is the most popular scripture The Bhagavad-Gita
Gandhi on the Bhagavad-Gita “When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”
Henry David Thoreau on the Bhagavad-Gita “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”
Purusharthas: The Four Human Pursuits Artha is material success, in all of its forms. Kama is pleasure. Dharma means good conduct and correct action. Moksha means liberation. This is achieved by gaining the ultimate knowledge that the individual is not separate from Ishvara (god).
Varnashrama: The Caste System The caste system (varnashrama) in India is and has been in the recent past a tool of oppression and abuse. However, the modern caste system does not follow (though it is descended from) the system of varnashrama originally laid out in the Vedas. This original vision was not inegalitarian, nor was it prescriptive. Rather, it was and is a description of roles that individuals play in society. According to the Vedas, these roles should ideally be determined by talent and self-determination rather than by birth and are all necessary and deserving of respect.
The Four Castes Brahmins: the intellectual, the teacher or the priest: people with a high level of education and wisdom, who were fit to guide and teach others. Kshatriyas: one involved in either governance or military activities, either a ruler or a warrior. Vaishyas were merchants or entrepreneurs, anyone involved in trade or running a business. Shudras: artisans, craftspeople, field laborers, cooks, servants-anything that involved manual labor.
Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma Only a portion of our total karma manifests in any one lifetime Our present thoughts and actions effect the course of our destiny Hindus use methods like meditation and pilgrimage to clean up their bad karma Our karma leads us to heavenly or hellish after- deaths Heaven and hell are temporary; sooner or later we are reborn Karma and Reincarnation
Om, as a word and a symbol, represents everything in the entire universe. Om is considered auspicious and is chanted at the beginning of all hymns, prayers and rituals.
Ahmisa: Non-Injury and its relation to vegetarianism Vegetarianism is simply an extension of the Hindu concept of ahimsa, or non-injury. Ahimsa is an important Hindu principle and its application involves seeking to cause as little injury to all beings as possible. This is the main reason most Hindus do not eat beef and most other meat.
Tulsi Plant Hindus believe that trees & plants are scared. Certain plants, like tulsi, have tremendous beneficial qualities, including medicinal properties, and are worshiped even today.
Summary Hindus believe that God is one. Men call Him by many names (Rig-Veda).Hindus believe that God is one. Men call Him by many names (Rig-Veda). Ahimsa- Non injury is the most important valueAhimsa- Non injury is the most important value Moksha or liberation is the goal of life.Moksha or liberation is the goal of life. Vedas are sacred scripturesVedas are sacred scriptures