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Generally regarded as world’s oldest religion 3 rd largest religion approx. 15% of World pop. – – Majority live in India (950,000,000) – – Also, Nepal,

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Presentation on theme: "Generally regarded as world’s oldest religion 3 rd largest religion approx. 15% of World pop. – – Majority live in India (950,000,000) – – Also, Nepal,"— Presentation transcript:



3 Generally regarded as world’s oldest religion 3 rd largest religion approx. 15% of World pop. – – Majority live in India (950,000,000) – – Also, Nepal, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Tamil population of Sri Lanka Hindu comes from a Persian geographical term Hindus – – (Indus valley river basin) Pakistan

4 What makes Hinduism Unique? No Individual Founder – – Not founded by one particular individual – – Sacred history is about the ‘foundations’ of the religion not the founder – – Evolved over thousands of years – – Absorbed and assimilated many cultural ideas, rituals, practices and beliefs over 1000’s of years Polytheistic? Reincarnation Caste System

5 Indus Valley Civilization aka Harappan Civilization Modern day Pakistan Located 1,00 km along the Indus river 3000 – 2500 BCE one of the world's earliest urban civilizations – – Comparable to: ancient Egyptians - Nile Sumer - Tigris and Euphrates Agriculturalists (Planters)



8 Indus Valley Civilization - Harappan Civilization Early Town Planners Drainage and sewers Evidence of Religious worship Reverence for water – bathrooms in homes and public bathing areas in city centers – – Purifying elements of water Houses for worship Stone sculptures and amulets – – early representations of Hindu Gods   Mother goddess Parvati Fire altars & animal sacrifices – – Emphasis on mother earth

9 Great Bath – Mohenjo-Daro

10 Aryans ‘Noble ones’ Sanskrit - ārya meaning ‘Noble' 2000 – 500 BC Arrived from central Asia and eastern Europe Migrated to area around Ganges Pastoralists – – Domesticated animals

11 Aryans ‘Noble ones’ Tribal headed by chiefs – – Society divided into 3 classes (warriors, priests and herders) – – Early caste system Spoke early form of Sanskrit Created poems, ritual and philosophical texts – – Vedas (early sacred writings) – – Rig Veda Earliest record of sacred knowledge – – Focus on gods of sacrifice and praise – – Agni - God of fire – – Varuna – God of the sky – – Indra – God of the atmosphere – – Link between Gods and Humans – – Atman – human soul breath of human life

12 Categorizing the Hindu belief system can be confusing: POLYTHEISTIC = Worship of multiple deities MONOTHEISTIC = One supreme God: principle of Brahman - all reality is a unity PANTHEISTIC – All reality is connected and share a common essence Water analogy TRINITARIAN = Brahman is visualized as a trinity – –one God with three persons: Brahma (the Creator) Vishnu (the Preserver Shiva (the Destroyer) – –Similar to Christianity Categorizing Hinduism

13 Part 2

14 Hindu Concept of God The ultimate aim of all Hindu thought is to attain the universal soul or divine wisdom called: BRAHMAN Understood through outward contemplation of the universe known in two ways:

15 Hindu Concept of God Nirguna - Without qualities – –everything, everywhere, infinite and eternal – –Impersonal – –The ultimate soul of the universe – –discoverable through contemplation beyond the mind Saguna - With qualities – –Creative power of the universe – –personal – –Foundation of the phenomenal world (Reality) – –Can be worshipped as a deity or deities

16 Hindu Concept of God ATMAN – Eternal self The ultimate reality within us The Human soul, eternal and immortal Understood through inward contemplation of the self (yoga, prayer) Goal of Hindu’s is to reunite the atman with the Brahman All reality is one BRAHMAN is ATMAN ie water analogy

17 Creator Destroyer Preserver








25 Part 3

26 Key Concepts MOKSHA – "to let loose, let go" Refers to liberation or release – –Type of Salvation – –It is the liberation from Samsara the uniting of ATMAN (human soul) with BRAHMAN (ultimate soul) – –is ultimate goal of a Hindu

27 Key Concepts SAMSARA - "continuous flow" - endless cycle of reincarnation – –Wheel of rebirth – –Soul is recycled until Moksha is achieved – –Idea is to move higher towards salvation

28 Key Concepts KARMA - concept of "action" or "deed" – –totality of one’s action in life – –Basic belief of cause and effect (all actions have a consequence) – –Determines form you will take when you are reborn – –Good actions = good karma and higher station in next life “bad things happen to good people because they deserve it”

29 Key Concepts DHARMA - that which upholds, supports or maintains natural law code of moral and righteous duty – –Personal responsibilities of the individual – –One’s actions are essential to the welfare of individual, family and society – –focus on helping others not personal cravings – –2 types Sanatana– universal values applied to all people regardless of religion, race, age, sex etc Varnashrama - specific duties of people with respect to religion, race, age, sex and class (Caste)

30 Sources Of Guidance

31 Divine revelation – sacred scriptures Sacred Tradition – passed on culturally Leaders - practices / examples and role modeling of wise people in society Conscience – individual thoughts / beliefs

32 Dharma  Karma  Samsara  Moksha

33 Reincarnation derives from Latin, incarnare "to make flesh" literally meaning, "entering the flesh again“ religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life's actions Often, this is a new human if the individual has accumulated a bad balance of Karma, they may return as an animal

34 Ahimsa - Doctrine or philosophy of non-violence towards all living creatures Jains Hindus

35 Part 4

36 ‘Accordingly, those who are of pleasant conduct – the prospect is, indeed, that they will enter a pleasant womb. Either the womb of a brahmin, or the womb of a kshatriya, or the womb of a Vaishya. But those who are of stinking conduct here – the prospect is, indeed, that they will enter a stinking womb, either the womb of a dog, or the womb of a swine, or the womb of an outcaste.’ Chandogya Upanishad 5.10.7)

37 Caste System Foundation Merger and implementation of 2 social structures 1. Varna = ‘Class’ Caste = ‘Colour’ Indigenous inhabitants Indus Valley of people were darker in colour – –Aryans lighter skinned - Central Asia and Europe - Aryans thought it important to prevent intermingling

38 Caste System 2. Jati = ‘Birth’ – –Each Hindu belonged to one of the over 2000 Jatis (communities) – –The Jatis were grouped into 4 Varna (social classes) – –Characterized by exclusivity in Marriage - normally took place within the same Jat Eating Occupation - A person's Jat determined the range of jobs or professions from which they could choose.

39 Caste System Foundation Based on Hereditary – –People once were able to move from one Varna to another – –500 BCE (approx) - system became rigid a person was born into the Varna and caste of their parents, and died in the same group – –Karma determines your caste identity KARMA  CASTE  DHARMA

40 Rulers and military Farmers, landlords, & merchants Peasants, servants, in non - polluting jobs Outcastes, Harijan - Children of God Priests, scholars and academics

41 The Caste System today – –Caste system was abolished by law in 1949 Work of Gandhi – –Still has power in rural settings and upper castes Called them Harijan “God’s children” Government initiative / programs to promote economic & social rights Illegal under the Indian constitution   Kumari Mayawati   Indian politician - former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh   Headed the Bahujan Samaj Party, which represents the Bahujans or Dalits   Sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the fourth time in 2007   Defeated in the state elections in 2012

42 Part 5



45 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born - October 2, 1869 – Porbandar, Gujarat Often called – –Gandhiji - ‘ji’ = sir (title of respect) – –Mahatma – ‘Great Soul’ – –Bapu ‘father’ One of the most influential figures in the 20th century – –Well respected Hindu spiritual and political leader – –Fought discrimination against Indians and Blacks in South Africa – –Lead and negotiated independence of India in 1947 Led to Partition of India and Pakistan – –Opposed social injustice of Hindu society (ie. untouchables) Led to caste system being outlawed

46 Developed a method of political action called Satyagraha based on: – –Satya - truth – –Dharma - duty – –Moksha - spiritual liberation – –Ahimsa - non-violence prepared to die but not kill for these principles Promoted - nonviolence / noncooperation / civil disobedience – –To ultimately achieve change – –Used fasting as a means to do this Tolerant of all religions – –Used Bhagavad-Gita, New Testament and Koran to fight discrimination Religious principles

47 Assassinated in 1948 – –Hindu fanatic, Nathuram Godse who opposed his program of tolerance for all creeds and religion was against Gandhi's personal teachings of extreme nonviolence Saw Gandhi's repeated tactic of "fasting unto death" on many issues as sabotage against the interests of Hindus Felt Gandhi was giving into Muslim interests in ways that seemed unfair and anti-national blamed Gandhi for the Partition of India

48 Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough knighted in 1976 Stars Sir Ben Kingsley born Krishna Pandit Bhanji Won 8 Academy Awards including: Best Picture Best Director Best Actor in a leading role Cinematography 300,000 extras hired for the funeral scene Kingsley was thought to be Gandhi’s ghost by locals Gandhi -1982

49 Characters - political Kinnoch – –An Indian, a Muslim, and a wealthy businessman – –supported Gandhi’s efforts to gain equality for Indians living in South Africa Pandit Nehru – –friend of Gandhi’s – –an important leader of the independence movement in India – –first prime minister of India after independence Vallabhbhai Patel – –Early supporter of Gandhi – –Became deputy Prime minister under Nehru Mohamed Al Jinnah – –leader of the Muslims in India, joined Gandhi in supporting “home rule,” or independence from Great Britain – –first president of Pakistan Jan Christian Smuts – –Minister for Indian Affairs in South Africa – –later became President

50 Characters - family and friends Charlie Andrews – –Englishman and Christian minister – –supported Gandhi in South Africa and later in India Walker – –American reporter for the New York Times Kasturba Gandhi – –wife and life-long companion; – –they were married at the age of 13 Mirabhen – –came to India to join Gandhi’s movement – –became like a daughter to Gandhi Margaret Bourke-White – –famous American photographer – –documented Gandhi’s later life in photographs.

51 Hindu Festivals Holi Diwali

52 “Place this salt in the water. In the morning come unto me.” Then he did so. Then he said to him: “That salt you placed in the water last evening — please bring it hither.” Then he grasped for it, but did not find it, as it was completely dissolved. “Please take a sip of it from this end,” said he. “How is it?” “Salt.” “Take a sip from the middle,” said he. “How is it?” “Salt.” “Take a sip from that end,” said he. “How is it?” “Salt.” “Set it aside. Then come unto me.” He did so, saying, “It is always the same.” Then he said to him: “Verily, indeed my dear, you do not perceive Being here. Verily, indeed, it is here. That which is the finest essence — this whole world has that as its self. That is Reality. That is Atman. That art thou, Svetaketu.” source: A Source Book in Indian Philosophy edited by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore

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