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HINDUISM One of the OLDEST and most COMPLEX religions

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Presentation on theme: "HINDUISM One of the OLDEST and most COMPLEX religions"— Presentation transcript:


2 HINDUISM One of the OLDEST and most COMPLEX religions
About 900 million followers worldwide Dominant Religion of INDIA and Nepal Has no single FOUNDER or HOLY BOOK (there are many holy scriptures including the VEDAS and UPANISHADS)

3 GANGES RIVER Most SACRED river to the Hindus -Each year thousands make pilgrimages to the Ganges They bathe in the water which they believe will cleanse and purify them The sick believe the Ganges will cure their ailments One of the 5 most polluted rivers in the world


5 GANGES RIVER When they die Hindus have their bodies CREMATED
It is considered the highest honor to have your ashes spread in the Ganges – no where more so than in VARANASI EXAMPLE – George Harrison of the Beatles had his ashes scattered in the Ganges when he died in 2001

6 HINDUISM Hindus believe in one unifying spirit – BRAHMAN
Hindus consider Brahman too complex to understand so they worship GODS that give a more concrete form to Brahman There are MANY Gods in the Hindu religion – 3 of the most important are: 1. BRAHMA: Creator of Life 2. VISHNU: Preserver of Life 3. SHIVA: Destroyer of Life

7 Hindu Gods

Achieving union with BRAHMAN as people free themselves from selfish desires & suffering is known as MOKSHA This does NOT occur in one lifetime – Hindus believe in: REINCARNATION REINCARNATION – rebirth of the soul in a new body Reincarnation {known as Punarjanma} is one of the core beliefs of Hinduism that is generally accepted by all who practice Reincarnation is the natural process of birth, death and rebirth


10 KARMA People’s actions in this life determine their level or caste in the next life. This is known as Karma. Karma consists of all the deeds of a person’s life that affect his/her existence in the next life. By living in a right way, a person will be reborn at a higher level. Evil deeds cause people to be born into a lower level.

11 KARMA KARMA refers to the totality of our actions and their reactions in this and previous lives - all of which determines our future Karma is not PUNISHMENT or retribution but simply a CONSEQUENCE of natural acts Karma is not FATE: humans act with free will creating their own DESTINY -According to the VEDAS -if one sows goodness, one will reap goodness; if one sows evil, one will reap evil DHARMA is the law that upholds the order of the universe


13 CASTE SYSTEM Early in Indian History people were organized into four groups based on occupation: 1) BRAHMINS (priests) 2) WARRIORS 3) traders and landowners 4) peasants or traders The group that an Indian belonged to determined his or her role in society – these groups became known as CASTES

14 CASTE SYSTEM As time went on- the four basic castes grew more complex—with hundreds of subdivisions Communities developed a system in which people were born into their caste Their caste membership determined the work they did, whom they could marry, and the people with whom they could eat Cleanliness and purity became all-important Those considered the most impure because of their work (butchers, gravediggers, collectors of trash) lived outside the caste structure - they were known as “untouchables”



17 BUDDHISM Has over 360 MILLION followers
Most live in: SRI LANKA, ASIA {Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam} and SE ASIA {China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan} Buddhism consists of many different SECTS or branches the 2 main branches are: Theravada and Mahayana A religious sect is a group within a religion that has one or more unique beliefs There is no belief in a PERSONAL God - It is not centered on the relationship between humanity and God

563B.C. – Born into a noble family in NEPAL Led a PRIVILEGED & SHELTERED Life He left his home in search of ENLIGHTENMENT {wisdom} He tried to find the cause of SUFFERING He was convinced that suffering was caused by materialistic desires

19 SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA While meditating beneath a tree he finally understood how to be free from suffering and achieve salvation Following this epiphany Gautama was known as the Buddha meaning the “ENLIGHTENED ONE" The Buddha spent the remainder of his life journeying about India teaching others what he had come to understand


21 FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS Central Philosophy of Buddhism –Four Noble Truths:
1. Life is filled with SUFFERING 2. Suffering caused by DESIRE 3. END suffering by ending desire 4. The way to end desire – follow EIGHTFOLD PATH




25 BUDDHISM Following the Eightfold Path – find PEACE/HARMONY
Ultimate Goal – spiritual happiness – release from endless cycle of DEATH and REBIRTH {Reincarnation} This state was known as: NIRVANA Buddhists do not have a belief in a supreme being {GOD} Goal of life is to reach NIRVANA

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