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Roots of Hinduism and Buddhism

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1 Roots of Hinduism and Buddhism
Chapter 3 section 2

2 Hinduism Develops over Centuries
Hinduism is a collection of religious beliefs that developed slowly over a long period of time. Some parts of the religion have traces in Ancient times. Today, just as in ancient times, the bride and groom marry in the presence of the sacred fire.

3 Hinduism, unlike Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam, cannot be traced back to one founder with a single set of ideas.

4 Hindus see religion as a way of liberating the soul from the illusions, disappointments, and mistakes of everyday existence.

5 The Upanishads are written as dialogues, or discussions, between a student and a teacher.
These were some of the questions they discussed: - What was the nature of reality? - What is morality? - Is there eternal life? - What is the soul?

6 In the course of the dialogues, the two explore how a person can achieve liberation from desire and suffering. This is described as moksha, a state of perfect understanding of all things.

7 The teacher distinguishes between atman, the individual soul of a living being, and Brahman, the world soul that contains and unites all atmans.

8 The interconnectedness of life is a basic concept of all Indian religions.

9 By the process of reincarnation (rebirth), an individual soul or spirit is born again and again until moksha is achieved.

10 Karma A soul’s karma, good or bad deeds, follows from one reincarnation to another. Karma influences specific life circumstances, such as the caste one is born into, one’s state of health, wealth or poverty, and so on.

11 Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism and Indian mythology
Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism and Indian mythology. He is thought as the preserver of the universe while two other major Hindu gods Brahma and Shiva, are regarded respectively, as the creator and destroyer of the universe.

12 Hindus Today Today, Hindus are free to choose a deity they worship or choose none at all. Most of them follow family traditions. They also can choose 3 different paths to achieve moksha: Right thinking Path of right action Path of religious devotion

13 About 1500BC, powerful nomadic warriors known as Aryans appeared in northern India.

14 The warriors were from Central Asia, but managed to overcome the Himalayas by finding lower passes in the mountains, such as the Khyber Pass in Pakistan. The Aryans conquered the Dravidians of Central India and imposed their social structure upon them.

15 The Aryans divided their society into separate castes
The Aryans divided their society into separate castes. Castes were unchanging groups. A person born into one caste never changed castes or mixed with members of other castes. Caste members lived, ate, married, and worked with their own group.

16 At the top of the caste system were the Brahmin – the priests, teachers, and judges.

17 Next came the Kshatriya (KUH SHAT REE YUHZ), the warrior caste.

18 The Vaisya caste (VEEZ YUHZ) were the farmers and merchants,

19 and the Sudras, were craft workers and laborers.

20 The untouchables were the outcastes, or people beyond the caste system
The untouchables were the outcastes, or people beyond the caste system. Their jobs or habits involved “polluting activities” including: Any job that involved ending a life, such as fishing. Killing or disposing of dead cattle or working with their hides. Any contact with human emissions such as sweat, urine, or feces. This included occupational groups such as sweepers and washermen.

21 Untouchables were often forbidden to enter temples, schools and wells where higher castes drew water. In some parts of southern India, even the sight of untouchables was thought to be polluting. The untouchables forced to sleep during the day and work at night.

22 Hinduism and Society The caste system was strengthened by Hindu ideas of Karma and Reincarnation. If a person was born as an upper-cast male, a Brahmin, warrior, or merchant – his good fortune was said to come from good karma earned in a former life.

23 Hinduism and Society However, a person who was born a female, a laborer, or an untouchable might be getting the results of bad deeds in a former life. With some exceptions, only men in the top three varnas could hope to achieve moksha in their present life.

24 New Religions Arise Other religions also came from India and were based around the same ideas as Hinduism.

25 Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was born about 599 B. C
Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was born about 599 B.C. and died in 527 B.C.

26 Mahavira believed that everything in the universe has a soul and so should not be harmed.

27 Jain monks carry the doctrine of nonviolence to its logical conclusion.

28 They sweep ants off their path and wear gauze masks over their mouths to avoid breathing in an insect accidentally.

29 In keeping with this nonviolence, followers of Jainism looked for occupations that would not harm any creature. For that reason, many of them work in trade and commerce.


31 Jains today are some of the wealthiest people in India.
They believe in religious toleration and have not tried to convert followers of other faiths. Out of the 5 million Jains, most all of them live in India.

32 The Buddha Seeks Enlightenment
Buddhism developed out of the same period of religious questioning that shaped modern Hinduism and Jainism.

33 Siddhartha Gautama was the founder of Buddhism.
He was born into a noble family that lived in Kapilavastu, in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal.

34 As a baby, Siddhartha exhibited the marks of a great man
As a baby, Siddhartha exhibited the marks of a great man. A prophesy indicated that if the child stayed at home he was destined to become a world ruler. If the child left home, however, he would become a universal spiritual leader.

35 Siddhartha Gautama To make sure that he would be a great king, his father isolated him in his palace. At the age of 16 Siddhartha married a girl named Yasodhara.

36 Siddhartha never ceased thinking about the world that lay outside of the palace, which he had never seen. When he was 29, he ventured outside of the palace four times.

37 Siddhartha’s Quest He saw an old man He saw a sick man
He saw a corpse being carried to the cremation grounds He saw a wondering holy man who seemed at peace with himself.

38 Siddhartha understood that these events meant that every living thing experiences old age, sickness, and death and that only a religious life offers a refuge from this inevitable suffering.

39 He wandered through the forests of India for six years seeking enlightenment, or wisdom.

40 He tried many ways of reaching an enlightened state
He tried many ways of reaching an enlightened state. He debated with religious seeker.He fasted, eating only six grains of rice a day. (it was said that he got so skinny that if you tried to poke him with your finger in his stomach that you would touch his backbone.

41 None of these methods brought him Enlightenment.
Finally, he sat down and meditated under a large fig tree. After 49 days of meditation, he achieved an understanding of the cause of suffering in this world.

42 From then on, he was known as the Buddha, the Enlightened one.

43 Origins and Beliefs The Buddha preached his first sermon to five companions who had accompanied him on his wanderings. That first sermon became a landmark in the history of the world’s religions.

44 In it, he laid out the four main ideas that he had understood in his Enlightenment.
He called those ideas the Four Noble Truths

45 Everything in life is suffering and sorrow
The cause for all the suffering in the world is people’s selfish desire for the temporary pleasures of the world. The way to end all suffering is to end all desires The way to overcome such desires and attain enlightenment. This is done by following the eightfold path, which is called the middle way between desires and self-denial

46 The Eightfold Path The eightfold path was like a staircase.
For the Buddha, those who were seeking Enlightenment had to master one step at a time. Most often, this mastery would occur over many lifetimes.

47 The Eightfold Path

48 By following the Eightfold Path, anyone could reach Nirvana, the Buddha's word for release from selfishness and pain.

49 The Buddha rejected most of the Hindu gods.
He taught a way towards enlightenment. He rejected the caste system.

50 The final goals of both religions, moksha for Hindus and nirvana for Buddhists, are similar. Both involve a perfect state of understanding and a break from the chain of reincarnations.

51 Three Jewels Followers of Buddhism, together with the Buddha, and the dharma (Buddhist doctrine or law), make up the “Three Jewels” Buddhists all over the world recognize the importance of the Three Jewels of their faith by declaring “I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the law. I take refuge in the community.”

52 Monks and nuns took a vow to live a life of poverty, to be non-violent, and not to marry. They wandered through India spreading the Buddha's teachings. Missionaries carried only a begging bowl to receive daily charity offerings from the people. Monks and nuns

53 After the Buddha died, missionaries spread throughout Asia spreading the teachings.
Buddhism never gained a significant foothold in India. Today, pilgrims flock to visit spots associated with the Buddha’s life. Kapilavastu - his birthplace Gaya – fig tree he sat under Varanasi – site of first sermon


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