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Current population 828 Million Location Largest portion of population in India and South Asia.

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Presentation on theme: "Current population 828 Million Location Largest portion of population in India and South Asia."— Presentation transcript:


2 Current population 828 Million

3 Location Largest portion of population in India and South Asia

4 Origins No Founder -developed through ancient Aryan traditions and beliefs around the Indus Valley Region

5 Vedas Aryan traditions were eventually written down in a series of works, know as the Vedas Contains hymns, prayers, magical spells, and instructions for conducting rituals Were recorded in the spoken and written language of Sanscrit

6 Vedas Rig Veda-oldest and most important of the Vedas (means all of nature is holy) Upanishads collection of works, written by Hindu teachers to explain the Vedas

7 Beliefs One true Brahman an all powerful spirit that creates and destroys unites all atmans (souls of living beings)

8 Beliefs Reincarnation anything that has ever lived does not die entirely. Its inner-self is reborn into another form

9 Beliefs All wise Hindus seek Moksha Moksha- a state of perfect understanding (reincarnation stops and the souls blend with Brahman)

10 Caste System Written in the Rig Veda People are divided into four groups of classes, know as varna The varna (or groups) make up the parts of the Hindu god

11 Caste System Brahmin: Priest class-the highest class (make up the gods mouth) Kshatriya: Ruler and warrior class (make up the gods arms) Vaishya: Landowner, artisan and merchant class (make up the gods legs) Shudra: slaves and servants. (make up the gods feet)


13 Untouchables People considered outside of the caste system Considered outcasts who must stay away from others Viewed as very dirty people

14 Many Brahmin priests believed contact with lower castes would contaminate their souls. Vedic prayers were considered so pure that they could not be recited or even heard by a person of a lower caste. One Indian law stated that if a Sudras was caught listening to the Vedas, molten lead was to be poured into his ears. Foreigners, lawbreakers, people from isolated tribes, and people suffering from contagious diseases lived outside the caste system. These untouchables or “outcastes” were traditionally regarded as unsuitable for personal relations with people who belonged to a caste. Caste members were vegetarians, which meant that people who ate meat or fish were not accepted into their society. Untouchables were hired to do work that members of the caste system would not do. These jobs included killing or disposing of dead cattle or working with their hides. The untouchables also worked as sweepers, washers, or in other jobs that required contact with human emissions such as sweat, urine, or feces. Untouchables were often forbidden to enter temples, schools and wells where caste members drew water. In some parts of India, even the sight of untouchables was thought to be polluting. The untouchables were often forced to sleep during the day and work at night.

15 Caste System (continued) People are born into a specific caste There is no chance to move up or down in this lifetime Position in today’s world is based on earlier deeds made in a previous life

16 Rules of the Caste: Always marry within your caste Each caste lives in a separate part of the village Stay in the caste for a lifetime Each caste has its own customs Animal life is sacred (many vegetarians)

17 Karma Ethical law of cause and effect Moral behavior in one life guarantees rebirth in a higher caste

18 dharma Duties or obligations that each member of a caste has One must be a good member of their caste to move up Ex.) Boy born in a the Kshatriya (warrior) caste must be willing to fight

19 Places of Worship Ganges River: holy river used for bathing and purification Benares: holy city located on the Ganges River

20 Famous Writings Vedas: 4 major collections of hymns and prayers Rig Veda: oldest, most important religious document of Hinduism Upanishads-written teachings that explain the Vedas

21 Religious Leader: Brahmin priests- conducted the major ceremonies and rituals

22 Enlightenment People follow the Vedas and dharma to improves status, and achieve moksha Moksha- a state of perfect understanding (reincarnation stops and the souls blend with Brahman)


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