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Class System  Do you think people should be judged in society by how much money they make? Why?

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Presentation on theme: "Class System  Do you think people should be judged in society by how much money they make? Why?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Class System  Do you think people should be judged in society by how much money they make? Why?

2 Hinduism & the Caste System

3 The Beginnings of Hinduism  In about 1500 BC, when the Aryans invaded India, they brought with them parts of their culture  Their language Sanskrit, which the Aryans believed was a holy language, was spoken by the gods.  The Aryans’ holiest books, the Vedas are written in Sanskrit.  These four books describe the Aryan religion.

4 Hinduism  Hinduism is one of the oldest religions still practiced today.  They worship three main gods, (polytheistic)  Brahma the Creator  Vishnu the Preserver  Shiva the Destroyer  Below these gods are many other lesser gods.

5 Brahma the Creator  Creator of the Universe  Hindu followers believe all other gods originated from Brahma.  4 faces to see the 4 corners of the universe

6 Vishnu the Preserver  Preserves the universe.  He is all powerful and all knowing  Role is to maintain a balance between good and evil powers.  To do this he returns to Earth in many forms.

7 Shiva the Destroyer or Purifier  Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction.  Many forms but most famous is Lord of the Dance.

8 Hinduism Teachings  Hinduism teaches that people live many lives until they reach spiritual perfection  Belief in reincarnation, the soul lives on after death and returns to life in a new body.  Those who live good lives will be reborn into a higher social caste  Those who live bad lives will return as lower caste, could be an animal or an insect.

9 Teachings continued In other words, a person’s life is measured by Karma.  Karma: Good or bad things you have done that will result in good or bad things happening to you.  Good Karma will allow you to reincarnate to a higher caste, bad karma will reincarnate you into a lower caste.  If you are in the Brahmin caste and earn good Karma, it is said that you will achieve Moksha.  Moksha : like heaven, state of changeless bliss. Ultimate reward of Hinduism: Released from reincarnation and united with the universe (Brahman). 

10 Caste System  The priests used the Vedas and the belief in reincarnation to give order to their society.  The Aryan social classes are divided into 4 castes.  Priests  Soldiers and Rulers  Farmers and merchants  Common people


12 The Caste  A person born into one caste could never change castes or mix with members of another caste.  Caste members live, marry, and work within their own group.

13 The Untouchables  Below all the castes were the untouchables.  They did all the unpleasant jobs of society, such as garbage, cleaning stable, or the dead.  Were though to be impure  They had to avoid all contact with the rest of society.

14 Accepting the Caste System  What made life under the caste system bearable was reincarnation.  Hindus believe that each person has a soul. The soul is reborn, born again, in another body.  They believe that even though life might be hard, if you obey the rules of your caste, there is hope that you will be reborn into the next life in a better caste.

15 In Summary, Why have the Caste System?  It kept order in society.  People didn’t disobey or rebel.  There was always the hope of good karma leading to a higher caste in the next life. ***This allowed Aryan priests to keep order in society for hundreds of years***

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