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Learning About Hindu Beliefs

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1 Learning About Hindu Beliefs
History Alive Chapter 15

2 Hinduism: India’s first major religion

3 The Origins of Hinduism
Began before recorded history. 2,000 B.C.E. people called Aryans migrated to northern India. Believe Hinduism existed at Mohenjodaro.

4 Vedas Early Hindu religion is called Vedism.
Vedas are a collection of sacred texts (writings) written in Sanskrit. The word Veda means “knowledge”

5 Sanskrit An ancient language of India.

6 Brahmanism An ancient Indian religion in which the Brahmins (priests and religious scholars) are the dominant class. The Brahmins became important because they would perform the rituals and interpret the Vedas correctly.

7 Hinduism and the Caste System
Hinduism became a way of life in India. Brahmanism taught that a well organized society was divided into social classes. Europeans later called this the caste system. Caste-a class, or group, in Hindu society.

8 The Vedas Describe the Main Social Classes
Brahmins (priests and religious scholars) Duty to study and teach the Vedas Held the top place in the caste system

9 The Vedas Describe the Main Social Classes
Kshatriyas (rulers and warriors) Duty to become skilled with weapons

10 The Vedas Describe the Main Social Classes
Vaishyas (herders and merchants)

11 The Vedas Describe the Main Social Classes
Shudras (servants) Held the lowest place in the caste system.

12 Untouchables Over the centuries a fifth class developed, called the untouchables. People whose jobs were considered lowly. Handle garbage. Dead animals.

13 Untouchables Could not enter temples or attend schools.
Hindus avoided looking or touching them.

14 Hindu Beliefs About Brahman
Brahman is the Hindu name for supreme power or diving force, that is greatest than all the other deities.

15 Hinduism Hinduism sees time going around in a circle.
Brahman is constantly creating, destroying, and re-creating the universe. The cycle never ends.

16 Brahman Everything in the world is a part of Brahman including the human soul. Through their own souls people are connected to Brahman.

17 Ancient Hindu Temples Built great temples in the sixth century C.E.
The doors always face east, toward the rising sun. Buildings are covered with beautiful carvings and sculptures.

18 Hindu Temples Modern Hindus continue to visit temples to express their love of the deities. Visitors often sit quietly and meditate. At other times they give thanks, make requests, and take part in rituals.

19 Hindu beliefs about Deities
In Hinduism, deities are the forms that represent the various qualities of Brahman.

20 Most Important Hindu Deities
Brahma Vishnu Shiva Each deity controls one aspect of the universe.

21 Brahma Creates the universe.

22 Vishnu Preserves the Universe.
Sometimes portrayed as having blue skin and six arms. Extra arms are symbols of strength.

23 Shiva Destroys the Universe.

24 Devi She embodies the female powers of the universe.

25 Hindu Beliefs about Dharma
Dharma stands for law, obligation, and duty. To follow one’s dharma means to perform one’s duties and so to live as one should.

26 Common Dharma Set of values Marriage is important
Sharing food with others Caring for one’s soul Nonviolence All life forms have a soul. Reverence of life symbolized by the cow. Cows gave milk, butter, and leather.

27 Hindu beliefs about Karma
Karma explains the importance of living according to dharma. Law of karma governs what happens to people’s souls after death. Karma is made up of all the good and evil a person has done in their life.

28 Hindu Beliefs If people lived well, then they might be born into a higher class in the next life. If they lived badly, they could expect to be born into a lower class.

29 Mahatma Gandhi Taught that all people should be treated fairly including the untouchables. Untouchables are also children of God. Today Indian Law protects the rights of all people. The caste system is less strict.

30 Hindu Beliefs about Samsara
Samsara is a continual cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Samsara ends when the soul escapes from the cycle of rebirth and is united with Brahman.

31 Reincarnation The belief that a person’s soul is reborn into a new body after death.

32 Pilgrimages A journey to a holy place.
The Indians would travel to sacred places like the Ganges and Sarasvati Rivers. Difficulty of journey would cleanse them from their sins. Faithful Hindus still make pilgrimages today.

33 Hindu Monks Are called sannyasins.
They devote their entire lives to attaining enlightenment. The meditate They recite prayers Perform breathing exercises Sing sacred songs Practice yoga

34 The End

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