2 HINDUAbout 80 percent of India’s population regard themselves as Hindus and 30 million more Hindus live outside of India. There are a total of 900 million Hindus worldwide, making Hinduism the third largest religion (after Christianity and Islam).The term "Hinduism" includes numerous traditions, which are closely related and share common themes but do not constitute a unified set of beliefs or practices.Hinduism is thought to have gotten its name from the Persian word hindu, meaning "river," used by outsiders to describe the people of the Indus River Valley. Hindus themselves refer to their religion as sanatama dharma, "eternal religion," and varnasramadharma, a word emphasizing the fulfillment of duties (dharma) appropriate to one's class (varna) and stage of life (asrama).
3 HISTORY of HINDUHinduism has no founder or date of origin. The authors and dates of most Hindu sacred texts are unknown. Scholars describe modern Hinduism as the product of religious development in India that spans nearly four thousand years, making it the oldest surviving world religion. Indeed, as seen above, Hindus regard their religion as eternal (sanatama).Hinduism is not a homogeneous, organized system. Many Hindus are devoted followers of Shiva or Vishnu, whom they regard as the only true God, while others look inward to the divine Self (atman). But most recognize the existence of Brahman, the unifying principle and Supreme Reality behind all that is.
4 HISTORY of HINDUMost Hindus respect the authority of the Vedas (a collection of ancient sacred texts) and the Brahmans (the priestly class), but some reject one of both of these authorities. Hindu religious life might take the form of devotion to God or gods, the duties of family life, or concentrated meditation.
5 HISTORY of HINDUThe first sacred writings of Hinduism, which date to about 1200 BC, were primarily concerned with the ritual sacrifices associated with numerous gods who represented forces of nature. A more philosophical focus began to develop around 700 BC, with the Upanishads and development of the Vedanta philosophy. Around 500 BC, several new belief systems sprouted from Hinduism, most significantly Buddhism and Jainism.
6 HISTORY of HINDUIn the 20th century, Hinduism began to gain popularity in the West. Its different worldview and its tolerance for diversity in belief made it an attractive alternative to traditional Western religion. Although there are relatively few western converts to Hinduism, Hindu thought has influenced the West indirectly by way of religious movements like Hare Krishna and New Age, and even more so through the incorporation of Indian beliefs and practices (such as the chakra system and yoga) in books and seminars on health and spirituality.
7 How to be a HINDU You must first learn the basic tenets of Hinduism Hinduism is a conglomerate of diverse beliefs and traditions, in which the prominent themes include: Dharma (ethics and duties) Samsara (rebirth) Karma (right action) Moksha (liberation from the cycle of Samsara).You must also believe in truth, honesty, non-violence, celibacy, cleanliness, contentment, prayers, austerity, perseverance, penance, and pious company.
8 How to be a HINDU You need to learn the deities of Hinduism While it is commonly stated that there are 330 million Hindu gods, the mostly recognizable gods in Hinduism are:Brahma - the creator of all realityVishnu - the preserver of orderShiva - the destroyer
9 How to be a HINDU Read The Bhagavad Gita This book will provide a lot more knowledge about Hinduism andwill help greatly in your quest tobecome a Hindu.It is highly recommended.
10 HINDU BeliefsThe fundamental beliefs of Hinduism include the authority of Vedas (the oldest Indian sacred texts) and the Brahmans (priests); the existence of an enduring soul that transmigrates from one body to another at death (reincarnation); and the law of karma that determines one's destiny both in this life and the next. That is in what the Hindu believe.
11 Major Events of HINDUISM BCE Indus Valley civilization.BCE Early Vedic Period - earliest Vedas are compiled.BCE Late Vedic period - Brahmanical religion develops, emphasizing ritual and social obligation.BCE The 11 major Upanishads are written, which include the ideas of reincarnation and karma.500 BCE-1000 CE Epics and Puranas are written, reflecting the rise of devotional movements dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Devi.
12 Major Events (cont.)5th cent. BCE Buddhism and Jainism founded in India.c BCE Mauryan Dynasty founded by Chandragupta.c CE Gupta empire.c CE Gupta empire divides into several kingdoms.c CE Rise of devotional movements, puja (worship) rituals, and idea of equality of devotees.
13 Major Events (cont.)7th-11th century Esoteric movements based on Tantras development.c Cholas dynasty. Hinduism arises in the south.1498 European presence in southern Asia begins with the arrival of Vasco de Gama.1540s Portuguese missionaries arrive in India.
14 Major Events (cont.) 17th-19th century Hindu Renaissance. c British East India Company formed.1720 Collapse of the Mughal empire; British begin to take power.1857 National War of Independence against the British is sparked by the British use of cow fat in guns.1876 Queen Victoria becomes Empress of India.1895 Vedanta Society founded by Vivekananda. Promotes Hinduism as a world religion and India as a single nation.1915 Gandhi joins the nationalist movement.1947 India regains independence, but its partitioning leads to conflicts between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.1948 Assassination of Gandhi.1950 Constitution of the Republic of India.
15 More About HINDUSwami Narayana Mission – The Swami Narayana Mission, whose current leader is Pramukh Swami follow teachers in the line from Sahajananda Swami ( ), considered by his followers as an incarnation of God.
16 Hare Krishna Movement (ISKCON) – The international Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ), considered an incarnation of Radha and Krishna. The Bengali saint, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who appeared in the line of succession from Chaitanya, founded ISKCON in 1960.
17 Ramakrishna Mission – The Ramakrisha Mission was founded by the Bengali saint, Vivekananda Swami ( ) in the name of his guru, Ramakrishna ( ). It is headed by a well-disciplined and organized body of sannyasis.
18 Pushti Marg –The Pushti Marg (path of nourishment) tradition descends from the bhakti revivalist Vallabha ( ). They are largely represented by a group called the Shree Vallabha Nidhi. There are several successions from Vallabha, and a popular guru, a lady called Indira Bettiji.
19 The Arya Samaj – Members of the Arya Samaj follow the teachings of the reformer Dayananda Sarasvati (1824 – 1883).