Presentation on theme: "Hinduism Preview Main Idea / Reading Focus Basic Teachings of Hinduism"— Presentation transcript:
1 Hinduism Preview Main Idea / Reading Focus Basic Teachings of Hinduism Sacred Texts and PracticesJainism
2 Hinduism Main Idea Reading Focus The religion of Hinduism developed and evolved over a long time in India, giving rise to a variety of beliefs and practices and to other religions, including Jainism.Reading FocusWhat basic teachings do most Hindus share?What are the sacred texts and religious practices of Hinduism?What are the teachings of Jainism?
3 Basic Teachings of Hinduism One of the world’s oldest religions, Hinduism, is practiced by most people in India today. Hinduism evolved over thousands of years and was influenced by the cultures and traditions of many peoples. However a few fundamental teachings are shared by nearly all Hindus.Among most basic tenets of Hinduism, belief in Brahman, eternal being that created, preserves worldBrahman all-encompassingMany believe human mind incapable of understandingBrahmanHindus believe each person has atman, soul, aspect of BrahmanAtman shapes personality, cannot be destroyed, even by deathDevas, manifestations of Brahman, active in world, helping maintain order in natureAtmanThree devas- Brahma, Vishnu, Siva -are particularly influential. Some believe in thousands; others worship only one as the true manifestation of Brahman.
4 Rebirth and Salvation Pattern of Life New Life Dharma Hindus believe universe, everyone in it, part of continual pattern of birth, death, and rebirthAfter death atman reborn in process called reincarnation, or samsaraNew LifeNature of person’s new life shaped by karma—sum effect of deeds, actionsGood karma, reincarnated to better station in life; bad karma, lower station in lifeUltimate goal of human existence, moksha, escape from cycle of rebirthDharmaWith moksha, atman leaves world, reunites fully with BrahmanTo achieve moksha is to fulfill one’s dharma—spiritual duties, obligationsBy fulfilling dharma, one creates good karma, breaks free from rebirth cycle
5 Sacred Texts and Practices Much of Hinduism’s evolution stemmed from a number of sacred writings produced over centuries.Teachings, practices based on many texts, most sorted into one of three categoriesThe VedasLater writings inspired by the VedasSacred epicsThe Vedas, sacred hymns of praise, among earliest sacred texts of HinduismSacred TextsName means “knowledge” in SanskritHindus consider Vedas to contain eternal knowledge not written by humans, revealed to them by BrahmanParts of Vedas date back more than 3,000 yearsConsidered core of Hinduism even todayThe Vedas
6 Upanishads Ramayana, Mahabharata Sacred texts that built upon the Vedas appearedSome, such as Upanishads, also believed to have been revealed rather than written by peopleUpanishads philosophical reflections on the Vedas, dealing with nature of world, meaning of lifeRamayana, MahabharataOther sacred texts based on themes in the Vedas, but composed by sages, including two epic poems, Ramayana and MahabharataEach tells story, reflects on living according to Vedic teachingsIncluded in Mahabharata, most sacred of all Hindu texts, the Bhagavad Gita, addressing many aspects of Hindu belief, philosophy
7 Hindu Religious Practices Hindu beliefs vary widely, religious practices vary as well; worship can take place anywhereAt temples, priests might recite, read portions of the Vedas; image of a deva sometimes carried out of temple to peopleAt home, food, drink, gifts offered for deva; meditation, silent reflectionWorshipTo help meditate, Hindus practice series of integrated physical, mental exercises called yogaYoga teaches people how to focus bodies, minds to aid meditation, help attain mokshaHindus also make pilgrimages to Ganges River to purify, remove bad karmaMeditation, Pilgrimages
8 Jainism New Religion Ritual Unnecessary Nonviolence 500 BC, group of Hindus broke away, founded new religion called JainismLed by teacher Mahavira, Jains thought most Hindus put too much emphasis on ritualRitual UnnecessaryJains thought ritual unnecessaryPeople could achieve moksha by giving up worldly things, carefully controlling actionsNonviolenceCentral to Jain teaching, idea of ahimsa, nonviolenceMost Hindus also practiced ahimsa, but not to same extentJains carefully avoid harming living creatures, are usually vegetarians
9 Other Traits Lifestyle Principles Jains promise to tell only truth Avoid stealingStrive to eliminate greed, anger, prejudice, gossip from livesThese things can prevent person from achieving mokshaMost devout become monks, nuns, give up possessionsLive outdoors, seek shelter only during rainy monthsCover mouths with masks, sweep ground to avoid accidentally killing insectsLifestyleMost Jains not monks, nunsPledge to uphold principles of ahimsa, have careers that do not involve harming of animalsJainism calls for periodic fasting, especially during festivals, on holy days; limiting worldly possessionsPrinciples