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Introduction to Hinduism “There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names”

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Hinduism “There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Hinduism “There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names”

2 The vast majority of Hindus live in India and Nepal Indus Natives to India Aryas Invading People

3 Goal of Hinduism Moksha Release / Liberation United forever with the universal Atman State of being in endless bliss and awareness

4 Vedic Hinduism Earliest Practice Based on Ritual Used Shruti for ritual Theology Balance (Rita) is key Affects 3 levels of the universe Vault of the Sky Atmosphere Earth

5 Sacred Texts Shruti – What is Heard Smirti – What is Remembered

6 Reincarnation Samsara is the cycle (wheel) of rebirth The soul (atman) is reborn from one life form to another Souls can be reborn as humans, animals, or deities – depending on the karma of the past lifetime. “Death” is not the same concept of finality within Hinduism.

7 Human Responsibility: Karma & Dharma Your responsibility is to be the “best” you can be - based on your caste. Every action creates an effect based on its moral worthiness. Your karma is your action / deeds. Dharma is the duty based on your life situation – created by your karma. Dharma best seen through the caste system. Your rebirth is based on your karma.

8 Caste System Four ( plus one) major castes Brahmins Priests and teachers Highest purity and rank Kshatriya Warriors and aristocracy Vaistrya Middle class Sudras Servants and laborers Outcastes NOT an official caste

9 Brahmanism – The Way of Knowledge Devotees must obtain jnana to achieve moksha. Jnana = Gnosis The Stages of Life leads one to liberation.

10 Four Stages of Life Student Stage Study Caste Appropriate work Householder Marry - raise a family Forest Dweller OR Retiree Monk – Sannyasay At one with the universal atman

11 Bhakti – The Way of Devotion Devotees are tied to one or more gods for help in their lives. Help with the physical or spiritual. Moksha is available through several gods The Vault of the Sky is seen as heaven.

12 Brahman: Essence of reality Seen as the “sustainer” of life. Not the ultimate reality – can be named Gods have extremely long life spans Each day is 1000 time the length of human history

13 Shiva – The Destroyer Ancient Vedic god of destruction Kind to devotees Modern worship focuses on moksha Masculine aspect is passive / unchanging

14 Parvati – Goddess Main consort of Shiva Reincarnation of first consort Female aspect of Shiva is active / changing Other aspects of Parvati are both positive and negative

15 Kali – Goddess of Death Eats the flesh of bodies on the battlefield Wears a necklace of skulls Destroyer of Enemies Loving to Devotees

16 Vishnu – God of Sun & Growth Cares about his devotees happiness in this world – and the next. Moksha is through keeping the order of the caste system. Avatars – Vishnu’s earthly forms

17 Krishna Rama Avatars of Vishnu

18 Avatars, cont. Arjuna is taught by Krishna (Vishnu) Teachings found in Bhavagad Gita Main text of Vishnu worship

19 Festivals and Holy Days No set day of the week is holy Each days has its possibilities Religious festivals may be solar or lunar Lunar is preferred

20 Festival of Lights: Divali Festival of Lights Series of 5 festivals Family oriented Light the candle, and send it down a stream If it stays lit, a year of good luck.

21 The Ganges River Its source is Vishnu’s feet Goes onto Shiva’s head and out from his hair The Ganges is sacred enough to purify all sins.

22 Banaras - Hindu’s Holy City Pilgrims come from all over to bathe in the Ganges. Countless Hindus come to Banaras to die. It has 1500 temples, most of them devoted to Shiva. It is a gathering place for the religiously learned and their disciples.

23 Sacred Cow of India

24 Gandhi: the Father of India Social concern was deeply rooted in the Sacredness of life. All religions lead to God. Gandhi was assassinated by nationalist fanatics on January 30, l948 as India was gaining its independence.

25 One Ocean, Many Names

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