Presentation on theme: "What is Hinduism? One of the oldest religions of humanity"— Presentation transcript:
1 What is Hinduism? One of the oldest religions of humanity The religion of the Indian peopleGave birth to Buddhism, Jainism, SikhismTolerance and diversity: "Truth is one, paths are many"Many deities but a single, impersonal Ultimate RealityA philosophy and a way of life – focused both on this world and beyond
2 How did Hinduism begin? No particular founder Indus River Valley Civilization >5000 years agoAryans enter years agoVedic Tradition 3500 – 2500 years ago:rituals and many gods (polytheism)sacred texts (Vedas)social stratification (caste system)Vedic Tradition develops into Hinduism
3 What are the Sacred Texts? Shruti (“heard”) – oldest, most authoritative:Four Vedas (“truth”) – myths, rituals, chantsUpanishads - metaphysical speculationPlus other textsSmriti (“remembered”) – the Great Indian Epics:
4 What do Hindus believe? One impersonal Ultimate Reality – Brahman Manifest as many personal deitiesTrue essence of life – Atman, the soul, is Brahman trapped in matter.Reincarnation – atman is continually born into this world lifetime after lifetime (Samsara)Karma – spiritual impurity due to actions keeps us bound to this world (good and bad)Ultimate goal of life – to release Atman and reunite with the divine, becoming as one with Brahman (Moksha)
5 What are the spiritual practices of Hinduism? The Four Yogas - seeking union with the divine:Karma Yoga – the path of action through selfless serviceJnana Yoga – the path of knowledge (understanding the true nature of reality and the self)Raja Yoga – the path of meditationBhakti Yoga – the path of devotionGuru – a spiritual teacher, especially helpful for Jnana and Raja yoga
6 How do Hindus worship?Bhakti Yoga is seeking union with the divine through loving devotion to manifest deitiesIn the home (household shrines)In the Temples (priests officiate)Puja – making offerings to and decorating the deity imagesDarsan – “seeing” the deity (not idol worship)Prasad – taking the divine within your own being through eating of food shared with the deity
8 Samsaracycle/wheel of life, death, rebirth that is the basic state of existence Time is cyclical, not linear- cycles of creation and destruction in the universe- reincarnation for the universe over vast periods of time
9 Reincarnationseries of lifetimes needed to achieve the goal of liberation/release from this world (samsara- ‘wheel of rebirth’) divine spark (atman) is reborn.Reborn as: people, animals, gods and goddesses in many heavens, demons in many hells other steps in between- even gods are reincarnated
10 Mokshaliberation or release, characterized by union with the divine, awareness, bliss- a mystical state of being that cannot be explainedreturned to the sacred source- ends the cycle of reincarnation
11 Caste System a system of social stratification ostracised by all other castes and treated as untouchables.LhZHg
12 Four Stages of LifeTraditionally applicable to upper caste men, but can include women in last three stages1. celibate student- between puberty and marriage, study sacred texts.2. householder- marriage to birth of first grandchild- arranged marriages, pursuing a career and raising a family
13 Four Stages of Life3. forest-dweller/hermit- 1st grandchild to return to the world detached- retreat from the world to focus on spiritual practice and quest4. sannyasin/wanderer - wandering ascetic, can return to society and yet be detached, neither hate nor desire
14 Four Goals of LifeKama, pleasure of sensual love within the bounds of dharma2. Artha- material success, after kama is satisfied, you move on to the next level of fulfillment- material success and social prestige- also unfulfilling
15 Four Goals of Life3. Dharma- following dharma, you ethical duty, because you truly want to not just because you are supposed to- better to give than to receive- very good, yet still in the world, still bound by samsara4. Moksha- liberation, bliss, unity with the great ocean of brahman
16 Discussion1. Reincarnation is a concept that many cultures consider to be a logical view of human destiny. How might reincarnation help to explain who we are, what we know, what we look like, how we act?
17 Discussion2. A central feature of traditional Hindu society was the caste system. What relationship might there be between the concepts of karma and reincarnation and the social hierarchy of caste?
18 Discussion3. If all things are one, why are there so many gods and goddesses in Hinduism? In other words, what role do the gods and goddesses play?
21 Iconography"iconography” art and this language of symbols is often used to educate people in a society that is primarily illiterate.
22 Who do Hindus worship? – the major gods of the Hindu Pantheon Brahma, the creator god
23 Who do Hindus worship? – the major gods of the Hindu Pantheon Vishnu, the preserver godIncarnates as ten avatars (descents) including:Rama (featured in the Ramayana)Krishna (featured in the Mahabharata)(Each shown with his consort, Sita and Radha, respectively)
24 Who do Hindus worship? – the major gods of the Hindu Pantheon Shiva, god of constructive destruction (the transformer)Appears as Shiva Nataraj, lord of the dance of creation…and with his wife, Parvati, and son Ganesha (the elephant headed remover of obstacles)
25 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Saraswati, goddess of wisdom, consort of Brahma
26 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Lakshmi, goddess of good fortune, consort of Vishnu
27 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Parvati, divine mother, wife of Shiva
28 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Durga, protectressKali, destroyer of demonsPlus about 330 million other deities
29 All these deities are but Manifest forms (attributes and functions) of theimpersonal Brahman
30 And we too are manifest forms of God! “We are not human beings having spiritual experiences; We are spiritual beings having a human experience!”“That art Thou”Hinduism is about recognizing the all pervasiveness of the divine
31 ActivityChoose one of the deities discussed and explain why Hindus would want to worship that god or goddess. (2 paragraphs)Or draw a deity in the Hindu style and explain the symbolism of the image and why it is significant to the lives of Hindus.(1 drawing and 1 paragraph)