Questions: What do we know about other religions? Why are religions important?
How is Hinduism different? No single founder No commonly agreed set of teachings Practices vary - it means different things to different people “Way of life” v. religion More about what you DO than what you believe
Hinduism: Beginnings Originated in India, near the Indus River Valley Traditions began about 4000 years ago
The world’s oldest religions Very connected with social, political, and cultural developments in India Today, there are 900 million followers worldwide –population of U.S. - 300 million people –population of India - over 1 billion people; 80% of them identify as Hindu Hinduism
Hindu Texts: the Vedas Most ancient religious text in Hinduism For thousands of years, passed on orally Written down 1200 - 200 BCE In Sanskrit, veda means “knowledge” or “wisdom”
Sanskrit Ancient language of India Language of Hinduism
Hindu Texts: The Upanishads Composed between 800 - 200 BCE Philosophical texts Introduce concept of BRAHMAN: supreme power that informs reality
Brahman: Supreme Power Brahman takes on many forms (similar to water), yet is not worshiped as a god Sometimes represented as a human; sometimes as a deity (god or goddess)
Atman Hindus also believe that there is a piece of God in all of us Atman is a person’s eternal soul, the piece of Brahman that exists within them Question: –If there is a piece of God in everyone, how should we treat people?
Ahimsa: “nonviolence” Not injuring others in thought, words, or actions Mohandas Gandhi
Other Hindu Texts The Mahabharata –One of most popular Hindu texts –Longest poem in the world! Ramayana –Tells story of Prince Rama who was sent into exile in the forest with his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshamana. –Story of good overcoming evil
Samsara: continuous life cycle; reincarnation When people die, their soul is reborn in a new body; based on KARMA The most important aspects of a person’s character stays with them from one life to the next.
Take 5 minutes to think and write about: What are the most important aspects of your character? (or, what makes you unique?) Imagine what you might have been in a previous life, or what you might be reincarnated as in a future life.
Moksha Moksha is liberation of a person’s soul (atman) from the cycle of rebirth (samsara) The individual soul (atman) is reunited with the universal soul (Brahman)
Moksha - how do we get there? Four ways to achieve moksha: –Path of knowledge –Path of meditation –Path of devotion –Path of good works (karma)
The Caste System Division of society based on occupation and family; it is hereditary In Hinduism, there are four main castes: –Brahmins - intellectuals and the priests –Kshatriya - nobles or warriors –Vaishyas - commoners or merchants; ordinary people who produce, farm, trade and earn a living –Shudras - workers, usually served the higher classes, including laborers, artists, musicians, and clerks
…and below all of these: The “untouchables” Caste system reinforced by religious beliefs - role of Karma No “social mobility”; reborn into same caste, no inter-marriage Gandhi
Quotes: Interpret the four quotes into your own words. Discuss with the people at your table which principles in Hinduism are being referred to in these quotes
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals Album Title: Fight for your Mind Songs: “Oppression”, “One road to freedom”, “People lead”, “Fight for your home”
Seventeen Magazine “The Hair Issue”, get your perfect style now! Find your best look inside 100+ hair ideas Is your best friend flirting with your boyfriend??
Activity: Hinduism Album Cover / Magazine Cover Choose a principle: moksha, karma, samsara, dharma, atman, ahimsa Brainstorm related words/ideas Think of: Band name, album name, song titles; OR magazine title, headlines Draw a cover
Example: Principle: Karma Band name: The Karma Kids Album: “What goes around comes around” Hit song: “Getting good by giving good” Karma Kids