“ Hinduism is as much a way of life, as it is a religion. ”
General Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest and most complex religions. Practiced by over 900 million people, mainly in India There are a wide variety of deities and practices, it is often considered an “umbrella” religion
History Hinduism evolved over thousands of years blending of different cultures Mainly native Indian and invading Aryan religious beliefs
History Continued... There is no single “ correct ” way of worshipping no single founder no single holy book
Brahman ब्रह्म Omnipotent, and omnipresent The world soul * Brahman just is … everywhere and everything … and is not worshipped specifically
Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva The creator The preserver The destroyer
The Vedas Sacred Hindu texts – originally oral – a collection of traditions, rituals The oldest of the Hindu texts.
The Upanishads sacred Hindu texts that help to explain/interpret the ideas contained within the Vedas They use stories, and poems to help common people understand the the Vedas
The Ramayana Epic poems containing Hindu mythology and beliefs, morals and a guide on how to live one’s life…dharma It depicts the duties of ideal characters, such as the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife, and the ideal king
Atman The “ life-force ” or “ soul ” of ALL living things A part of the universal life-force, Brahman contained within all living things
*Because all living things contain atman – all atman is the same – thus to Hindus all life is valued although some more than others – one reason why many Hindus are vegetarian
Ahimsa Hindu ideal of non-violence – respect for life – which stems from the beliefs about atman.
Caste* Hereditary social classes Ancient custom
Reincarnation Belief in the rebirth of the atman in various new earthly life forms. It is the cycle of birth-death-rebirth Occurs over many lifetimes, in many forms Hindus strive to break this cycle The form that one ’ s next incarnation will take is determined by how they live this life … determined by karma
Moksha Ultimate goal of all Hindus to rejoin one ’ s atman with Brahman the permanent freeing of one ’ s soul – or atman – from the body or earthly existence The breaking of the cycle of reincarnation – this may take thousands of lifetimes – or not at all
Karma & Dharma Determine one ’ s future caste or life-form
Dharma “ Duty, ” doing one ’ s obligation, or what is expected of them in this lifetime, according to the code of conduct for one ’ s caste
Karma ‘ Fate ’ ; process of performing good and bad deeds during your lifetime that determines the fate of your atman/reincarnation in your next lifetime Too many bad deeds and you will move down in caste, or life-form a pure, good life and you many move up or possibly reach Moksha.
Puja Daily rituals and worship – can be done either at home or in a temple … bathe, recite prayers, light fires, make offerings of food & drink – sometimes fast.
The Ganges River Ganges River is sacred Bathing in the Ganges River is thought to be spiritually cleansing – and will remove accumulated sin