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Hinduism Main Idea Objectives:

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1 Hinduism Main Idea Objectives:
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. Objectives: Explore the basic teachings of Hinduism. Identify the sacred texts and religious practices of Hinduism. Investigate the teachings of Jainism.

2 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 world Brahman all-encompassing Many believe human mind incapable of understanding Brahman Hindus believe each person has atman, soul, aspect of Brahman Atman shapes personality, cannot be destroyed, even by death Devas, manifestations of Brahman, active in world, helping maintain order in nature Atman Three devas- Brahma, Vishnu, Siva -are particularly influential. Some believe in thousands; others worship only one as the true manifestation of Brahman.

3 Rebirth and Salvation Pattern of Life
Hindus believe universe, everyone in it, part of continual pattern of birth, death, and rebirth After death atman reborn in process called reincarnation, or samsara New Life Nature of person’s new life shaped by karma—sum effect of deeds, actions Good karma, reincarnated to better station in life; bad karma, lower station in life Ultimate goal of human existence, moksha, escape from cycle of rebirth Dharma With moksha, atman leaves world, reunites fully with Brahman To achieve moksha is to fulfill one’s dharma—spiritual duties, obligations By 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 categories The Vedas Later writings inspired by the Vedas Sacred epics The Vedas, sacred hymns of praise, among earliest sacred texts of Hinduism Sacred Texts Name means “knowledge” in Sanskrit Hindus consider Vedas to contain eternal knowledge not written by humans, revealed to them by Brahman Parts of Vedas date back more than 3,000 years Considered core of Hinduism even today The Vedas

6 Jainism New Religion 500 BC, group of Hindus broke away, founded new religion called Jainism Led by teacher Mahavira, Jains thought most Hindus put too much emphasis on ritual Ritual Unnecessary Jains thought ritual unnecessary People could achieve moksha by giving up worldly things, carefully controlling actions Nonviolence Central to Jain teaching, idea of ahimsa, nonviolence Most Hindus also practiced ahimsa, but not to same extent Jains carefully avoid harming living creatures, are usually vegetarians

7 Social Structure Social Structure Varnas Castes Social Hierarchy
According to oldest of the Vedas, the Rigveda, Vedic society divided into four social classes, varnas Each played particular role in society People of four varnas created from body of single being Social Structure Part of body from which each varna created tied to its duties Brahmins came from mouth, source of speech, wisdom; were priests Kshatriyas: warriors, rulers Vaisyas: common people, farmers Sudras: servants Varnas Over centuries, four varnas of Vedic period divided into hundreds of smaller castes Membership in caste determined what jobs one could hold, whom one could marry Castes Social hierarchy developed, some castes had more privileges than others Not everyone belonged to a caste Untouchables had no protection of caste law, could perform only jobs that other castes did not Social Hierarchy


9 Buddhism Main Idea Objectives:
Buddhism, which teaches people that they can escape the suffering of the world through the Buddha’s teachings, developed in India and spread to other parts of Asia and the world. Objectives: Explore how the early life of the Buddha lead to the beginnings of Buddhism. Recognize the major teachings of Buddhism. Identify what areas were affected by the spread of Buddhism.

10 The Teachings of Buddhism
After enlightenment achieved, Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha meditated at Bodh Gaya seven weeks Set out to spread to others what he had learned Lessons became basic teachings of Buddhism Among ideas learned in meditation, central truths, called Four Noble Truths Buddhist Beliefs Suffering part of human life Suffering from people’s desires for pleasure, material goods Overcoming desires during life eventually brings end to suffering Desires can be overcome by following Eightfold Path Four Noble Truths

11 Eightfold Path Series of Steps Leading to Enlightenment, Salvation
Right view, or accepting the reality of the Four Noble Truths Right attitude, or striving for moderation in all things Right speech, avoiding lies, boasts, and hurtful words Right action, or treating others fairly Right livelihood, avoiding jobs that could bring harm to others Right effort, or constantly trying to improve oneself Right mindfulness, or remaining aware of world around one Right concentration, or ignoring temptation and discomfort while meditating

12 The Dharmacakra, "Wheel of Dharma", a symbol for the 8 Fold Path

13 Nirvana The Buddha taught that those who followed Eightfold Path could attain nirvana State of perfect peace in which soul freed from suffering forever Those not attaining nirvana reborn to live through cycle of suffering again Basic teachings of Eightfold Path, Middle Way—living in moderation, avoiding extremes of comfort, discomfort in search for nirvana

14 The Spread of Buddhism Unlike Hinduism, which largely remained an Indian religion, Buddhism spread into other parts of the world. Today, more than 350 million people are Buddhists, most of them concentrated in Asia. Relatively few people in India are Buddhists today. Buddhist community in India grew throughout Buddha’s life Followers spread teachings after Buddha’s death Teachings not written down until first century BC; helped preserve, spread teachings throughout India Buddhism in India 200s BC, Buddhism reached peak in India during reign of emperor Ashoka Ashoka became Buddhist, helped spread Buddhism into all parts of India Ashoka Ashoka also encouraged missionaries to carry the Buddha’s message to lands outside of India.

15 Buddhism Beyond India Traders
Ashoka sent missionaries to Sri Lanka, large island off India’s southern coast, and north to lands along Himalayas, east into lands of Southeast Asia Buddhism took firm hold in kingdoms that eventually became Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, islands of Indonesia Traders Trade also helped spread Buddhism beyond India 200s BC, merchants traveling routes from India to Central Asia introduced Buddhist teachings Traders from Central, Southeast Asia took Buddhist teachings into China, slowly spreading, blending with native Chinese philosophies

16 Changing Buddhism As Buddhism encountered other religious traditions outside of India it continued to change and develop. Because of this blending, various smaller traditions developed within Theravada and Mahayana a branch of Mahayana known as --Zen emphasizes self-discipline and meditation. Buddhism today is a very diverse religion with a wide range of adherents and practices


18 Is Buddhism a Religion? The Dalai Lama states: "From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.”

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