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 peopleTolerance 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 Vedic Tradition 3500 – 2500 years ago:rituals and many gods (polytheism)sacred texts (Vedas)social stratification (caste system)Vedic Tradition develops into Hinduism
3 One force, brahman, underlies everything. Despite the complexity of the religion, all Hindus have the same goal and core beliefs.One force, brahman, underlies everything.The goal of life is to achieve moksha, or union with brahman.Every person has an atman, or essential self, and experiences reincarnation.Karma holds that our actions affect our fate in the next life.
4 What are the Sacred Texts? Vedas - four sets of these.Rig Veda – oldest, written about 1500 B.C.E. and codified about 600 B.C.E.Upanishads – mystical and metaphysical sectionMahabharata (includes Bhagavad-Gita)RamayanaPlus others
5 What do Hindus believe? One impersonal Ultimate Reality – Brahman Manifest as many personal deitiesTrue essence of life – Atman, the soul, is Brahman trapped in matterReincarnation – atman is continually born into this world lifetime after lifetime (Samsara)Karma – spiritual 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)
6 What do Hindus believe?Hindus believe in dharma, the religious and moral duties of the person.They practice ahimsa, nonviolence.Brahma, the CreatorVishnu, the PreserverShiva, the DestroyerHindus worship many gods. The most important are:
7 How does Hinduism direct life in this world? Respect for all life – vegetarianHuman life as supreme:Four “stations” of life (Caste) - priests & teachers, nobles & warriors, merchant class, servant class. Fifth = untouchablesFour stages of life – student, householder, retired, renunciantFour duties of life – pleasure, success, social responsibilities, religious responsibilities (moksha)
8 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
9 Who do Hindus worship? – the major gods of the Hindu Pantheon Brahma, the creator god
10 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)
11 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)
12 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Saraswati, goddess of wisdom, consort of BrahmaLakshmi, goddess of good fortune, consort of Vishnu
13 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Parvati, divine mother, wife of Shiva
14 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine Durga, protectressKali, destroyer of demonsPlus about 330 million other deities
15 And we too are manifest forms of Brahman! “We are not human beings having spiritual experiences; We are spiritual beings having a human experience!”Hinduism is about recognizing the all pervasiveness of the divine
16 Common Hinduism Questions Why does Hinduism have so many Gods?Hindus all believe in one Supreme God who created many Gods, highly advanced spiritual beings, to be His helpersDo Hindus believe in reincarnation?Yes, we believe the soul (without body) is immortal and takes birth again and again.What is Karma?Karma is the universal principal of cause and effect. Both good and bad karma not only decide our fate (sorrow and happiness) in the present life, but also in future life.
17 Common Hinduism Questions Why do Hindus worship the cow?By honoring this gentle animal, who gives more than she takes, we honor the creatures as well.Are Hindus idol worshipers?We worship God through the image so that we can commune with Him and receive His blessings.Are Hindus forbidden to eat meat?Hindus teach vegetarianism as a way of life to not hurt living creatures.Do Hindus have a Bible?Our “Bible” is called the Veda which means “wisdom” and which reveals the word of God.
18 Common Hinduism Questions Are the gods of Hinduism really married?It is true that God is often depicted with a spouse in traditional stories, a symbol of love between husband and wife.What about caste and untouchability?Caste is the hereditary division of Indian society based on occupation (priests, warriors, business people, and workers). The lowest caste, untouchables, suffer from discrimination.This discrimination is now illegal in India, but it still happens.
19 Jainism: The Religion Jainism is an ascetic religion of India Teaches the immortality and pilgrimage of the soulDenies the existence of a supreme being and emphasizes the art of non-violence.
20 Jainism: The ReligionResponse to Hinduism and rejection of castes system“Founder”—Mahavira or the last of 23 foundersTirthankaras—“ford builders” or “crossing builders”
21 The founders of Jainism 24 Tirthankaras (“ford maker”): great teachersGoing back countless thousands of years before recorded historyMahavira (“great hero”) – the 24th and final Tirthankara – reformer of ancient JainismNataputta VardhamanaLived BCE in northeast India30 years as student (never married)12 years as ascetic renunciant30 years as spiritual teacher (tirthankara)
22 Mahavira ca. 599-527 BCE Parallels Buddha’s life Family wealth vs. povertyJoined asceticsAhimsa yields true releaseAhimsa produces Jina (release from this life or conqueror over attachment, hence the name Jain)
23 Rock image of 24 Tirthankaras Key Figures in JainismLeft: MahavirapictureTop: MahavirastatueRight: Mahavira onLionThroneAbove:Rock image of 24 Tirthankaras
24 Major TenetsEverything is eternal; there is no all-powerful “God” that has created the world.When a living being dies, it is reincarnated.All living beings have souls.The 3 gems.Reverence for the deities (Siddhas, Jinas, and the 24 Tirthankaras).Vegetarianism, or Fruitarianism.The great vows, the Mahavrats.
25 KarmaKarma is the natural moral law of the universe, in which every good or bad action has a corresponding effect on the person doing that action.According to Jainism there are 2 types of Karma . Ghati (destructive) and Aghati (non-destructive), each containing several sub-categories.The goal of Jainism is to liberate one’s soul, to become a Jina (spiritual victor). To become a Jina, one must escape Karma by leading an ascetic and intrinsically pure life.
27 What is Buddhism? Buddhism is a major world philosophy. It is the 4th largest “religion” of the world, and has about 300,000,000 people living by it.It explains the purpose of life, injustices and inequality around the world.It also helps people by providing a way of life that will lead to true happiness.
28 The History of Buddhism It was all started by Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha) who was a prince in Lumbini, 2500 years ago.He was very unhappy in his royal life, so he set off on a 6 year journey, exploring other religions.After his long journey and much meditation he was finally “enlightened”.He found the middle path, the key to human happiness. For the rest of his life he wandered Asia, preaching his new religion.
29 What Did Buddha Teach?He taught the 4 Noble truths which sum up Buddhism philosophy.He also taught the noble eight fold pathHe also taught the 5 preceptsThe final goal for the Buddhist is nirvana, union with the universe.
30 What are the Four Noble Truths? The first was that life is sufferingYou can’t live without death, frustration, etc.The second is that suffering is caused by craving and aversionGetting what you want doesn’t guarantee happiness, it deprives you of itThe third is that suffering can be overcome, and true happiness attainedIf we stop craving useless things, and live each day at a time (not living in the future) we will be happy and free.The fourth is that the Noble eight fold path leads to the end of all suffering
31 The Noble Eightfold Path It taught 8 simple rules:To have a right understandingTo have right thoughtsTo use right speechTo do right actionsTo deal with right livelihoodTo give a right effortTo have a right mindfulnessTo use the right meditation
32 The 5 precepts Do not take the life of anything living Do not take anything not freely givenAbstain from sensual overindulgenceRefrain from untrue speechAvoid intoxicationDo not lose mindfulnessThis is the moral code of the Buddhists
33 THE “ULTIMATE QUESTIONS” Nature of the soulLife after deathOrigin of the universeTHESE ARE NOT ADDRESSED
34 Buddhism rejected the Hindu caste system Buddhism rejected the Hindu caste system. Rather than focusing on priests, ritual and deities, Buddhism encouraged each person to seek self-enlightenment, thus a philosophy instead of a religion.
36 Mahayana BuddhismEmerged between the 3rd Century B.C.E. & 1st Century C.E. – very popularReduced obligation on BuddhistsGave Buddha divine statusBodhisattvas delay entry to nirvana to help othersMonasteries accepted gifts that merited salvation.
37 Decline of BuddhismBuddhism eventually declined in India as it took root in other parts of Asia.