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Ancient India Ancient History 10.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient India Ancient History 10."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient India Ancient History 10

2 What is Hinduism? One of the oldest religions of humanity
The religion of the Indian people Gave birth to Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism Tolerance and diversity: "Truth is one, paths are many" Many deities but a single, impersonal Ultimate Reality A philosophy and a way of life – focused both on this world and beyond

3 How did Hinduism begin? No particular founder
Indus River Valley Civilization >5000 years ago Aryans enter years ago Vedic Tradition 3500 – 2500 years ago: rituals and many gods (polytheism) sacred texts (Vedas) social stratification (caste system) Upanishads (metaphysical philosophy) 2800 – 2400 years ago Vedic Tradition develops into Hinduism

4 What are the Sacred Texts?
Shruti (“heard”) – oldest, most authoritative: Four Vedas (“truth”) – myths, rituals, chants Upanishads - metaphysical speculation Plus other texts Smriti (“remembered”) – the Great Indian Epics: Ramayana Mahabharata (includes Bhagavad-Gita) Plus others

5 Mahabharata Mahabharata, Sanskrit for Great Story, is one of the great epic poems of ancient India. It was written between 300 BC and AD. 300. The story is about the battle of one family over a kingdom in northern India. The Bhagavad Gita (Song of God) is contained in the Mahabharata. It is dialogue between Krishna and the hero Arjuna on the meaning of life.

6 Ramayana Ramayana was written in 3rd century BC, and tells story of Rama, and his wife, Sita. Rama and Sita are generally seen as ideal examples of great manly heroism and wifely devotion. Reciting the Ramayana is considered a religious act, and scenes from the epic are portrayed throughout India and Southeast Asia.

7 What do Hindus believe? One impersonal Ultimate Reality – Brahman
Manifest as many personal deities True essence of life – Atman, the soul, is Brahman trapped in matter (“That art thou”) 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)

8 Karma and Reincarnation
Reincarnation is the belief that the soul repeatedly goes through a cycle. Being born into a body, dying, and being reborn again in a new body. Karma, a force that determines the quality of each life. depends on behavior of your past life. Hinduism says we create karma by our actions on earth. If you live a good life, you create good karma. If you live a bad life, you create bad karma.

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 god Incarnates 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 Brahma

13 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine
Lakshmi, goddess of good fortune, consort of Vishnu

14 What about the goddesses? Devi – the feminine divine
Durga, protectress Kali, destroyer of demons Plus about 330 million other deities

15 All these deities are but
Manifest forms (attributes and functions) of the impersonal Brahman

16 Hindu Life Goals Hinduism is about the sort of life one should lead in order to be born into a better life next time and ultimately achieve liberation. There are 4 legitimate goals in life: dharma (appropriate living) artha (the pursuit of material gain by lawful means) kama (delight of the senses) moksha (release from rebirth).

17 Hindu Duties Each Hindu has 4 daily duties: Revere the deities
Respect ancestors Respect all beings Honor all humankind

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