Key questions: Hinduism

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2 Key questions: Hinduism! Where did Hinduism originate?! Who founded Hinduism?! Hinduism is considered a major world religion. Why?! What is the goal or ultimate reality according to Hinduism?

3 Basics of Hinduism! Originated in India! No founder! Dates back to 1500 BCE and many consider it the oldest religion in the world! Third largest religion (# of adherents)! Practiced by 80% of India s inhabitants! Derivative of word Hindu is the geographical term (Sindu River or Indus Valley)

4 Classifying Hinduism! According to Hindu beliefs, Brahman is the principle source of the universe. This divine intelligence exists in all beings. Thus all the Hindu gods and goddesses are manifestations of the one Brahman.! So does that make Hinduism monotheistic or polytheistic? Or both?

5 Hindu Beliefs & Deities Categorizing the religion of Hinduism is somewhat confusing:! POLYTHEISTIC= worships multiple deities: gods and goddesses! MONOTHEISTIC = it recognizes only one supreme God: the panentheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity who is simultaneously at one with the universe and who transcends it as well! TRINITARIAN= Brahman is simultaneously visualized as a triad -- one God with three persons: Brahma (the Creator) Vishnu (the Preserver, Shiva (the Destroyer)! HENOTHEISTIC= recognize a single deity, and recognizes other gods and goddesses as facets, forms, manifestations, or aspects of that supreme God

6 Brahman -is the supreme being -entity without form or quality -soul of universe -divine, invisible, unlimited Creator Destroyer Preserver Brahma (Saraswati) Shiva (Parvati) Vishnu (Lakshmi)

7 Shiva! Shiva is the Hindu god that is compassionate, erotic and destructive! He is often depicted wearing a cobra around his neck and the Ganges River flowing from his head.! Shiva is also the god of selflessness and meditation. Some Hindus worship Shiva as the supreme deity. Hindus also consider him as the god of salvation and destruction.

8 Vishnu! He is thought of as the preserver of the universe. Whenever dharma (eternal order, righteousness, religion, law and duty) is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations.! Some writings refer to him as the eternal, almighty spirit that existed with primitive waters believed to have been present before the creation of the world.! Vishnu, when in one of his mortal forms is shown sleeping on a great serpent and floating on water. While in his godly form, he is seen in either black or blue. He can be seen in various colors while in mortal form. Normally, in his godly form, he is seen with four arms: One hand holds a lotus; a second holds a conch; a third holds a discus, which always returns by itself after being thrown; and the fourth carries a mace.

9 Vishnu has many AVATARS (incarnations)who appear on earth as humans or animals to conquer evil and establish righteousness 7 th - Rama 8 th - Krishna 9 th - Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

10 ! Rama is a Hindu deity worshiped throughout Hinduism as the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. Rama is represented as the ideal hero of the Sanskrit epic poem the Ramayana. He was meant to be a secular hero in the epic, but he is seen in the first and sixth books as an incarnation of Vishnu. Rama comes to earth to kill the demon king Ravana.! Krishna is the eighth incarnation of the god Vishnu. According to legend, Vishnu appeared as Krishna to rid the world of a tyrannical king named Kamsa, a son of a demon. Many legends tell of Krishna's miracles and heroic exploits. He mostly appears in the epic poem Mahabharata in which he helps the hero Arjuna. Right before a decisive battle, Krishna delivers a speech to Arjuna. This speech became the famous commentary on duty and life known as the Bhagavad-Gita

11 ! Son of Shiva and Parvati! Human body and an elephant s head with only one short tusk! Worshipped as the remover of all obstacles! Milk Miracle Sept. 25, 1995

12 ! Hinduism is based on the concept of reincarnation, in which all living beings, from plants to gods, live in a cycle of living and dying.! Life is determined by the law of karma. According to karma, the quality of rebirth is determined by the moral behavior displayed in the previous life. In this view, life on earth is regarded as temporary and a challenge.! The goal of existence is to reach liberation from the cycle of rebirth and death (samsara) and enter into an indescribable state called moksha (liberation). The ones who reach this state no longer struggle with the cycle of life and death. This person has united the human sould (atman) with the universal soul (Brahman)

13 ! MAYA= all forms of existence are temporary and illusionary! SAMSARA = endless cycle of reincarnation! KARMA = Basic belief of cause and effect (all actions have a consequence)! DHARMA =personal conduct and righteous living! MOKSHA= the liberation from samsara and the uniting of ATMAN (human soul) with Brahman (ultimate soul)

14 Did you Know?! All Hindus avoid eating beef since they venerate the cow. The cows appear to know that they are sacred. It is estimated that 40,000 cows wander the streets of New Delhi being patted by each person they meet. They amble slowly crossing highways or relax in the middle of the road if they feel so inclined.! While all animals are considered sacred, the cow has been singled out as particularly sacred because they: -Have given years of faithful service in helping man till the soil and pull the carts -Provide man with food, milk. -Provide man with fuel, in form of cow dung, to heat his home and cook his food. -In Hindu mythology the cow was created by Brahman on the same day as the Brahmins thus it is an animal venerated above all others. -Symbol of motherhood.

15 Watch! Watch: The Story of Hinduism (3 min)! Holy Cow (3 min)

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