Introductory Questions:
• Where did Hinduism originate?
• Hinduism is considered a major world
religion. Why do you think this is?
• Is Hinduism polytheistic or monotheistic?
Basics of Hinduism
• Originated in India
• Dates back to 1500 BCE
and many consider it the
oldest religion in the
Third largest religion (# of
Practiced by 80% of
India’s inhabitants
Derivative of word Hindu
is the geographical term
(Sindu River or Indus
Indus Valley
• 1500 BCE
• 4000 – 2200 BCE
• Poems and ritual
• Built houses for
texts called VEDAS
(early sacred
• Stone sculptures
and charms to
• Rig Veda – the oldest
ward off evil
of the Sacred Texts
• Fire altars & animal
• Agni - worshipped
forces of nature as gods
• Atman - human soul
• Composed in Sanskrit
• Vedas literally means
• Vedas called “Shruti” by the
• Upanishads – mystical texts on
human existence
• Ramayana – Hindu Epic of
about 24000 verses including
hero story of Rama
• Mahabharata and Bhagavad
Legal Codes
• Laws of Manu
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
-is the supreme being
-entity without form
or quality
-soul of universe
-divine, invisible,
• 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
Vishnu has many AVATARS
(incarnations)who appear
on earth as humans or
animals to conquer evil and
establish righteousness
7th- Rama
8th- Krishna
9th- Siddhartha Gautama
 The ultimate aim of all Hindu thoughts is to
attain the universal soul or divine wisdom called
Hindu’s believe in the freedom to individually worship
and guide own spiritual experience.
The goals of Hinduism consist of personal conduct and
righteous living which equals to dharma
Goal to achieve moksha, (liberation) from endless
cycle of rebirths called Samsara and reunite atman
with Brahman
• MAYA= all forms of existence are temporary and
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)
– ॐ । असतो मा सद्गमय । तमसो मा ज्योततगगमय । मत्ृ योमागमत
ृ ं
गमय ।।
– OM Asato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotirgamaya,
mrityormāmritam gamaya
– "OM (Lead me) from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light,
from death to immortality."
• Aum (also Om, ॐ) is the most sacred syllable in
Hinduism and Vedas
• Used in meditation and prayer as sound gives
supernatural power
• Represents the original sound of creation
• To chant “om” will steady and elevate the mind
• Good luck symbol
representing “well being”
Usually illustrated in red
Used on wedding
invitations, drawings
Used in rituals to bring
good luck and protect
against evil
• 4 Paths to
• 4 Stages of Life
• 4 Goals of Life
• Caste System
• Puja
• Upanayana
• Vegetarianism “holy
• Arranged Marriages
• Diwali – Festival of Lights
• Ahimsa – non-violence
• Yoga – philosophy and
exercise together – very
• Best known Hindu in world
• Fought to end discrimination
against Indians in South Africa
Tolerant of all religions
Religious ideals on duty, truth,
non-violence (ahimsa) and
spiritual liberation (moksha)
Negotiated independence of
India in 1947
Opposed social injustice of
Hindu society (ie.
Assassinated in 1948

Hinduism - Markville Secondary School