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Transcript of Hinduism
Amine El Housni
The caste system
Goals of life
Stages of life
The importance of nature
Influences in Hinduism
Hinduism is a theistic religion
the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing,
immanent God, or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity
Puja: the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals
Performed by Pujaris (Brahimin priests)
Aim: Receive Darshan (visual contact with the devine)
Prasad: Sacrifies food offered to the dieties
Worshiping small statues of various dieties after the morning or evening bath
Women make major contributions to Dharma (order in society), marital wealth and sensual pleasure
They are the spiritual partners of their husbands and essential to the spiritual protection of their families: they are said to have special connection with the deities
However, the status of women in India has seen a great change because of social pressure
Documentary "Petals in the Dust: India's Missing Girls"
The Caste System
Priests & Philosophers, specialists in the life of the spirits
Carry on work such as removing human waste and corpses, sweeping streets and working with leather from the skins of dead cows
Manual laborers and artisans
Farmers and merchants
Courageous and majestic people that guard and preserve society:
Kings, warriors and vassals
Goals of Life
Liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth
Carrying out one's responsibilities and duties for the sake of social and cosmic order
Succeeding in worldly activities
Refers to love and sensual pleasures
Brahmacharya - The Celibate Student
Until the age of 25, the young male leaves home to stay with a Guru and obtain both spiritual and practical knowledge.
He is prepared for his future professional, social and religious life
Grihastha - The Married Family Man
At the age of 25, the young man gets married, pursues wealth (Artha) to support his family, has sexual pleasure with his spiritual partner and productively contributes to society.
This stage ends at the age of 50.
Vanaprastha - The Hermit in Retreat:
During this stage, the man detaches himself from worldly pursuit and turns to meditation and spiritual study.
Sannyasa - The Wandering Recluse
By the age of 70, the man is expected to withdraw totally from society and become a Sannyasin. He takes up residence in temples and concentrates on practices that will release him from Samsara into cosmic consciousness
Stages of Life
Guru is a term for "teacher" or "master"
Samsara is the word used for the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and birth
What About Women?
The Importance of Nature
Nature is believed to be the home of a deities that is why both animals an plant life are protected
However, some religious practices such as mass bathing on occasions have lead to high levels of water pollution
Pilgrimage to holy places is a special opportunity to personal purification and spiritual elevation
Places where greats saints and teacher have lived also become places of pilgrimage
Amarnath Cave in the Himalayas of Kashmir
How is it different from the monotheistic view of God in Islam?
Oneness of God
Everything is God
Diwali - Festival of Lights
The biggest of all Hindu festivals
Believed by some to be the the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu, by others to be a period for worshiping Mother Kali, the dark goddess of strength or Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom
Holi - Festival of Colors
Holi is a celebration of life, a boisterous occasion when Hindus smear each other with the colors of joy
The festival glorifies good harvest and fertility of the land
Kumbha Mela - Festival of Faith
The festival is considered to be largest peaceful gathering in the world: Over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013
Is held in four different places every 3 years depending on the planetary positions of the Sun, the Moon and the Jupiter
Christianity - Influence of the British Colonisation
Mahatma Ghandi (1869-1948)
Ramakrishna - The Great Mystic
Religious reform Movements
Social reform Movements
The vibrant growth of Hinduism beyond the Indian Subcontinent
The politicization of religious movements
The Hindu-Muslim conflict
The compromise of the Hindu ideal of tolerance