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Hinduism

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Lindsay Donohue

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Hinduism

Hinduism
Reincarnation
The concept of Atman greatly supports the other important tenant of Hinduism which is Reincarnation. The spiritual self travels through many bodies over time.
Main beliefs
Atman: meaning "eternal self," this concept focuses on the cultivation of a spiritual mind. It emphasizes detachment from material things, and encourages the discovery of a true self.
India
Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people living in India and nearby Nepal. India is the birth place of Hinduism and most sacred place for Hindus.
Dharma
The Hindu version of fate.
Each spiritual being has his/her own duty
This duty changes on position in society, gender and age.
Dharma has a lot to do with virtue, however what is virtuous to one person may not be virtuous for another.
The Triumvirate
1. Brahma: created the world and everything on it.
2. Vishnu: preserver of the universe.
3. Shiva: destroys the universe in order to recreate it.
Brahma
Vishnu
Shiva
Religious Text
The Vedas "define truth" in the Hindu religion. They are split into segments much like the Christian and Jewish Bible.
These segments include:
The Samhitas: the oldest part of the Vedas, consisting of hymns of praise to God.
The Brahmanas: rituals and prayers to guide the priests in their duties.
The Aranyakas: concern worship and meditation.
The Upanishads: the philosophical teachings of Hinduism.

Worship
Primarily individual.
Consists of offering water, fruit, flowers or incense to the specific God that you are praying to.
Repetitive mantras or simply repeating the God's name is common.
Most Hindus have shrines at home that they pray to, but many gather in temples to hear readings from the Vedas.
Pilgrimage to Holy Places
Kumbh Mela: Once every 12 years over 10 million people take part in communal bathing where the waters of Ganges and Jumna combine. Meant to wash away sin.
River Ganges: The holiest body of water for all Hindus.
Varanasi: believed to be the home of the God Shiva, this city is located on the banks of the Ganges. It is one of the most important holy places.
Hearth and Diffusion
Very peaceful religion, no conquering or forced conversions
Began in modern day Pakistan, but there is no set leader, and even the teachings depend from person to person.
Diffusion of Hinduism has happened predominately with the strong connection with Britain. 559,000 Hindus live in Britain today.
Diwali
The festival of lights which lasts 5 days and is the most popular in South Asia.
Represents renewal and hope.
Hindu-Muslim Conflict
Very complicated and long-term.
Began in the 1900s when a predominately Hindu India refused to properly represent the Muslim Indian population.
The British colony of India was then split into Hindu India, and Muslim Pakistan.
However bloodshed continues in Kashmir which is a disputed territory that neither India nor Pakistan will consider giving up.
Many people insist that this "war" is just for political gain by extremists on either side. Normal everyday Hindu and Muslim people live together peacefully in India and in Pakistan.
Final Thoughts
Hinduism is not simply a religion, it is a way of life.
The teachings and the way Hinduism affects the believer varies from person to person. There is no "right" way to be a Hindu.
950 million followers, roughly 14% of the population.
There are many religions which fall under the umbrella of Hinduism. However a few key characteristic to remember:
-the soul is a being separate from the human body.
-there is no "creator" of Hinduism, nor is there a figure of authority.
-there is no one religious text to live by.
-one of the most religiously tolerant faiths in human history.
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