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The Basics of Hinduism

Kevin Gonzalez

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Hinduism

Basic Concept of Hinduism
Hinduism has about 1 billion followers around the world and is the dominant religion of the Indian culture, particularly of India and Nepal. There are many diverse traditions and no single founder. Hinduism is often referred to as the oldest religion in the world because among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India. Hindu texts are classified into Śruti which are reveled texts and Smriti which are remembered texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna and agamic rituals and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include The Veda, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Manusmriti, Bhagavad Gita and Agamas.
The Nine Beliefs
1. Hindus must believe in a one all-pervasive being.
2. They believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world’s oldest ancient scripture.
3. Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.
4. They believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny.
5. Hindus also believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving into many births until karma is resolved.
6. They believe that the divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, and sacraments.
7. Hindus also believe that an enlightened master or satguru, is essential to know the absolute.
8. They must believe that all life is sacred, and needs to be loved.
9 they believe that no religion teaches salvation above other, but that they are all paths to god.
Atman is a concept that refers to the doctrine of an eternal self which is the life force found in every being including the cosmos. This concept is similar to the western concept of the soul although it is not the exact same. The Atman is thought to be the foundation of one's spiritual nature and identity.
Brahma is the first god in the Hindu triumvirate which consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma's job was to create the world and all creatures. Brahma is the least worshiped god in Hinduism today. There are only two temples in the whole of India devoted to him.

Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism and Indian mythology. He is thought as the preserver of the universe. The concept of Vishnu being the preserver of the world came relatively late in Hinduism.
Presumedly it sprang from two other beliefs: that men attain salvation by faithfully following predetermined paths of duty, and that powers of good and evil (gods and demons) are in contention for domination over the world. When these powers are upset, Vishnu, it is further believed, descends to earth, or his avatar, to equalized the powers. Further it is thought that ten such incarnations or reincarnations of Vishnu will occur. Nine descents are said to have already occurred, the tenth is yet to come.
Vishnu cont.
Brahma has four heads and it is believed that from these heads came the four Vedas which are the most ancient religious texts for Hindus. The caste system is also thought to come from Brahma's body parts. Also, He has four arms. Brahma is worshiped less of the other gods because he created women.
Brahma Cont.
Atman is often thought to be the same as Brahman because Brahman is the supreme monistic principle of the universe and Atman is the center of all beings and the cosmos.
Atman cont.
Shiva is the hindu god of destruction. He is also the god of self-control Shiva has many forms, which are a combination of all Shiva energies: Aghora , Ishana , Tat Purusha, Varna Deva and Saddyojat or Braddha Rudra . Shiva also has many attributes: the trident, snakes, his drum, his white bull, sitting on his tiger skin, and where he lives the Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas.
As the Lord of Dance, He is well known as Nataraja the master of yoga. Ever willing to help those who are in distress, He saved the worlds and all the gods by drinking the poison Halahal that was created during the churning of the oceans. A feat that turned his throat blue and earned him the name blue-throated one.

Lord Shiva was also dear to demons. Demons like Ravana and Hiranyakashipu were his ardent followers who became infinitely powerful due to the various boons we granted them out of an unbounded love. To the followers of Vira Saiva cult, He is Virabhadra, valor personified. In His terrific forms, He is worshipped as Bhairavamurthy and Pataleswar.
Shiva cont.
Kevin Gonzalez, Carlos Irazabal, Renzo Mora, Gustavo Segovia, Alan Hefner
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