Outline on Hinduism
* Hinduism started about 1500 BCE in the area of India
It’s roots are in the religions of the Indus River Valley
Civilization and the Aryans who lived in India after them.
* Third largest religion in the world
* They believe in one “god” type force called Brahman, but celebrate
Brahman in the form of many gods, each with a specific
Function, this is because the concept of Brahman is too large for an ordinary
Humans to comprehend, so they put faces on individual aspects of
Examples of gods especially important to Hindus as separate characteristics of Brahman are:
- Brahma - The Creator
- Vishnu - The Preserver
- Shiva - The Destroyer
* A Hindu believer’s goal is to achieve moksha (union w/Brahman). If you achieve moksha you come in touch with your atman, your pure self.
* Though they don’t have one sacred text (like a Bible), they do have several books that hold important spiritual teachings. Examples are the Rig Vedas and the Upanishads.
* Hindus believe that the soul is constant and is reborn in a process called reincarnation. Karma is the actions you make that determine your fate the next time you reincarnate. Will you reincarnate to a higher social caste? Or will you reincarnate as a rock? To achieve moksha you must reincarnate to the highest social caste.
Dharma is the religious and moral duties required of someone depending on what social caste they belong to.
* Hindus (as well as most Eastern religions) believe in ahimsa, non-