World Religions Part I
Bellwork
 Survey the text and pictures on p.p 288-
289 to introduce you to Hinduism
 Then survey the text and pictures on
p.p. 284-285 to introduce you to
Buddhism
5 Minutes
A. Roots of Hinduism
B. Origins and Beliefs
C. Hinduism Changes and Develops
D. Hinduism and Society
Roots of Hinduism
 Hinduism is a collection of religious
beliefs that developed slowly over time
 Its ritual and practice today is the same
as it was centuries ago
 Hindu beliefs are based on the
traditions of the Aryans, a group of
people who migrated into the Indus
River valley in India around 1500 B.C.
Roots of Hinduism
 The sacred literature of the Aryans were the
Vedas
 The Vedas were four collections of prayers,
magical spells, and instructions for performing
rituals
 Sometime between 750 B.C. and 550 B.C.,
Hindu teachers tried to interpret and explain
the hidden meanings of the Vedic hymns
 These teachings were later recorded to form the
Upanishads
Origins and Beliefs
 To Hindus, religion is a way of freeing the
soul from the illusions, disappointments,
and mistakes of everyday existence
 The Upanishads focus on how a person can
achieve liberation from desires and suffering
 A Hindu achieves moksha when one
achieves perfect understanding of all things
Origins and Beliefs
 Hindus realize this may not be achieved in
one lifetime so they believe in reincarnation
 An individual’s soul can be reborn again and
again until achieving moksha
 A soul’s karma – good or bad deeds – follows
from one incarnation to another,
influencing life circumstances
Hinduism Changes and Develops
 Hindus believe in a world soul called Brahman
 Brahman is seen as having the personalities of
three gods
 Brahma = creator
 Vishnu = protector
 Shiva = destroyer
 These aspects of Brahman would often take on
other forms resulting in thousands of “versions”
of the one world soul
Hinduism Changes and Develops
 Today, Hindus are free to choose the deity they
worship or to choose none at all
 There are also three different paths to achieve
moksha
 Path of right thinking
 Path of right action
 Path of religious devotion
Hinduism and Society
Today, even in
the most
ordinary
activities of
daily life,
Hindus turn to
their religion
for guidance.
Ritual
Each year, thousands of Hindus make a pilgrimage to India’s Ganges River. The
Ganges is considered a sacred site in the Hindu religion. Most Hindus come to
bathe in the water, an act they believe will cleanse and purify them. The sick
and disabled come in the belief that the holy water might cure their ailments.
Leadership
Gurus, or spiritual
teachers, play a major
role in spreading
Hindu beliefs. These
holy men are believed to
have had the
gods’ words revealed to
them. Brahmin priests,
like the one
shown here, are also
religious leaders. They
take care of the
divine images in the
temples and read from
the sacred books.
A. Siddhartha’s Quest
B. Origins and Beliefs
C. Buddhism and Society
D. Trade and Spread of Buddhism
Backstory
 Buddhism developed out of the same period
of religious questioning that shaped modern
Hinduism
 The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha
Gautama was born into a noble family that
lived in in the foothills of the Himalayas in
Nepal
 According to Buddhist legend, the baby
exhibited the marks of a great man
Backstory
 A prophecy indicated that if the child
stayed at home he was destined to become
a world ruler
 If the child left home, however, he would
become a universal spiritual leader
 Read more about this story in
Historymakers on page 68 of your
textbook
Siddhartha’s Quest
 To foil the prophecy, Siddhartha’s father
kept him isolated in the palace
 Siddhartha always dreamed of what it was
like outside the walls
 When he was 29, he ventured outside the
palace four times
Siddhartha’s Quest
 First he saw an old man, next a sick man, then a
corpse, and finally a wandering holy man who
seemed at peace with himself.
 Siddhartha understood these events to mean
that every living thing experiences old age,
sickness, and death and that only a religious
life offers a refuge from this inevitable
suffering.
 Siddhartha decided to spend his life searching
for religious truth and an end to life’s suffering
Siddhartha’s Quest
Read the second paragraph
under this heading to
discover Siddhartha’s search
for enlightenment
Origins and Beliefs
 The Buddha preached his first sermon to five
companions who had accompanied him on his
wanderings
 In it, he laid out the four main ideas that he had come
to understand in his enlightenment.
 He called those ideas the
Four Noble Truths
Origins and Beliefs
 First Noble Truth Life is filled with suffering and
sorrow.
 Second Noble Truth The cause of all suffering is
people’s selfish desire for the temporary pleasures of
this world.
 Third Noble Truth The way to end all suffering is to
end all desires.
 Fourth Noble Truth The way to overcome such desires
and attain enlightenment is to follow the Eightfold
Path, which is called the Middle Way between desires
and self-denial
The Middle Way
 The idea was to master one step at a time –
often taking more than one lifetime
(reincarnation, right?)
 Read how the Buddha describes the
Middle Way on page 69
 By following the Middle Way one could
achieve nirvana, the Buddha’s word for
release from selfishness and pain
Origins and Beliefs
 The Buddha rejected the many gods of
Hinduism
 Instead, he taught a way of enlightenment
 The final goals of both religions—moksha for
Hindus and nirvana for Buddhists—are similar
 Both involve a perfect state of understanding
and a break from the chain of reincarnations
▲ Buddhist monks view a temple at Angkor Wat in
Cambodia
Buddhism and Society
 Many of the Buddha’s early followers
included laborers and craftspeople
 Monks and nuns took vows (solemn
promises) to live a life of poverty, to be
nonviolent, and not to marry
 They wandered throughout India spreading
the Buddha’s teachings
Buddhism and Society
 The teachings of the Buddha were written
down shortly after his death
 Buddhist sacred literature also includes
commentaries, rules about monastic life,
manuals on how to meditate, and legends
about the Buddha’s previous reincarnations
(the Jatakas)
Leadership
Those who dedicate their
entire life to the
teachings of the Buddha are
known as
Buddhist monks and nuns. In
many Buddhist
sects, monks are expected to
lead a life of
poverty, meditation, and
study. Here,
Buddhist monks file past
shrines in Thailand.
To learn humility, monks
must beg for food
and money.
Trade and Spread of Buddhism
 As important as missionaries were to the
spread of Buddhism, traders played an even
more crucial role in this process
 Along with their products, traders carried
Buddhism beyond India to Sri Lanka
 Buddhist religion was also brought
southeast along trade routes to Burma,
Thailand, and the island of Sumatra
Trade and Spread of Buddhism
 Likewise, Buddhism followed the Central Asian
trade routes, called the Silk Roads, all the way to
China
 The movement of trade thus succeeded in making
Buddhism the most widespread religion of East Asia
 Throughout human history, TRADE has been a
powerful force for the spread of ideas
 Connect to Today by reading about the
spread of Buddhism in the West on page 71

PPT - Hinduism and Buddhism