Hinduism
What is Hinduism?
One of the oldest religions of humanity.
A way of life – focused both on this world
and beyond.
Main Beliefs
Hinduism has no founder.
Hinduism has no agreed upon set of
beliefs.
• For many Hindus, religion is a matter of
practice rather than of beliefs. It's more what
you do, than what you believe.
One of the main ideas is Dharma or duty.
Activity
THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGHT
CONDUCT IN HINDUISM
SYMBOLS
Om Symbol
Om (sometimes written
Aum) is the most important
symbol for Hindus. Hindus
claim that this is a sound
heard in the deepest of
meditation when one
experiences God. Hence this
sound and is said to be the
most fitting name of God.
Many Hindu prayers and
chants begin with this word.
This sound is used during the
practice of meditation.
Lotus flower
Lotus flower grows
out of muddy water,
it emerges pure,
beautiful and
detached. In the same
way, Hindus are
encouraged to live in
a pure state detached
from worldliness.
Swastika
Swastika is a symbol that
denotes good luck drawn
from all four corners of
the world. It has four
arms drawing in good
luck from all corners. The
word ‘Swastika’ means
‘well being’. The symbol
is seen on walls, doors,
and is extensively used as
a form of Hindu
decoration.
LOTUS FLOWER ORIGAMI
ACTIVITY
SCRIPTURES
Sacred Texts
Shruti– oldest, most authoritative text:
Four Vedas – myths, rituals, chants
Upanishads - philosophy
Plus other texts
Smriti
Ramayana
Mahabharata (includes Bhagavad-Gita)
Plus other texts
GODS AND GODDESSES
What do Hindus believe?
Hindus believe in a universal soul or God
called Brahman. Brahman takes on many
forms that some Hindus worship as gods
or goddesses in their own right.
What do Hindus believe?
Hindus believe that there is a part of
Brahman in everyone and this is called the
Atman.
Ultimate goal of life – to release Atman
and reunite with the divine, becoming as
one with Brahman (Moksha)
God As Form
Hindus say that it is not enough to just believe
in God. We need to make the effort to find God
while we are alive. One of the best ways to find
God is to think of him/her as a person. This
allows us to build a relationship with God and
allows us to become closer to him. This is why
we see God being portrayed in so many different
forms in Hindu temples. These are all different
ways used by different Hindus to think of and
reach the same one God.
God as a Principle
Hinduism refers to God as Brahman. The
ultimate reality (God) appears as the
physical universe. This ultimate reality
appears more clearly as living things. This
is why all living things are sacred, as they
are a sign of God. Mankind is the best sign
of God on earth, hence the most sacred.
God as our true self is called Atman.
Service to mankind is the highest worship
of God.
The Same God Fulfilling Different Roles
Brahma: God in the role of the
Creator
Vishnu: God in the role of the
Preserver
Shiva as the Destroyer
Other Gods
Saraswathi - Goddess of Wisdom
- Wife of Lord Brahma.
Saraswathi is the Hindu goddess
of knowledge, music and all the
creative arts.
Lakshmi - Goddess of Wealth Wife of Lord Vishnu. Lakshmi is the
goddess of light, beauty, good
fortune and wealth.
Parvati - regarded as a
representation of Shakti. Parvati
is the wife of Lord Shiva and the
Godess of household and
motherhood.
Ganesha - Son of Shiva and Parvati.
The Hindu god in a human form
but with the head of an elephant.
All these deities are but
forms of the
Brahman
And we too are forms of God!
“We are not human beings
having spiritual experiences;
We are spiritual beings
having a human experience!”
“That art Thou”
Activity
THE MAIN GODS AND
GODDESSES IN HINDUISM
LIFE GOALS OF HINDUS
What do Hindus believe?
Hindus believe in reincarnation - a belief
that the soul is eternal and lives many
lifetimes, in one body after another.
Samsara means going through the cycle of
repeated births and deaths (reincarnation).
Hindus believe that existence of this cycle
is governed by Karma.
Activity
THE MAIN LIFE GOALS OF
HINDUS
PATHWAYS TO FIND GOD
Bhakti yoga
The path of love. It is
suited to those
people who feel
naturally drawn
towards God. The
devotee spends his
time in prayers,
worship, and constant
remembrance of the
deity of his choice.
Raja Yoga
The path to God
through meditation.
Karma Yoga
The ‘path of action’. .
We should never stop
working but the work
we do must be selfless.
Jnana Yoga
The way to God
through reason and
intellect. We require
a far greater
understanding of the
world in order to
‘really’ see what is out
there, and what we
are all about.
Activity
QUESTIONS
FESTIVALS
DIWALI
What is Diwali?
Diwali is the Hindu “festival of lights”
which celebrates the New Year.
The festival falls on different days each year
but usually falls in the Month of October or
November.
It is a five day celebration.
Gifts are exchanged, homes are decorated
and fireworks are common.
It is held in honor of
Lakshmi, the Hindu
goddess of wealth and
prosperity. Hindus
pray to Lakshmi to
bring them good luck
in the coming year.
Activity
RANGOLI PATTERNS
HOLI
What is Holi?
Holi is a festival celebrates the coming of
Spring, usually in March.
It is more a time for fun than religious
observance.
Holi is a colourful festival, with dancing,
singing, and throwing of powder paint and
coloured water.
It is the festival of colours, a celebration of
the triumph of good over evil
Activity
HOLI GREETING CARD
Greeting card idea
Explore Hinduism on the Web:
The Hindu Universe: Lots of information on Hinduism and the
Hindu community on-line and around the world. Includes chat
rooms and message board forums - www.hindunet.org
The Virtual Hindu Temple: Contains some interesting and useful
pages including: Discover Hindu Gods & Goddesses and
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HINDUISM. Also
contains a gallery of deity images and a collection of links to
Hindu sacred texts online and other sites related to Hinduism www.rajdeepa.com/vmandir/vmandirindex.htm
Hinduism for Schools provides basic, introductory info to teach
primary and secondary level students about Hinduism www.btinternet.com/~vivekananda/schools1.htm
Created by Laura Ellen Shulman