Review of Basic Beliefs
Basic Beliefs of Hinduism
 No founder, no single holy text
 Vedas, Upanishads, epics
 The three most important gods are:
 Brahma: the Creator
 Vishnu: the Preserver
 Siva: the Destroyer
 All living things (animals, people, and gods) have souls
which are part of one eternal spirit called the Brahman
Basic Beliefs (Continued)
 Can believe in one OR many gods
 Worship:
 Most Hindus worship at home
 May visit temples/holy sites
 Self-directed
 Religious Leaders:
 Priests or gurus
Brahman Nerguna
The Eternal Spirit
The Creator
The Preserver
The Destroyer
The Ramayana
 Sanskrit epic
 Ramayana is a main tool used to illustrate the concept
of dharma
 Dharma: good and righteous behavior according to one’s
role in society, and the correct performance of one’s role
in society in any given situation.
Major lesson of the Ramayana…
over evil
Goal of Hindu Life
 Moksha: The ultimate goal of Hinduism is to break
free from the material world and reunite with
Brahman Nerguna
 Self-denial (fasting)
 Yoga (physical and mental tranquility)
 Religious Rituals
 Rejection of Possessions
Key Beliefs
 Reincarnation: rebirth of the soul
 Karma: determines the cycle of rebirth based on how a
person lives his/her life
 Hindus practice nonviolence to all living things
 Moksha: ultimate reunion with the Brahman Nerguna
The Caste System
 According to the Rig Veda (holy Hindu text), the world
was formed from Purusha as described below:
 From his mouth came the Brahmins
 From his arms came the Kshatriyas
 From his thighs came the Vaisyas
 From his feet came the Sudras
 The Untouchables are considered to be entirely
separate from the other castes
Type One Writing
 The story of Purusha does not give the dominance of
one varna over another. Based on the details of the
story, why do you think certain groups claimed
superiority over others?
Caste System
 Brahmins: religious leaders, philosophers, teachers
 Kshatriyas: nobles, politicians, police, military
 Vaisyas: merchants, artisans, farmers
 Sudras: unskilled laborers, manual laborers, servants
 Untouchables/Pariahs are considered to be entirely
separate from the other castes
Holidays and Festivals
 Holi: festival of colors and spring
 Diwali: festival of lights and Laksmi