HINDUISM: Rituals and Practices
 A Hindu lives his or her religion through worship rituals
passed down from one generation to the next
 Daily worship takes place at home and going to temple is not
absolutely necessary
 Many Hindus begin their day with rituals- others in evenings
or on weekends
 Most Hindus purify themselves before participating in ritual
 This syllable is made up of three sounds a-u-m.
 Used to evoke essence of Brahman.
 Believed to contain the secrets of the universe and is chanted
at the beginning of prayers, blessings, and meditation.
 The symbol is not worshipped but meditated on as a means
to gain enlightenment.
 Mantras are scared phrases that worshippers repeat.
 Example- Hindus chant this mantra to greet the sun:
 “I meditate on the brilliance of the sun; may it illuminate my
Worship at Home
 Images used at home during worship act as points of focus to
help the mind concentrate on the abstract ideals that the
deities represent.
 The most common form of home worship is called puja.
 There are 16 steps in a traditional puja.
 Watch the video and fill in the blanks!
How to Have a Puja at Home
 Howcast “How to Have a Puja at Home”
Worship in Temples
 Worshipping in temples is not a requirement nor a necessity
 Hindus usually visit temples on festivals or for special
 Worship in a temple is conducted by a priest and his helpers
 Images of deities in temple are treated like royalty
 Hindus in the West also go to temple to learn more about
their religion
Hindu Mandir, Toronto
Significance of the Cow
 The cow is considered to be sacred to their culture and
 Hindus adore the cow as a manifestation
of all that is good and precious.
 The aspire to a vegetarian lifestyle,
like the cow.
Yoga and Meditation
 To Hindus, yoga and meditation are spiritual disciplines
 Meditation requires a sitting posture which is comfortable
for long periods of time.
 Meditators try to control their breathing and focus on a
single object, sound, or idea until they are experiencing
divine presence.
 Swamis, holy men, are experts at meditation.
 Varanasi, a city located along the bank of the Ganges river, is
a holy city for Hindus
 They try to visit at least once in their lives
 Bathing in the river is the first thing pilgrims do when they
 They believe it cleanses them of sin.
 Symbols are an important part of Hinduism
 They serve as reminder of the divine spirit.
 The Swastika is a good luck symbol representing “well-
 Used to protect against evil and bring luck.
 Commonly seen on Hindu drawings or wedding invitations.
Forehead Marks
 Some Hindus mark a tilak on their forehead to indicate which
deity they worship.
 Signs are worn between eyes, to represent third eye of wisdom
 Many married women mark their foreheads with a red dot called a
bindi. This signifies a woman is married.
If time..
 Finish p.127 #1,2 from yesterday
 Make notes on “Women in Hinduism” on p.128
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