Shiva's different depictions in Hindu art are

Hinduism is the faith of about 80 percent
of India’s 1.2 billion people. It is unique
among major world religions as it has no
founder, not even in legend. It evolved
among the Aryan tribes that invaded and
settled India around 1500 BCE.
Hinduism does not have a
strict set of rules or
teachings, but it still
impacts the way that
people live their lives.
Hindus believe that the universe is
an endless cycle of life, death, and
Play Video Segment #1 /Discovery Education
On Desktop in Hinduism Folder / 6 min
The beliefs of Hinduism are recorded in the
four vast scriptures called the Vedas.
The religion teaches that essentially all
significant things are spiritual entities and
can be considered deities, but that they are
all but aspects of one spiritual power,
Brahman, which created and controls the
The guiding principle for human beings is
Dharma, or “right living,” which involves
ethical behavior, observing ancient rituals,
and other actions that are specific to one’s
India’s caste system generally is an
outgrowth of Hinduism. It is explained in the
Bhagavad Gita (“Song of the Lord”),
considered by Hindus to be their most sacred
text and is a part of the Mahabharata
(“Great Tale of India”).
Hinduism has no founder and no central organization. There is no prophet
who handed down its basic ideas. These sacred teachings were passed down
orally—by mouth—for hundreds of years. They were later written down in
Sanskrit, the Aryan language, in a collection of writings called the Vedas.
(there are 4 Vedas)
The Vedas teach that there is one spiritual power, Brahman, which
created and controls the universe; however, Hindus honor many gods and
goddesses as aspects of that power. Planets, stars, chemical elements, and all
forms of life are considered gods and goddesses.
Anything that has beauty, value, or mystery is a potential god or
goddess. One Hindu sage numbers the Hindu gods and goddesses
at 330 million!
Most Hindus believe that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are the most important.
Hindu Creation Story
Brahma was considered one of the revelations
of the supreme deity. Hindus believe that
Brahma was born from a golden egg and that he
created the earth and all of its treasures.
Brahma is usually shown with four faces and
four arms that hold four objects:
alms bowl ($ collection)
a bow
a book
and prayer beads
SIDE FACT: Contemporary Hinduism has no sect devoted to the worship of Brahma,
and few temples are dedicated specifically to him. However, any temple that is
dedicated to the worship of Vishnu or Shiva must also include an image of Brahma.
Vishnu is the preserver and protector of the world. His role is to return to
earth in troubled times to keep good and evil in balance. Vishnu has taken
many different incarnations, or living forms. These include Rama and
Krishna, but there are about 1,000 different names for Vishnu.
Vishnu is often shown with blue skin and
four arms, each one carrying
a different object.
a chakra, or discus, which symbolizes the mind;
a mace, or club used as a weapon, which stands
for strength.
He is shown either
standing upright on a
lotus flower or lying
on the coils of a
In the Indian philosophy the
aspect of God that transforms
and destroys what is no longer
He guides people through
times of change.
He the bringer of wisdom and
joy through spiritual practice.
He is the cosmic dancer who
dances the world into being and
lights the way for every seeker to
find his eternal truth in his or
her own heart.
Shiva is represented in a variety of forms. In Sanskrit, his name means
"Auspicious One." If a person is auspicious, he or she is hopeful.
different depictions in Hindu
• .
art are numerous, but they all share
some similarities.
Shiva has three eyes, the third
providing inward vision. When
turned outward, this eye is capable
of fiery destruction.
Around Shiva’s neck is a serpent and a
necklace of skulls.
He is sometimes shown with as many as
eight arms, with each hand holding
a sacred object.
Trimurti is the Hindu word for ‘trinity’ meaning ‘tri-unity’ or
‘three together as one ’.
The Trimurti consist of the three main Hindu Gods.
The Creator.
The Protector.
The Destroyer.
Video segment / 2nd Video 2 min
Hindus believe in
reincarnation. Life, to
them, is circular.
Note the circle around
The ultimate
of life for Hindu’s
is to achieve
moksha, or union
with Brahman.
Hindus believe it often takes
several cycles of death and rebirth
before people achieve moksha and
are freed from the cycle of rebirth.
It is said that a foolish man will be
reborn as a Monkey.
A cunning man will be reborn as a
A greedy man will be reborn as a Crow
A Jealous man will be reborn as a
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Chili Plant.
How close one comes to moksha in a lifetime depends on the law of
Karma is the positive or negative force created as a result of good
or bad actions taken during a person’s lifetime. Hindus believe every
action has a corresponding good or bad reaction that affects not only an
individual’s current life, but also determines how one will be reborn in
future lives.
Humans are considered to be the closest to Brahman
Animals, plants, and other objects are further away from
People with good karma will be reborn at a level closer to
Brahman, while people who do bad things leading to bad karma
will be reborn at a lower level, such as an animal or plant.
Hinduism teaches that all human beings should act according to their
dharma, or the religious and moral duties of an individual.
Dharma for men and women is different. Dharma for those in higher castes
might call for mental discipline and study. For those in lower castes,
carrying out physical work, such as farming, might be part of
their duty, or dharma.
Hinduism places a value on human love and family life and
encourages a turning away from material things in old age.
A person’s adherence to dharma helps determine his or her status in the
next life. (Reincarnation)
Many Hindus believe in the principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence
of living things. This leads them to treat all forms of life
with respect, which is why many Hindu’s are vegetarian or vegans.
Some gods and goddesses are associated with various animals.
Ganesh, god of good luck and overcoming obstacles, is
depicted with an elephant’s head.
Durga, goddess of justice, is associated with the tiger.
HOLY COW: The cow is the most sacred animal in the Hindu religion.
As a result of their reverence of cows, most Hindus do not eat beef.
The Practices of Hindu / Video Segment # 4
The Ganesh Festival / Video Segment # 5
More than 2,000 years old, the Ramayana is an epic
poem in the Hindu religious tradition. The poem
follows the heroic adventures of Rama and his wife, Sita.
Crash Course
Buddhism / Hinduism / India
Traditional Hindu society
was divided into groups of
four classes
(or Varna's). This was
known as the
"caste system."