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HINDUISM PowerPoint Presentation

HINDUISM

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HINDUISM

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  1. HINDUISM HISTORICAL CONTEXT

  2. Hinduism main religion, along w/Islam But diverse influences and expressions Population 1/26/04: • U.S.: 292,458,128 • World: 6,344,552,587 • India: 1,065,070,607 • 2011 India Census: 1,210,193,422

  3. 2001 census information

  4. I. Introduction • Tradition and Context • Who is a Hindu? • Indian • Born – (no emphasis on proselytizing) • Originally a tie to the land of India • To be Hindu is to follow the Hindu way of life • Even with great deal of diversity, there is an underlying similar world view • Particularly social systems • Elevated place of Brahman priests • Acceptance of divine scriptures • 330 million gods • Diverse worship • Not mutually exclusive; different paths same ultimate reality

  5. Introduction (cont.) • Geography • Himalayas formed geographical barrier • Modern divisions recent • Historically fractured • Periods of unification, e.g. Gupta period (320-467 C.E.) • General division: • North • Indo-European • South • Dravidian • Indigenous

  6. II. History and Development • Hinduism not an ‘historical’ religion (unlike, for example, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity) • Even avatars are not historical in same sense as Christ • Importance is sacred history • stories of heroes, gods, goddesses are paradigms • reveal eternal truths thus authoritative • sacred history not found in our human history

  7. History (cont.) • Formation of Religious Ideas & Practices • Early Period: Indus Valley Civilization (around 3000-1700(?) B.C.) • Large urban civilization • Planned cities • Height c. 2500 B.C.

  8. Indus Valley

  9. Indus Valley Civilization: Mohenjodaro GREAT BATH AT MOHENJODARO City of 40,000-100,000 people City well laid out in grid pattern indicates sophisticated political and administrative systems Well constructed water and disposal systems, drainage Elaborate bathing facilities- concern with purification

  10. Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa

  11. History (cont.) • Conquered by Aryans (Indo-Europeans) perhaps c. 1500 (though debated) • Indigenous darker population • Invaded from North-West in series of waves by Aryans (ārya: “Noble” in Sanskrit) • Chariot & horses • Aryans brought Vedas, own language, Vedic culture • Settled northern India • Syncretism of culture and religious thought • Water & purity • Cyclical pattern of existence • Some gods & goddesses

  12. Indus Valley Civilization: Proto Shiva(?) Harrapan Seal Yogic lotus position Fertility Phallic emphasis

  13. History (cont.) • Pre-classical Period (c. 1000B.C.-100 A.D.) • General Info • Indus Valley Civilization gradually replaced • Aryan culture (including Sanskrit and the caste system), spreads down Ganges river • By 6th cent. B.C. cities (e.g. Banaras) had risen w/economic advancement & political consolidation • Composition of Upanishads (800-400B.C.) • Brahmin religion spreads Aryan priests (Brahmins)

  14. History (cont.) • Brahmins • Brought sacred lore and hymns • Upholders of social order • Mainstream, elite • Believed to be animated by sacred power brahman • Conducted ritual on behalf of persons • Sacrifice • Sacred language • Authority derived from seers who heard ultimate sacred sounds, composed in Vedas. • A main force in creation of Indian religion

  15. History (cont.) • Challenges to Brahmanism (c. 700-200 B.C.) • Rise of yogic disciplines ascetic states • Buddhism (Buddha born c.563 B.C.) • Jainism (Parshva c. 850 B.C.; Mahavira c.540 B.C.) • Materialism- rejected all notions of transcendent & traditional religious positions • 200B.C.-500 A.D. height of influence of Buddhism & Jainism in India

  16. History (cont.) • Classical Period (c. 100A.D.-1000A.D.) • Consolidation of Hinduism • Around 500B.C. new ways of practice & thinking had emerged (in part in response to challenges to Brahmanical system) • Samsara- very impt. • Looking to the inward to discover true Self and/or attain liberation (compare w/brahmanic focus on rituals) -Liberation through meditation & asceticism • Karma -Salvation=wiping out effects of past actions (karma)

  17. Classical Period: Main Rituals • Main rituals • Yoga (self-training) – stress on inward • Shiva, the great ascetic -Withdrawal & engagement • Discipline & meditation to realize true atman & achieve liberation from samsara • Worship (puja) • Directed to many gods • Vishnu & Shiva emerge as dominant

  18. Classical Period: Main Rituals (cont.) • Sacrifice • From animal to vegetation & ghee • Brahmins • Dominated temple rituals • Temples as houses of the gods • Temple provides focus for ceremonial aspects of Hindu piety. Earlier Hinduism had no temples • Temples focuses piety

  19. Classical Period: Rise of Bhakti • Rise of devotional Piety & Theism • Growth of bhakti (personal devotion) • E.g. epics Ramayana & Mahabharata • Contain essence of Vedas • Loyalty & devotion to a god • Part of sacred tradition but not comparable authority to Vedas • Popular level, esp. Bhagavad-Gita • Shiva, the yogin & destroyer and Vishnu emerge as twin manifestations of the divine being- displacing some older deities of Veda scriptures • Vishnu as Lord & creator of universe • Vishnu as loving God • Cf. avatar Krishna

  20. Shankara • Shankara (8th cent. A.D) • Philosophy of Advaita or Nondualistic Vedanta • Atman=Brahman • Maya • World as multiplicity

  21. 1000-1750 C.E. • 1000-1750C.E. • Formation of Hindu and Muslim civilizations • Reign of Mughals from Delhi (1530-mid 18th cent. A.D.) • Final decline of Buddhism in India • Rise of the Sikhs (late 15th cent. A.D.) • Akbar (ruled 1562-1605) attempts synthesis. Establishes pluralistic ideology

  22. British & Contemporary Periods • British Period (1750-1947 A.D.) • Coming of missionaries • Founding of the British Rāj • Development of modern industry, centralized administration & higher education • Struggle for independence • Ghandi • W/partition of states of India and Pakistan • Subsequent partitioning of Pakistan into Pakistan and Bangladesh • Contemporary Period (1947-present) • Dalits • Women • Diaspora