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Early Belief Systems

Early Belief Systems

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Early Belief Systems

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  1. Early Belief Systems Hinduism

  2. Aryans transform India • Move from Caspian Sea to India – (1500 BCE) • Only major artifact remaining is the Vedas (Sacred text of prayers, songs) • They were taller and paler then native Indians

  3. The Caste • Impacted all areas of life • Level determined your career • Must marry within your caste

  4. A way to think of Caste Brahmins (priests) = Mouth Rulers & Warriors = Arms Peasants & traders = Legs Laborers = Feet Untouchables

  5. Warriors Peasants & Shudras (non-Aryan workers) Untouchables – those with unclean jobs (garbage collection, gravediggers . . .) Brahmins or priests A Caste System - Do we have a caste system? - Discuss with a partner/share

  6. The Origins of Hinduism • Resulted from the blending of Aryan and non-Aryan beliefs • No single founder • Mahabharata – epic of Aryans, non-Aryans and their gods • Dishonor is worse than Death

  7. Hinduism Grows • Goal is to liberate the soul from illusions, disappointment & mistakes • Moksha – a state of perfect understanding • Atman – individual soul (Self) • Brahman – world soul that unites all atman (all force in universe)

  8. Achieving Moksha • The soul is reincarnated until moksha is achieved • Karma – (the good or bad of the soul) impacts reincarnation • Brahman is often viewed as three gods: Brahma-creator, Vishnu-protector & Shiva-destroyer

  9. Gods and Paths • Three Paths • Path of right thinking • Path of right action • Path of religious devotion • Hinduism lead to Buddhism

  10. Hindu Symbols and Art

  11. Om or Aum • Represents all existence • Holiest of all symbols "The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence … is OM. This syllable OM is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma." ~ Katha Upanishad I

  12. Swastika • Auspiciousness • Sun’s four part circle • Cardinal points of the earth • Placed on homes and animals for protection (Good Luck)

  13. Holy Books • Vedas • Upanishads – part of Vedas, stories and philosophies • Bhagavad Gita – establishing a relationship with the eternal

  14. Temples • Hindus worship at temples and at private shrines • Shrines are might to reflect personal devotion • Shrines are often transported with families

  15. Holy Places • Ganges River – Sacred river that is viewed as a goddess • Hindus bath in it to wash away sin • Ashes are washed away to heaven • Some take its water home in brass containers

  16. Additional Terms • Dharma – living a righteous life • Yoga – meditation dedicated to transcending this world of illusion