va Hinduism in Ancient India Aryan prayers were passed down through generations. As Aryan culture mixed with India's existing culture, new ideas and beliefs became part of the Vedas. These new ideas and beliefs are called Hinduism- Which became one of the worlds oldest religions. Blend of Religions
As Hinduism developed over 3,500 years, it absorbed many beliefs from other religions and became very complex. They believed that because people are different they need different ways to approach god. Hinduism is one of the worlds major religions. It doesnt have a specific single founder, but Hindus have many great thinkers. They are polytheists (worship many gods), but they believe in one spiritual power called the Brahman, which lives in everything. They believe there is more than one path to the truth. Hindu Gods and Goddess The gods and goddess stand for different parts of
the brahman. The important Hindu gods are Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindu gods take on many forms called avatars, the representation of a Hindu god or goddess in human or animal form. They say the god Brahma was born from a golden egg. He created Earth and everything on it, but he is not as widely worshipped as Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus believe that Vishnu is a kindly god who is concerned with the welfare of human beings. Hindu Gods and Goddess Vishnu visits Earth from time to time in different
forms to guide and protect humans from disaster. Shiva is very powerful and is not concerned with human matters. He is responsible for creative and destructive forces. He developed from the god, Rudra, the wielder of the thunderbolt. Hindu gods have their own families. Shivas wife is the goddess, Shakti, who plays a vital role in human life and like here husband she is both kind and cruel. Shakti is also a destroyer and creator. Teachings of Hinduism The Upanishads is one of the Hindu religious texts and means sitting near the teacher.
It is in the form of a question and response, for example: A pupil asks Who created the world? and the teacher says Brahman is the creator, the universal soul. When asked to describe Brahman, the teacher explains that it is too complicated for humans to understand. Upanishads are concepts that can be answered by humans. Reincarnation Reincarnation means rebirth of the soul. Hindus believe that when a person dies, the soul is reborn in the body of another living thing.
They believe that every living thing has a soul. The actions of a person in this life affect the fate of the next life. Good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished. Faithful followers are born again into higher positions and bad people are born into lower castes or return as animals. If a person leads a perfect life he/she is freed from this cycle of death and rebirth and their soul becomes one with Brahman. A Hindus Duties In order to escape the life and death cycle, a person has to obey his/her dharma.
A dharma is the religious and moral duties of each person. These duties depended on a persons age, class, and occupation. A man must protect the women and a ruler must protect his subjects. Ahimsa or nonviolence is also followed. All people and living things have Brahman and therefore must be treated with respect. Many do not eat meat and try to avoid harming living things. The Practice of Hinduism Hinduism teaches that there is more than one path
to the truth. Many non-Hindus know yoga as a physical activity, but Hinduism believes that yoga helps free the soul from the cares of the world and may unite with Brahman. Yoga means to Unite. For Hindus, there is much yoga that may be used as paths to Brahman. Physical activity is one, selfless deeds is another, learning the sacred writings is the yoga of knowledge. Private Devotion By honoring a personal god, they are following the yoga of devotion.
Hindus worship in public by praying and performing rituals in temples. They also show worship at home, privately by worshipping a personal god. They honor their god by offering food, gifts and prayers at a home alter. This brings the soul closer to Brahman.
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