Hinduism

The Story of Hinduism

Origin of Hinduism

Origin

India, 2500 B.C.E.

Basic Religious Beliefs

Dharma (ethics and duties)

Samsara (rebirth)

Karma (right action)

Moksha (liberation from the cycle of Samsara)


Most Hindus believe there is a huge force that unifies them and that it governs all humanity but cannot be fully understood by humans. Each god and goddess is a personification of this force. Each individual worships the gods they think directly influence their life. They worship and try to contact these gods/goddesses to become one with this underlying force.

Branches and Divisions

There isn’t really a sort of division in Hinduism, but if you were to classify them you could do so by creating a different branch for each deity.

Classification

Hinduism is an ethnic religion

Unique Features

Key Figures

Ramanuja taught devotion to a personal God, Vishnu, and proposed that the universe is the Lord's body. Salvation is earned largely by grace and entails entering Vishnu's abode (Vaikunthaloka) where one receives a body almost identical to the Lord. A representative of Kashmiri Shaivism and is perhaps its most prolific writer, Abhinavagupta propounded a form of Advaita Vedanta and wrote the multi-volume Tantraloka.

Holy Texts

There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism.

Religous Symbols

The om symbolizes the essence of the entire universe. Traditionally, the bindi is worn on the forehead of married Hindu women. It symbolizes female energy and is believed to protect women and their husbands.The lotus symbolizes beauty and non-attachment.

Place of Worship

Hindus conduct pujas, or shrines, in three main places. These places are their homes, a temple, or in public area.

Impact on Social and Family Structures

Hindu families demonstrate firm ties of affection, strikingly different from many Western families. Hindu scripture has elaborately defined the dynamics of the various relationships within families. For example, a grandchild can tease and joke with a grandparent in a familiar way, not permissible with the father or mother.

Impact on Cultural Belief and Expectation

Hindu values and morals have made India a place with a culture greatly centered on family. They idolize not celebrities, nor athletes, but those who have clean spirits and pure hearts.

Distribution

Hindu Service Rituals

How it Diffused

Hinduism has not spread very much in large amounts because it is an ethnic religion. They don’t have missionaries that try to convert people. The diffusion of Hinduism has stayed in the Southwest Asia part of the world.

Holy Places

Hinduism has not spread very much in large amounts because it is an ethnic religion. They don’t have missionaries that try to convert people. The diffusion of Hinduism has stayed in the Southwest Asia part of the world.

Where it is Practiced Today

Hinduism is practiced mainly in India but is starting to become more common around the world.

Number of Followers

It claims to have 950 million followers.

Essential Question

How would the worldwide diffusion of Hinduism change today's world?