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Caroline Savage & Kayla Cook

Group 2
A Little Background on Hinduism...
● considered to be the oldest religion on earth (goes back at least
4,000 years)
● Hinduism is the world’s 3rd largest religion with 950 million
○ majority of Hindus live in India
○ 90% of Nepal is Hindu
● Hinduism is difficult to define because it applies to many
different philosophical & religious traditions
○ Main important aspects of Hinduism include dharma, karma,
moksha, & the caste system
Hinduism’s Beginnings
● Hinduism has very ambiguous
modern day
○ no single founder Pakistan

○ no single theology/scripture
○ no agreements on origin
● It is certain that Hinduism originates in
modern day
the Indus River Valley (Modern Day India

○ no longer associated with its
hearth in Pakistan
■ Most (82.5%) Hindus are
The Four Vedas
Rig Veda- This is the
main vedas text and

Sama Veda- the

book of melodies
and chants, songs.

Yajur Veda- The

-The Vedas are the Hindu Scripture book of rituals done
by priests.
that is a combination of revelations
from ancient saints. Atharva Veda-
book of the rituals
-Hindus believe that the Vedas have of everyday life.
The latest addition
no beginning and no end. to Vedas.
-Interpretations can vary.
Three gods

Brahman- The Supreme Vishnu- preserve not Shiva- The destroyer and
being who created the only the earth, but the the restorer.
Universe universe
The Hindu Caste System
-Hinduism is based around a cultural norm of a
caste system. This caste system is deeply rooted
in tradition and linked with Hinduism.

-When you die you are reborn into a different

caste system based on your actions/morals in
your previous life. (your karma)

- The goal is to reach Moksha, which is the

point in which you have reached all
truthfulness and you are reunited with the
-In order to become higher in the
caste system, a Hindu must follow Dharma & Karma
their Dharma
Dharma is a Hindu’s
ethical duty
-Combination of moral law and
spiritual discipline. It is the “law of
-Without dharma Hindus believe -If you live your life according to
they can’t exist. dharma you will have good Karma
-the universal natural laws and will move up the caste system
when Hindus are reincarnated.
-Involving doing what is right for
Family, individual, class or caste,
and universe.
Good Dharma = Good Karma
Branches/Divisions Within Hinduism
● There are 4 significant branches of Hinduism
○ Vaishnavites
■ 580 million adherents
■ Vishnu is worshipped as supreme god
○ Shaivites
■ 220 million adherents
■ Shiva is worshipped as supreme god
○ Lingayat
■ 22 million adherents
■ overthrew caste distinctions
○ Neo/Reform Hindus
■ 10 million adherents
■ relaxed the caste systems & karma/dharma
Hinduism in terms of “when?”
● 7 Main Historical Periods
○ Indus River Valley Civilization (Before 2000 BCE)
■ religion grew out of small local cultures
○ Vedic Period (1500-500 BCE)
■ Aryan culture changed Hinduism
■ 4 Vedas introduced
○ Epic, Puranic, & Classical Age (500 BCE-500 CE)
■ temple worship was emphasized
■ Buddhism is introduced
○ Pre-Modern Period (500-1500 CE)
■ Rise of Islam
○ British Period (1500-1757 CE)
■ British “need to westernize” India
○ Independent India (1947 CE-present)
■ Hindu “Diaspora”
Monotheistic Views Polytheistic Views

- Hindus believe that all reality -While Hindus see all gods as
is essentially one thing, ultimately one,they do ascribe
therefore from their point of to polytheistic ideals.
view they are monotheistic. Depending on
-They have over 330 million
your point of
Atman: the ultimate view it can be
gods and goddesses in the
Hindu Faith.
reality within. seen as BOTH!!
-Hindus choose to worship
whichever gods they choose.
Diwali-Festival of Lights
Reason: Celebrates victory of good versus evil.
Length: Lasts 5 days
Festivities: Lots of lights and fireworks, and sweets.
Most popular Hinduism holidays. Celebrated by other
religions such as Jains and Sikhs.

Holi-Festival of Color
Reason: Celebrates the death of evil as told in old myth.
Length:Celebrated on the full moon of the month of
Phalgun, or march.
Festivities: Shops are closed for the day and it is a very
happy atmosphere. Bright colors fill the air and are
sprayed on children. Lovers apply color to their lovers.

Ganesh Chaturthi
Reason:This honors the elephant headed god Ganesh
or the son of Shiva. (his birth)
Length:10 day long festival
Festivities: 2-3 months prior a statue is made of him
and flours and rice is presented to him, and he is
floated in the water. Much dancing and singing.
Mandir (public temple) Home Shrine Public Places
-It is communal Worship. -Individual worship to a -Tucked into the side of
-Each temple or Mandir is god. buildings or in trees.
dedicated to a different god. -Daily puja (worship) -Members of community
-Focus of all religious life -Foundation for all family keep it clean.
actions and decision.
of Hinduism
-Majority in Asia Pacific,
with a99.3% of hindus
living in in this region.
-The remaining .7% is
distributed throughout
North America, Europe,
Africa, and Latin America.
India Hinduism
-There are 828 million
Hindus living in the country of

-The population of Hindus is

largely on the coast of the Bay of
Bengal and the eastern border of

-Out of a worldwide population

82.5% of Hindus live in India.
The Diffusion of Hinduism
● Hinduism is considered to be an ethnic religion
○ one can practice it, but one cannot become a
Hindu unless born to Hindu parents
○ limited diffusion
● Hinduism spreads mainly by relocation diffusion
● Hearth-Indus River Valley in [Modern Day
○ Hindus moved towards the Ganges River
○ throughout South Asia and South East Asia
● Hindus have not, generally, engaged in colonial
○ have been conquered BY empires

Hindu Temple in Malibu, CA, USA

The Diffusion of Hinduism
Works Cited
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BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

" News from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia." Christians, Hindus Must Educate Young to Be

Peacemakers, Vatican Says. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"How Did Towns and Cities in India Get Their Names?" - Quora. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"Library." Exploration and Conquest. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"Lingayat | Hindu Sect." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"Neo-Hinduism - Oxford Reference." Neo-Hinduism - Oxford Reference. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"NEO-HINDUISM (Religious Movement)." Whatwhenhow RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"Religion Maps." Religion Maps. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

"Vaishnavism - ReligionFacts." Vaishnavism - ReligionFacts. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.