Ivan Frimmel presents


What is Hinduism?


What is Hinduism?

It is the oldest major world religion; It is the major religion in India, but followers are found in many other countries; Many modern Hindus prefer to call their religion Sanatan Dharma – eternal or imperishable religion, because they believe that it is based on eternal, divine, God-given truths; No one knows exactly when Hinduism began, but most Hindus would agree it started in Northern India about 5000 years ago (and later got its name from the River Indus); Hindus say it is also a way of life.

Who is a Hindu?
In 1995 the Indian Supreme Court said a Hindu is someone who:

accepts that the Vedas (sacred Hindu scriptures contain the word of God); recognizes that there are many different ways to know God; realizes that there are many different deities (gods or goddesses) which can be worshipped.

Hindus around the world
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India Nepal Bangladesh Indonesia Sri Lanka

– about 751-million – over 17-million – over 12-million – over 4-million – nearly 3-million

Hindu Scriptures


that which is heard – the words God actually spoke:
the oldest & most important section; contains 1028 hymns; the most recent was written in 15th century CE mantras, prayers, hymns, about 5000 years old belonging to Brahmins or priests; explaining the mantras forest books: writings on for hermits about asceticism and meditation sitting down near; discussions between holy men and students on Cosmology, Brahman, Atman, etc

The 4 Vedas  Rig Veda • • • •
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Samhitas Brahmanas Aranyakas Upanishads

Yaur Veda Sama Veda Atharva Veda

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that which has been remembered – texts written by ordinary people about God:
poem which tells about the adventures & story of Rama and Sita stories and legends from the past, focus on Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva contains passages about Lord Krishna collection of Smriti law books – how to live good life; About 100 CE ‘The Great Indian Epic; the longest poem in the world; 3-million words the ‘Song of the Lord’, believed to be spoken by Lord Krishna 6

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The Ramayana The Puranas  Bhagavad Purana The Laws of Manu Mahabharata  Bhagavad Gita

Main Hindu gods & denominations
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Most Hindus believe there is only one God, who they call Brahman; Some believe  that He is formless and without any attributes and others

– Nirguna Brahman;

that He takes on many forms and many attributes – Sarguna Brahman;

Those who believe in Sarguna Brahman believe that He manifests Himself as Trimurti - three forms or murtis (images of God):

Brahma Vishnu Shiva

– the creator


– the preserver (Vaishnavism); and also that one of Vishnu’s reincarnation is Krishna; – the destroyer (Shaivaism).

Picture of Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva




Some pictures of Krishna


Pictures of some female Hindu deities




Pictures of Lord Ganesh


Picture of great monkey hero Hanuman


Hindu great monkey hero Hanuman

Hanuman, the great monkey hero, also called Maruti, assists Rama in his battle with Ravana to rescue Sita, who had been kidnapped by Ravana. Hanuman symbolizes the qualities of an ideal devotee of God, which can be represented by the letters of his name, as follows:
      

H = Humility and hopefulness (optimism) A = Admiration (truthfulness, devotion) N = Nobility (sincerity, loyalty, modesty) U = Understanding (knowledge) M = Mastery over ego (kindness, compassion) A = Achievements (strength) N = Nishkama-karma (selfless work in service of God)

After his coronation, following victory in the battle with Ravana, Rama distributed gifts to all those who had assisted him in his battle with Ravana. Turning towards Hanuman, Rama said, "There is nothing I can give you that would match the service you have rendered to me. All I can do is to give you my own self." Upon hearing these words, Hanuman stood by Rama, in all humility, with hands joined together in front of his (Hanuman's) mouth, and head slightly bent in the pose of service for Rama. To this day, this picture of Hanuman, as a humble devotee of the Lord, is the most popular among the admirers and worshippers of Hanuman. The worship of Hanuman, therefore, symbolizes the worship of the Supreme Lord, for acquiring knowledge, physical and mental strength, truthfulness, sincerity, selflessness, humility, loyalty, and profound devotion to the Lord. 13

Shri Satya Sai Baba’s picture & symbol


Photos of 2 Hindu temples


What else do Hindus believe?

Atman – or individual soul, is in all living things, and permanent (eternal); Transmigration – when a person dies, the atman or soul enters a new body and takes on (or reincarnates in) a different form to continue the cycle of birth, death & rebirth called samsara; Moksha – or liberation from the above cycle and the aim of every Hindu; Karma – the law of cause & effect; Dharma – religious duties to be performed by worshipping at home as well as in the mandir, and by taking part in the religious rituals throughout their lives; Ahimsa – practicing non-violence…

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Some Hindu festivals

Divali – festival of light & start of Hindu New Year (October – November); Navarati – dedicated to Mother Goddess in the form of Durga and lasts for 9 nights (Sept – Oct); Dassehra follows straight after Navarati and means the tenth day; the murti of Durga is taken to the nearest river and is symbolically washed; Holi – welcoming spring (Feb – March); bonfires are lit and the God of fire, Agni, is asked for blessings; everyone has fun; children throw coloured powder at each other and unsuspecting adults; Chaturthi – for 7-10 days celebrating the birth of Ganesha, the elephant-god of wisdom and good fortune, who is also known as the remover of obstacles…

Some symbols in Hinduism

Aum or Om (Omkar) – sacred syllable, Universal sound & mantra; Lotus Flower – symbol of purity & of good overcoming evil; Swastika – old symbol for ‘good luck’.


The 4 castes in Hinduism
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Brahmins Kshastriyas Vaishyaas Shudras

– – – –

priests and advisers soldiers and rulers shopkeepers, traders, farmers and skilled workers unskilled workers

(…and, before, not so long ago, also the untouchables, outside all castes…)

Rites of passages (Hindu Ashramas)

Brahmachari –the stage of studentship and religious study with a guru (spiritual teacher); Grihastha – the householder stage, including marriage and raising a family; Vanaprashta – the forest dweller; in times of past retirement from work and time spent away from family to concentrate on spiritual matters; Sannyasa – the final stage of renunciation, when a Hindu leaves home after giving everything they own. Traditionally, the rest of his life was spent wandering and thinking about God.

Various Names for the Ultimate Experience

Vedanta, Hinduism, Yoga
 

Samadhi (Self-Absorption), or Moksha (Liberation) Self-Realization, God-Realization Kensho (‘no-self’ realization), Moksha (Liberation) Enlightenment, Nirvana, Satori (Zen)

 


Wu Wei (non-dual action); The Ultimate Tao Cosmic Consciousness (Richard Bucke) Objective Consciousness (Gurdijeff) Fana (Sufism) Ascension to Light, Illumination, Liberation Oneness, At-one-ment, Union with God

    


Mysticism as the Common Ground of all Religions

Exoteric (External)

Zoroastrianism Islam Christianity Judaism Taoism Buddhism Hinduism Sufism Via Negativa Kabalah Mahayana, Zen Tao Mysticism Yoga, Advaita

Esoteric (Internal)




What is Yoga?

Yoga is a system of esoteric Hindu disciplines designed to achieve a Union with God, e.g. :

Hatha Yoga Raja Yoga Jnana Yoga

– physical exercises (asanas) to control the body and breath (pranayama) – meditation – knowledge

   

Karma Yoga – selfless action Bhakti Yoga – devotion & love…

Advaita Vedanta Soteriology
Self-Realization (Vidya, Jnana, Knowledge):
1. 2. 3. Nondual Universal Consciousness is All There Is Brahman = Nondual Universal Consciousness = All There Is Atman (Individual Self) = Brahman

Avidya (ignorance): Atman’s identification with name & form, intellect, mind, body (ego)…











“Steps” to Enlightenment, Liberation,
Knowledge of Self, Vidya, Jnana

Ordinary, unenightened person, ajnani  I am my name, gender, nationality, personality, body, emotions, mind, intellect, soul, ego; feeling and thinking “I” & “mine” (selfishness) v. “others” Deliverance, Enlightenment, Satori, Self-Realisation, Moksha, Liberation…  I am no-thing; there is no “i”; no-self I am / is not a thing or object Enlightened person, jnani  I am Everything, Self, One, One Self, One-with-All, Love, Witness, Being…

one, self, ego, i
Zero Point

I, Self, One, Paradox
(Nothing-in-and as-Everything)

Various Quotes about Enlightenment & Liberation

Know Thyself ! – by knowing your Self all will be known to you. – Delphic oracle to Socrates. If one has realised one’s Self here, truth is fulfilled; if one does not realise one’s Self here, it is a supremely great loss. Reflecting upon the Self in every experience the wise transcend this world and attain immortality. – Upanishads. Ask yourself “Who am I?” - and pursue this enquiry to its source. Knowing the pure Self is moksha, liberation from ignorance and suffering. – Sri 26 Ramana Maharshi.

Quotes from Vedanta

Brihad-Aryanyaka Upanishad
  

Aham Brahma Asmi – I am Brahman, the Infinite Aham Eva Idam – I am indeed This Sarvosmi – I am all that is

Chandogya Upanishad

Tat Tvam Asi – That Art Thou

Isa Upanishad
 

Yas Tvam Asi Soham Asi – You are indeed “I am” Soham – I am He

Mundaka Upanishad

Idam Sarvam Asi – You are all This

Quotes from Shankaracharya
There is some Absolute Entity, the eternal substratum of the consciousness by which this universe is pervaded, but which nothing pervades, which shining, all this universe shines by Its reflection... This is the innermost Self, the primeval Purusha, whose essence is the constant realisation of infinite Bliss... — Shankaracharya.28

Quote from Chandogya Uphanishad

That which is the finest essence – this whole world has it as its soul. That is reality. That is Atman. That art thou. Tat Tvam Asi.


Glossary of some Hindu terms (1)
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Advaita – non-duality Ahimsa – non violence Arti – a religious ceremony offering love & devotion to a deity and receiving back Ashram – a community set up for spiritual development Ashrama – stage of life Atman – the soul or ‘real self’, part of God in each human being Dharma – religious duty – right conduct Fast – to stop eating all or certain foods, especially for religious purposes Guru – a spiritual teacher

     

Glossary of some Hindu terms (2)
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Karma – action; the law of cause and effect Mala – a string of wooden prayer beads used for meditation (rosary) Mantra – a short religious saying which Hindus use repetitively for chanting Moksha – liberation or freedom from cycle of birth, death & rebirth Murti – an image or representation of deity Puja – worship & purification ceremony Hindus use at home or mandir

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Samsara – reincarnation; cycle of birth, death and rebirth Sanatan Dharma – the eternal or imperishable religion, also known as Hinduism

Glossary of some Hindu terms (3)

Sanskrit – one of the world’s oldest languages, and the language of the Vedas Sat-Chit-Ananda – one of the names for God: KnowledgeConsciousness-Bliss Absolute Seva – service, either to God or mankind Shaivas – people who worship Shiva as the Supreme God Shaktas – people who worship Shakta, the wife of Shiva, in one of her forms, as the Supreme God Shakti – the destructive and reproductive energy associated with Shiva, usually in the form of a female deity

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Glossary of some Hindu terms (4)

Shruti – ‘that which is heard’; a category of sacred writings believed to be composed by God Smriti – ‘that which has been remembered’; a category of sacred writings believed to be composed by human beings Swami – a spiritual teacher, also known as guru or holy man Trimurti – the three main forms of God: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) Upanishads – one of the sacred texts in Vedas Vedas – ‘to know’ or ‘knowledge’; a collection of shruti or divinely given writings; the most important of Hindu writings Yoga – the ways of ‘union’ with God (e.g. Hatha, Raja, Jnana, Karma, Bhakti Yoga)…

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Thank You
Ivan Frimmel
Cell: 082-454-0311 E-mail: ivan.frimmel@nanhua.co.za


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