STUDIES IN HINDUISM

HINDU Symbols

Aum

Swastika

Lotus

Bindi

Aum-sacred symbol Swastika-symbol of Brahma, creator God Lotus-symbol of release Bindi-forehead of Hindu female, energy, shows marriage

Hare Krishnas

Basics of Hinduism ♦ Also known as The Sanatana Dharm ♦ Supposedly, Hinduism is a way of life, not a religion. ♦ Third most popular religion ♦ Believe in one God reincarnated into different forms ♦ Follow The Vedas

What is a religion?
Webster's Dictionary “the service and worship of God or the supernatural, commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance, a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices, a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”

What is a religion?
The basics to be a religion is: They have their own scriptures They have a worldview (the purpose of the world) They seek enlightenment or spiritual advancement.

A Hindu’s goal is to become free from continuous reincarnations. Three ways to end the cycle of reincarnation 1. Be devoted to any of the Hindu God or Goddesses 2. Mediation. Acknowledge life as an illusion and realize that Brahman is the only real thing 3. Dedicate oneself to various religious

Religions in the World 1. Christianity: 2.1 billion 2. Islam: 1.3 billion 3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion 4. Hinduism: 900 million 5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million 6. Buddhism: 376 million 7. primal-indigenous: 300 million 8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million 9. Sikhism: 23 million 10. Juche: 19 million 11. Spiritism: 15 million

12. Judaism: 14 million 13. Baha'i: 7 million 14. Jainism: 4.2 million 15. Shinto: 4 million 16. Cao Dai: 4 million 17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million 18. Tenrikyo: 2 million 19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million 20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand 21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand 22. Scientology: 500 thousand

World Religions – Pie Chart

Top 10 ORGANIZED Religions in the US 2001 Christianity 159,030,000 Judaism 2,831,000 Islam 1,104,000 Buddhism 1,082,000 Hinduism 766,000 Unitarian Universalist 629,000 Wiccan/Pagan/Druid 307,000 Spiritualist 116,000 Native American 103,000 Baha'I 84,000 76.5% 1.3% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.05% 0.05% 0.04%

Breakdown of Christianity in America
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Religious Body Catholic Church Southern Baptist Convention United Methodist Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church of God in Christ Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) National Baptist Convention of America Assemblies of God Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Year Membership 2002 2003 2002 2003 1991 2001 1987 2002 2003 66,407,105 16,400,000 8,251,042 5,599,177 4,984,925 * 4,500,000 3,595,259 3,500,000 2,687,366 2,512,714

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 2004

Hinduism and America The philosophy of the New Age Movement is directly tied to the philosophy of Hinduism along with scores of modern religious cults and sects, which Hinduism has influenced in varying degrees. Someone has said that Hinduism is the wellspring of a good deal of New Age thinking. Millions of Americans have taken up Hindu practices, such as yoga, meditation, developing altered states of consciousness, asceticism, and seeking "enlightenment."

Hinduism and America
The appeal of Hinduism to modern Western culture is not difficult to comprehend. 1. Hinduism is comfortable with evolutionary thinking. As modern science emphasizes our physical evolution, Hinduism emphasizes our spiritual evolution. 2. Modern psychology and sociology emphasizes the basic goodness and unlimited potential of human nature, Hinduism emphasizes man’s essential divinity.

Hinduism and America 3. Modern philosophy emphasizes the relativity of all truth claims, Hinduism tolerates many seemingly contradictory religious beliefs. 4. Hinduism emphasizes the primacy of the spiritual over material reality, Hinduism appeals to many that have become disillusioned with strictly material pursuits.

The Vedas •Religious text also called Shruti •Arranged into four parts  The Samhitas  The Brahmanas  The Aranyakas  The Upanishads

Gods
Hindus believe in only one God, Brahman, but they worship other reincarnations of Brahman. There are 300,000 different reincarnations of Brahman.

• • • •

Three Majors Gods Brahma (Creator) Vishnu (Preserver) Shiva (Destroyer)

Three Major Goddess
• Saraswati (Knowledge) • Lakshmi (Wealth) • Parvati or Shakti (Power)

Benares India
• • • • The holiest city in India Shiva’s city Benares Heaven touches the Earth Now called Any Hindu who dies here goes straight Varanasi to Heaven

Important Terms to Remember • Karma - action, The culminating value of all of one’s life actions, good and bad, which together determine on’e next rebirth after death. • Samsara - The cyclical transmigration or rebirth of souls passing on from one existence to another until release can be achieved • Brahma - The creator god, the first member of the Hindo triad, consisting of Brahma,

The Caste System A special system of class order. Supposedly invented by Brahama. Brahama created Manu, the first man. From Manu came the four different types of people, as the creator Brahama determined. From Manu’s head came the Brahmins, the best and most holy people. Out of Manus hands came the Kshatriyas, the rulers and warriors. The craftsmen came from his thighs and are called Vaisyas. The remainder of the people came from Manu’s feet and are known as Sudras. There fore, the structure of the caste system is divinely inspired.

• The Brahmins are honored by all the people, including the royal family. Their jobs as priests and philosophers are subsidized by the state involve the study of the their sacred books. • Transcendental Meditation - spiritual pratice, such as yoga used to get into a deeper conscience. • Hare Krishnas-a sect of Hinduism

Hinduism Compared to Christianity Sacred Writings Hindus - Verda Christianity – Holy Scriptures

2Ti 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hinduism Compared to Christianity Hindus – Many Gods Christianity – One God
Deut 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:"

Isa 45:5-6 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, (6) That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other;

Hinduism Compared to Christianity Hindus – Salvation by works and many incarnations Christianity – Salvation through Christ

John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 1 Tim 2:5 “For there is one mediator between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all…”

Hinduism Compared to Christianity Hindus – God became divine Christianity – God has always been God Gen 1:1 In the beginning God John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Hinduism Compared to Christianity

Hindus – Man is divine Christianity – Only God is divine Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

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