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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 76.5%


Judaism 2,831,000 1.3%
Islam 1,104,000 0.5%
Buddhism 1,082,000 0.5%
Hinduism 766,000 0.4%
Unitarian Universalist 629,000 0.3%
Wiccan/Pagan/Druid 307,000 0.1%
Spiritualist 116,000 0.05%
Native American 103,000 0.05%
Baha'I 84,000 0.04%
Breakdown of Christianity in America
Rank Religious Body Year Membership
1 Catholic Church 2002 66,407,105
2 Southern Baptist Convention 2003 16,400,000
3 United Methodist Church 2002 8,251,042
4 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 2004 5,599,177
5 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 2003 4,984,925
6 Church of God in Christ 1991 * 4,500,000
7 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 2001 3,595,259
8 National Baptist Convention of America 1987 3,500,000
9 Assemblies of God 2002 2,687,366
10 Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod 2003 2,512,714
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 Three Major Goddess


• Brahma (Creator) • Saraswati (Knowledge)
• • Lakshmi (Wealth)
Vishnu (Preserver)
• Parvati or Shakti (Power)
• Shiva (Destroyer)
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."