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HinduismWorld Religions By Owen Levings

OriginThe term "Hinduism" comes from a Persian word that refers to the Sindhu (or Indus) river in northwest India. "Hindu" was first used in the 14th century by Arabs, Persians, and Afghans to describe the peoples of the region. By the end of the 19th century, "Hinduism" was adopted by the British colonial administration in India to describe the various religious beliefs, rituals and practices of the majority of India's population.

CelebrationsDiwaliHoliKrishna JanmashthamiGanesh ChaturthiShiv RatriThe Onam CarnivalVasant PanchamiGuru PurnimaKarwa ChauthBhai DoojVasanta NavaratriThe Kumbh & ArdhkumbhDurga PujaDussheraNavaratriRakshaBandhanRakhi

The red region represents Hinduism which is mainly based in India

Beliefs (Part 1)Hindus believe in: 1. One Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.2. The divinity of the four Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.3. The universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.4. Karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.

Beliefs (Part 2)Hindus believe in:5. The soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, moksha and liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be deprived of this destiny.6. Divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.7. That an enlightened master, or satguru, it is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation and surrender in God.8. All life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, noninjury, in thought, word and deed.9. That no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets of God's Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.

Symbols (Part 1)Sacred emblems are displayed in the home or temple to bring good fortune.Om (Aum) – the most important Hindu symbol, often used as the emblem of Hinduism.Hands in prayer – a sign of respect for the sacred.

Laws (Part 1)1. Hindu by Birth:If the parents are both Hindus, their children whether their parents are married or not when born become Hindus automatically.2. Hindu by Faith or Conversion of Hinduism:Every person converted to Hinduism is treated as a Hindu.3. Illegitimate Children:Illegitimate children born to Hindu parents or both the parents.4. Illegitimate Children:Illegitimate children born to Christian father and Hindu mother and brought up as a Hindu.

Laws (Part 2)5. A person who is Hindu by birth, and who has renounced Hinduism and reverted back to Hinduism either by religious rites or recognition from community.6. The sons of Hindu dancing grils of the Naik caste who are converted to Mohammedanism, but whose sons are brought up by the Hindu grand parents as Hindus.7. To Hindu who have made a declaration that they were not Hindus for the purpose of Special Marriage Act 1872

Holy BooksVedasPuranasUnpanishadsRamayanaMahabharataBhagwad GitaDevi Mahatmya

Symbols (Part 2)3. Lotus (padma) – symbol of purity/transcendence. Growing out of the mud, it is beautiful, and though resting on water, it does not touch it.4. Conchshell – used during arati: one of the four symbols of Vishnu. The others are the lotus, club and disc.5. Swastika – an ancient solar sign considered to invoke auspiciousnes. 6. Trident (trishul) – the symbol of Shiva; often carried by Shaivite sannyasis (renunciates).

Symbols (Part 3)7. Kalasha – coconut circled by mango leaves on a pot. Often used in rituals such as the fire sacrifice.8. Cow – symbol of purity, motherhood and non-violence.9. Lotus feet – touching the feet of superiors and shows an attitude of submission and service.10. Dipa/Lamp – symbol of light.

Interesting FactsWhen most religions only pray for 1 God, you will never find that Hinduism prays to 1 God. This belief is famous with their 330 million gods.Do you know what the meaning of Karma is? The meaning is if you do a good thing in the past, you will receive a good mark in the future. If you hurt a person, someone will hurt you.Reincarnation, do you know what it is? When you experience reincarnation, you will be reborn again until it reaches 8,400,000 life cycles.

Hinduism vs ChristianityFounder: H: No Founder (because Hindus believe in many gods). C: Jesus Christ.Scriptues: H: Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas, Gita. C: The Holy Bible.Place of Origin: H: Indian Subcontinent. C: Jerusalem.Time of Origin: H: Approx. 3000BC. C: 33AD.Population of Religion: H: 1 Billion. C: 2.1 Billion.

BibliographyUnknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://www.martinsmwh.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/800px-Religion_distribution.png. Last accessed 9th Sep 2013Unknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://hinduism.iskcon.org/img/lifestyle/symbols1.jpg. Last accessed 12th Sep 2013.Unknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://hinduism.iskcon.org/lifestyle/806.htm. Last accessed 12th Sep 2013.Unknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/u/celebrations.htm. Last accessed 11th Sep 2013.Unknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/basics/nine-beliefs. Last accessed 11th Sep 2013.Unknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://www.patheos.com/Library/Hinduism.html. Last accessed 9th Sep 2013.Unknown. (Unknown). Unknown. Available: http://hinduism.iskcon.org/img/lifestyle/symbols3.jpg. Last accessed 12th Sep 2013.


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