What sect of Hinduism are we learning about?
Introduction to Hinduism
• It dates to 4000 BCE
• It is in prehistoric times
• It is difficult to give an exact date of origin
• It is one of the oldest living religions
• It is one of the most widely practiced inside and outside India
• It developed gradually over thousands of years
• It is a product of many races and traditions
• There is no:
o Single founder
o Central authority
o Leader or international body (church)
o Central text or prayer book (Bible)
• There are many authoritative scriptures
• There is a diversity of practice meaning that there are no fixed rules in
practicing the religion, and it is permissible to practice it in any way
• It is monotheistic
• The million of Devas are not gods, as it was mistranslated
• They are someone who has evolved to the greatest status
• Hinduism integrates religion in everyday life
• Hinduism teaches the fundamental truth of the Brahman
• Hinduism began as a ritualistic set of practices
• The sacred words became more formalized with text compilations
What do Indians call India?
When did the Europeans come?
• They came in the 18 and 19 century
• They formalized it into a semblance of Christianity
The British Rule (1858-1947)
• Five British men ruled over 56 million Indians
• They governed India
• They instituted an army
• They only associated with the Brahman, the top class
• They only learned of their version of Hinduism
• They began to arrange the data to fit their idea of a religious system • Gandhi was a central figure in gaining independence
What is Hrappa?
• Every account of Hinduism religion begins here
• There was an archaeological excavation in 1926
• It revealed a complex on cities on the banks of the Indus River
• This was called Mohenjo-Daro
• The artifacts at this site revealed rituals, a massive pool, stone sculptures
• This showed a sophisticated set of religious practices and rituals
• Nobody can read the language because we do not understand the
• This excavation gave us an idea that a part of our society comes from this
• It is not in modern day Pakistan
• The most closely related group are the South Dravidians
• They were original inhabitants and they were smarter than Aryans
• Existing culture and civilization called Indus Valley, which have the name
Indu or Hindu in 4000-3000 BCE
Who are the Indo Aryans?
• The founders of the doctrine of Hinduism
• They are white nobles from central Asia
• They are nomadic warriors
• They came from Persia in 2000 BC
• They gave the name Hinduism in 1829 (couldn’t pronounce Sindhu, so
they said Hindu)
• They made an abrupt appearance
• When they came, the Hrappa came to a sudden end
• Their images changed to include animals
• The Indo Aryans believed that their practice was inhumane, so they
wanted to figure out a way to redress the system
What did Sir Harold Bailey Say?
• He said that the Indo Aryans arrived on horseback
• He believed that this invading culture controlled several other pieces of
• He suggested according to linguistic findings and archaeological evidence
that there could have been a slow migration from Eastern Turkey
What is the backwards projection?
• Suggests that people from present day India left to Europe and not the
other way around
• Latin and Sanskrit have ancient origins and contain similar words What did the Aryans bring?
• Class/Caste System
• Technology (cultural warfare and horses)
• Established villages and communities
• Doctrines and literature of this time became sacred writing of Hinduism
• Oral traditions were now written down and would help govern beliefs in the
What is Sanskrit?
• It is not a spoken language
• It is doubtful that it was ever a vernacular (a popularly spoken language)
• It shares works with ancient languages of the Middle East
• It is similar to Latin because it was only spoken by priestly groups
• It is not similar to Latin because it may have never been a language of
use, it was just technical
• A multitude of other languages emerge over the years without changing
the important of Sanskrit
Who spoke Sanskrit?
• Higher caste males
• It is the language of the Brahmans
• The Brahmans spoke a different language than everyone else
What is Prakrit?
• It was a language spoken by women and lower classes
• This language later developed into some of the most common languages
spoken in India (Hindi)
3 Major Concepts
• Everything is holy
• The goal is liberation from the cycle of re-birth
• The tie to this cycle is Karma
Who was Alberooni?
• He worked for the Eastern Afghanistan King in year 1000
• He was sent to India to organize trade
• He observed the structure, habits, customs, and practices of the people
who live there
What did Alberooni find?
• He could not find a Buddhist in India • People are polite and sophisticated
• People have a high level of math and science skills
• Every human being is in the exact same occupation as their father
• Their clothing is modest
• They sacrifice animals, but they do not eat meat
• What you do in this lifetime has no meaning here
• There is another play, not called heaven
• He was aware that people were above and below him
What is Maha?
• Everything we see and experience is Karma
• There is no way you can get away from it
• It is in our bodies
What is the theory for the caste system origination?
• During the Big Bang, there were huge noises and then there was stillness
• This stillness was replaced with motion
• A giant man fell to the planet
• His head was the Brahmans and his heart was the Shatria
What are the classes?
1. The Brahmans.
• They are the top, priestly class.
• They wear all white and they have custody to the Vedas and their
• They are separated from everyone else, and you cannot touch, look, or
eat with them (you could face death).
• They are literate.
• They are the teachers of prayer
• They perform sacrifices
• They can only marry each other
2. The Nobility/Shatria
• They are warriors.
• You cannot touch them or eat with them
• You go to their courts
3. The Vaisyas
• They are the mercantile class
• They are farmers
• They touch and trade in money
• They do not teach, but only study the Vedas
4. The Shrudas/Untouchables
• They cannot possess wealth or position • They do jobs that people will not do, such as cleaning toilets
What is the Sankhara Theory?
• Before the world began there was absolute stillness and no Karma
• One particle moved, and when that particle moved, it joggled something
else and else, and out of this was Karma
• Karma never stops so you must learn to live with it
What are the three strands of energy that every person has?
• Lower Energy (ground, where we sleep)
• Middle Energy (steady, doesn’t move around)
• High Energy (fast, awake)
What are the three main scriptures in Hinduism?
1. Bhadwad Gita
• There is no single definitive scripture in Hinduism
• Many scriptures are equally as important
• They are written in Sanskrit
What are the Vedas?
• The term Veda means knowledge
• They were written in 1500-800 BCE
• They are the basis of our knowledge of early Hinduism
• There are two parts: the ritual portion and the philosophical/knowledge
• They are written in Sanskrit
• The practices were formalized with text compilations
• They are the oldest continuous writing in the world
• The worlds survived fragmentarily (from 2,000 to 108)
• The Vedas each give a “how to” book for saying and singing prayer
• Each of the 4 Vedas had 4 parts as well
What are the Heard of the Himalayas?
• The Vedas were brought down the Himalayas by wind and they were
• They were brought down by the voice of Shritis
What is the Samhita?
• It is the first three parts of the Vedas
• The Rig is the grandparent text
• The Sama and Yajur are taken, repeated, and set to music or ritual
• There is a degree of repetition • However, the Sama and Yajur are different from the Rig despite repetition
What is the Purusha Sukta?
• It is the 10 and last book of the Rig Veda
• It is the earliest known text
• It says that the primordial man was split into parts, but this does not
indicate the beginning of the caste system
What is Aranyakas?
• Forest Treatises or Wilderness Books
• Vedas must be learned in the wilderness
• Vedas were set and used for forest meditation
• This was prior to 6000 BCE
What happened in 6000 BCE?
• The beginning of the fourth section was starting to be written down
• It is a profound philosophical text
What are the Four Vedas?
1. Rig Veda
• 1500 BCE
• Collection of hymns and praises to god
• The mention of thousands of Vedas occurs in later sections
2. Sama Veda
• Hymns for chanting that are taken from the Rig Veda
3. Yajur Veda
• Incantations, sacrifice rituals
4. Artharva Veda
• Magic, superstition, witchcraft, spells
*Many gods were named and worshipped as certain forces of nature (sky gods,
thunder gods, fire gods)
*Vedic religion was polytheistic (330 million Devas)
*All Vedas consist of mantras
*People looked to gods as family and friends
What are the three ways of practicing Hindu?
• Qualified Non-Dualist
o Recognize the Brahman Atman but their personal method is Vishnu
• Dualist o They deny the Upanishads
o They do not believe in the knowledge portion of the Vedas
o They pay no need to higher metaphysics
o They believe that the gods are real
o The sole purpose is to worship gods
What are the Upanishads?
• It means sitting down near the teacher
• It is the philosophical part of Hinduism
• It developed from the concluding parts of the Vedas
• It deals with philosophical problems (Why was I born? Where am I going?)
What three central concepts do we learn from the Upanishads?
*Each is derived from philosophical teachers who contribute to methods of the
*There are Upanishads for each of the Vedas, and for each of the sections of
What is Brahman?
• Absolute, ultimate reality, universal self
• Brahman is one of the most important concepts in Hinduism, signifying
ultimate reality. Brahman is absolute, eternal, ineffable, and impersonal.
What is Atman?
• The individual self, the soul
• First is "atman" - loosely translated, this means "soul" or "individual soul."
Atman refers to the essence of each individual living thing - its soul or
primary living energy. Each living thing - people, animals, plants - have an
atman that forms each thing's eternal essence. The atman is not the body;
the body is not eternal. The body houses the atman until the body dies.
Atman is immortal and eternal.
What is the Bhagwad Gita?
• It means “song of the lord”
• It is the most accessible and most popular text
• This is because the god speaks as a human being
• It is written in poem form
• It is like a bible for the Hindus
• It has 18 chapters
• It was written around 200 BC to 200 AD
• It has two epics o Mahabharata
• It teaches the art of living (how do I live my life?)
Who are the key players in the Bhadwad Gita?
• Krishna: the 9 incarnation, god in a human form, compassionate human
• Arguna: human warrior
What Happens in the BG? (What happens in the first chapter?)
• There is a battlefield with two families on it
• The evil family took the kingdom from the good family
• They went to war to see who could retrieve the kingdom
• Arguna, a member of the good famil