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Hinduism

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Shiva the protector
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There are more than 745 million Hindus in the world (the majority of whcih live in India). Most are vegetarians because the believe in reincarnation. In their  eyes, all living beings, humans and animals alike, should be treated equally with respect. The main goal of the Hindu religion is to become one with Brahman, the creator.

Dietes and Worship
  • Hinduism has been constantly growing and developing for over four thousand years.
  • Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the god of protection), and Shiva (the destroyer), are the 3 main gods.
  • Hindus have personal shrines in their homes to worship whatever god they choose to worship.

Goddesses

  • DEVI: menas "the goddess". All hindu goddesses display one of her many characteristics; Parvati is one of her caring incarnations, while Durga and Kali are two of her violent ones.
  • SARASVATI: "god of the arts". SHe is often displayed sitting on a lotus or holding a book and a vina. She is wife of the creator.
  • KALI is the slayer of demons. She is shown carrying the head of a giant that she has slain.

Gods

  • VISHNU is the protector. Whenever the world is threatened by evil, he appears as one of his avatars to save the day.
  • KRISHNA is the 8th avatar of Vishnu. He had a happy childhood.

Beleifs of Hindus

  • SAMSARA: Samsara is the cycle of death and rebirth.
  • MOKSHA:The aim of this religion is to attain moksha. moksha is freedom from samsara. 
  • There are three ways in which one might achieve moksha:1)jhana marga (the path of wisdom). 2)karma marga, the path of action. 3) bhakti marga, the path of devotion.
  •  DHARMA: your moral duty. the HIndu Scriptures say that it is important to follow your own dharma, and no one elses.
  • AHIMSA is the respect for all living things. Failure to do so will result in bad Karma or an unpleasant rebirth.

Sacred Texts

  • Instead of one holy book, Hinduism has many sacred texts. Shruti (revealed) texts and Smriti (remembered) texts are two types of sacred texts.
  • VEDAS: "knowledge". There are four collections to the Vedas; Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda.
  • Mahabharata: longest poem ever written.

Worship

  • Although temples are important to the Hindu Religion, the majority of worship takes place in the home.
  • Each temple contains a statue, known as a murtis, of a god. Puja is worshp in honor of the murtis. 
  • Prasada is a food offering made by the priests. These offerings include cooked rice, fruit, and sugar.      

Festivals     

  • The most important festival, Khumba Mela, takes place every 12 years at Allahabad. 
  • Shivaratri is a national festival that takes place in March to honor the Diety Shiva. 
  • Navaratri is the festival of 9 nights, and is held in September or October. Its main feature is the goddess Durga.
  • Dassera is a festival that occurs the day after Navaratri dedicated to celebrate Rama.

Pilgramage

  • A pilgramage is a rigorous journey on which one hopes to get closer to God.                                  

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by jahneille cunningham