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Hinduism, which dates back to at least 2000 BC C., is one of the oldest living r
eligions in the world. Mainly originated in India and Nepal. The Hindus call Hin
duism a religion, but sanasata dharma, which means "eternal learning" or "eterna
l law." In the world there are 750 million Hindus. Among them there is great div
ersity of beliefs, but they are all dedicated to the idea that our life on earth
is part of an eternal cycle of births, deaths and rebirths. Taking a peaceful l
ife, studying the ancient texts of Hinduism, praying and meditating, Hindus are
trying to find unity with the Brahman. The central question of Hinduism is: "How
I can redeem myself of eternal reincarnation?"
Om, a symbol of Hinduism
Most Hindus are in India. The peninsula of India (Hindustan), is located in sout
hern Asia, washed by the Indian Ocean. Its boundaries are the Sea of Oman, Gulf
of Bengal and the Himalayas. The religion of the inhabitants of India was direct
ed. But around 1500 B.C. came the arrival at the Indus Valley about Indo-Europea
ns, who called themselves Aryans (arya, noble) and were imposed on the inhabitan
ts of the area. The religion of the invaders was Vedic. Although at first the Ve
dic religion was imposed, over the centuries was giving Vedism mix between relig
ion and Indic. This mixture concluded around 500 BC C. giving rise to Hinduism.
Thus, the origin of Hinduism is developing a long popular as it was not founded
by one person. The people of Indian civilization developed agricultural and urba
n culture, and religion was the basis of Hinduism. In contrast, the Aryans were
a nomadic pastoral people, skillful warriors but less cultured than the subject
peoples. Yet they imposed their culture and religion, the Vedic religion, so cal
led by the name of their sacred texts, the Vedas. Most of the Vedic gods were re
lated to the forces of nature: Agni, the fire, Indra, the storm; Dyaus Piter, he
aven, Varuna, water, law and order ... In its pantheon almost no goddesses. The
Aryans were a patriarchal people, and their religion reflects the lack of import
ance in their society were women.
The Aryans believed that people could "negotiate" deals with the gods. As a resu
lt, they offered sacrifices to get something valuable in return: good health, ma
ny children, long life, wealth, military victories ... The most important ritual
was the sacrifice of offerings to the gods. For that sacrifice, the priests wou
ld gather by the fire and threw the offerings. Fire accepted them, and through s
moke, rising to the gods. The priests developed a very complicated ritual, under
stood and could only hold them, so control the power of sacrifice. This enabled
them to influence the Absolute Spirit, the Universal All, an impersonal god who
governs all, the Brahman. So were called Brahmins, which means "related to Brahm
an." Vedic cults had become very rigid and complex, and they were leaving classe
s. Towards the V century a. C. Indic popular cults and reborn again strongly hel
d, but interspersed with elements of the Vedic religion. Thus, the fusion of rel
igion and traditional Vedic culture was born Indic Hinduism. The Vedic gods were
replaced by more popular gods
Shiva, Vishnu, Rama or Krishna. Again hosted the pantheon as the goddesses Devi,
Parvati, Durga or Kali
Brahman means immutable and supreme reality that exists beyond the changing worl
d of appearances. Hinduism is characterized by the many gods they worship. But i
n fact, all these deities are but one faces fundamental reality that the Hindus
call Brahman (universal soul), absolute limitless, eternal, from which all thing
s are born. Different gods are not only images of this invisible reality. So, fo
r many, Hinduism is polytheistic in appearance, and that worships many gods, but
if you go to monotheistic ultimate reality. According to legend, a very wise ma
n first asked her son to rub salt in the water and again after the draw. Of cour
se, the salt is dissolved and the boy could not separate it. Then his father exp
lained that the presence of Brahman in the world is like salt in water: it is in
visible, but is everywhere. Atman. Hinduism teaches that every living being has
a soul called Atman. Some Hindus believe that the atman or individual soul is pa
rt of Brahman (universal soul).€Other Hindus believe that the Atman and Brahman
are two different things
In Hinduism there are thousands of gods, each with its own characteristics. The
Hindu gods elect who prefer to worship and believe qu usually are different aspe
cts of reality itself supreme and immutable Brahman.
The Hindu trinity. There are three Hindu deities Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Si
va) associated with the creation, preservation and destruction of the world. In
Hinduism it is considered that the cycle of creation, destruction and renewal is
continuous: it has no beginning
or end. The three deities are the Trinity of Hinduism, Trimurti, meaning three w
ays. Trimurti
Brahma is the creator god who founded the universe again each cycle of the world
. Currently there is worshiped independently. He is depicted with four heads sym
bolizing that sees in all directions.
Vishnu, the god who preserves and protects the universe. He is represented in bl
ue and four arms, symbolizing that can reach all corners of the world. Vishnu ca
me into the world of men with different physical forms called avatars.
Siva, the destroyer or liberator. Embodies the cycles of birth, life, death and
rebirth. Normally represented by an impressive figure with four arms, matted hai
r, a moon on his head and a snake coiled around his neck. The upper right hand i
s usually holding a drum that accompanies the rhythm of the dance of liberation
and recreation. Siva has a third eye on his forehead that symbolizes many things
. Shiva Mantra
Rama and Sita avatars of Vishnu When evil threatens the world, Vishnu appears in
one of their avatars, or incarnations, to protect it. Hindu Myths consider ten
most important and powerful. The first avatar was like a fish, Matsya, the secon
d how to tortoise, Kurma, the third as wild boar, Varaha, the fourth as half-man
half-lion, Narasimha, the fifth avatar as a dwarf, Vamana, the sixth such as "R
ama with the ax" called Parasurama. The most important avatars are the seventh a
nd the eighth: Rama and Krishna. Rama and his wife, Sita, represent the ideal pa
rtner. They are respected for his purity of character, their mutual love and hig
h moral values. One story has it that Sita was abducted by Ravana, the demon kin
g of Sri Lanka, but Rama defeated Ravana with the help of Hanuman, the monkey go
d, and rescued Sita. For many Hindus, this victory represents the triumph of goo
d over evil. This story is told in the Ramayana. Worshipped as a god, Krishna is
more popular avatar of Vishnu. It is famous for having killed the demon king Ka
nsa. Is usually depicted with blue skin and playing the flute. The Mahabharata t
ells the actions of Krishna. The founder of Buddhism, Buddha, is considered the
ninth avatar of Vishnu. He descended to earth to stop animal sacrifice. The last
avatar of Vishnu is Kalki and has not yet appeared. He
expected as a warrior on a white horse to destroy evil. PARVATI Krishna, Durga a
nd Kali are three goddesses who are associated with Siva Parvati, and Kali Kurga
n. Parvati is the beautiful, sweet wife for the compassionate and benevolent han
d of Siva. Durga and Kali in particular, are frightening and powerful and are re
lated to its destructive aspect. Durga, the inaccessible, kills demons with his
sword and Kali is the destroyer of evil.
Lakshmi is Vishnu's wife Lakshmi. She is the goddess of wealth and good luck. In
two of his four arms carrying a lotus flower (symbol of the soul) and a coin (w
hich symbolizes blessings and wealth).
Laksmi GANESHA Ganesha is the elephant-headed god, son of Shiva and Parvati, is
very popular among all Hindus. It is the god who removes obstacles. So he prays
when undertaking a new task. It is said that Shiva beheaded Ganesha in a fit of
rage, but later brought back to life by giving an elephant's head.
Hinduism is a way of behaving, an attitude toward life and the world. Hinduism h
as no founder, nor a set of established principles, and its believers have very
different ideas about divinity. However, there are a number of characteristics t
hat differentiate it from other religions. Essence of Hinduism believe in a god
or absolute reality emanating from everyone else. They can worship their gods ab
stract and impersonal, universal spirit, the
they call Brahman. You can also worship one or more gods with human forms, invol
ved and help mankind. With this variety of beliefs, what is the core of their be
liefs. The Hindu is one who recognizes what his duty in life, his dharma, and ac
cepts responsibility for his actions, his karma, the actions and their consequen
ces in the future reecarnaciones. Karma is the set of actions, both good and bad
,€have consequences in the form of reincarnation. Dharma define as ethical and
religious duty which each is assigned according to their particular situation of
This is the flag of India. In the center of the white stripe is a blue color whe
el that indicates the Dharma Chakra, the universal law and natural that we all h
ave to follow.
According to the Hindu reincarnation, each person lives many lives throughout it
s existence. This eternal cycle of reincarnation is called samsara.Cuando one di
es, his soul is reborn, reincarnated in another body. What happens in every life
is the result of previous lives. That is, one will be reincarnated in a body go
od if in his previous life has behaved according to their duty in life, or dharm
a. If they are good, is reincarnated as a higher life form. What one does well,
makes good, and what he does wrong, makes him bad. Thus, it can be reincarnated
as a higher caste person if it was good, and if it was bad in other lower-or eve
n an animal. The ultimate goal of the practices of the Hindu religion is perfect
until you can break the cycle of reincarnation, this release is called moksha.
All practive and devotions of Hinduism own aim to ensure that the faithful are f
ree of the continuous cycle of reincarnation and reach liberation. Because of th
e belief in reincarnation, many Hindus are vegetarians because they believe that
all living things are part of the same spirit. Therefore believe that both anim
als and people should be treated with respect and reverence. THE VIDEO To 1. 2.
The free way WAY way of continuing acts: faithfully follow the devotion worship
a reincarnation RELEASE A proposed three-way Hinduism: Dharma and perform the du
ties of their own caste. God fervently and piously celebrate their festivals and
3. The way of knowledge: to discover through meditation the true nature of the s
oul and find in it the Brahman, the Spirit, the Universal All, to join him. It i
s usually an option of resignation to material goods and pleasures, the route of
the ascetics or shadus.
Hinduism has no single book you learn but several texts of the twelfth century C
. written in the ancient Sanskrit language. First we have the four Vedas were or
ally durantre trnasmitieron centuries before being written: Rig Veda, the oldest
, written in one of the most archaic Sanskrit, probably before 400 BC C., Yajur
Veda, the book of sacrifices Sama Veda contains hymns, Atharva Veda is the book
of rituals. The Upanishads, mystical-philosophical meditations written around 60
0 a. C, integrated with the Vedas, the body of texts that are considered "reveal
ed" and that can not be altered. The Mahabharata, with more than 100,000 verses,
tells the story of two lineages of princes fighting among themselves. Ramayana,
which tells the story of Rama and Sita. And the books are epic Puranas of Hindu
Text in Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hinduism, Jn 1.1-8
Hindu scriptures divide the ancient Indian society into four social groups, call
ed varnas. The first varna formanban as priests and teachers, and were the Brahm
ins. The second varna were the rulers and soldiers called Kshatriyas. The third
included merchants and farmers, who were called Vaishyas. Members of the fourth
varna were the Sudras, ie manual workers. Today, instead of four varnas, there a
re thousands of Hindu society groups called castes or jatis. Everyone belongs to
a caste by birth and though the differences between them are not as rigid as be
fore, are still important in defining the place of each person in society. Outsi
de the castes are the outcasts (Dalits) are the untouchables, a class so low tha
t it is considered outside the varnas. Hindus believe that Dalits are as low as
excrement, something outside the body of Brahma. "For our descendants, Dalits ca
n not even take water from the same stream as other breeds, are excluded from ba
sic services such as health , education and jobs. " The outcasts are approximate
ly 130 million. The Hindus are very strict rules regarding caste: it belongs to
them by birth, and you can not climb. In addition, you can only marriage between
members of the same breed. Although the caste system is banned in India since 1
947, the practice is still practiced in many places.
The sadhus are a man or woman ascetic who renounces all his possessions, clothin
g is more vital, living away from society and get food by begging. Lay people re
vere and respect to sadhus, keep them and turn to them for spiritual guidance.€
The purpose of the sadhu is to attain moksha or liberation as soon as possible f
or this waiver to all amenities and practive yoga. VIDEO Gurus are spiritual tea
chers. They must be experts in the scriptures, wishes and feel free to be comple
te lies and spiritually. The gurus can teach the young sagrasos texts of the hig
her castes. Hindus resorting to the gurus in search of spiritual advice Hindu my
stics are called yogis. They live in remote places called ashram, where they sha
re their lessons with gurus Sadhu
Graph of religions in India's most populous Hindu India: 755 135 000 Nepal: 18.3
54 million Bangladesh: 15.995 million Indonesia: 4.259 million Sri Lanka: Pakist
an 2.124 million: 1.868 million Malaysia: 1.63 million U.S.: 1.032 million Myanm
ar (Burma): 893 000 South Africa: 650,000
To see the distribution of religions in India click here Hundu Rate of Bali in t
he following countries: 90 Nepal: 86 India: 80 Fiji: 38 Guyana: 34 Surin 26 Bhut
an: 25 Trinidad and Tobago: 24 Sri Lanka: 16 Bangladesh: 12
The most important stages of Hindu life, like birth and death are celebrated wit
h rituals called samskaras, which take place before a sacred fire. In total ther
e are sixteen samskaras, three of which are held before the birth. BIRTH. Shortl
y after birth, the child is washed Hindu and was written in the language the wor
d "Om" in a golden pen dipped in honey. Ten days later given a name in a call ce
remonioa namakarana. It is then that makes the chart, a map showing the position
of planets and stars at the time of his birth. This map is used later to determ
ine dates such as wedding or coming of age ceremony. After four years, cut his h
air and he gives the family god. Om MOST OF AGE. Between eight and twelve years,
Indian men participating in the ceremony upanayana, because they are considered
old enough to learn more about their religion. A priest blesses a long white co
tton string, which passes through the left shoulder and under the right arm of t
he child. The cord has three strands, reminiscent of his debt to God, their ance
stors and spiritual master, also representing the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
The child wears the sacred thread throughout his life.
MARRIAGE. In general, parents often arrange marriages for their children. The we
dding ceremony can last twelve days and can take place anywhere. Although the ex
act form may vary, the bride and groom have the same rituals led by a priest. Th
ey pledge of mutual loyalty and sharing their possessions before a sacred fire t
hat represents the deity. The red sari is tied to the bride groom's dress to sym
bolize their union. Then the couple walk around the fire singing hymns and praye
DEATH. According to the Hindus, when a person dies the soul returns to the world
in another form, ie is reincarnated. It is believed to die by the river Ganges
can prevent many incarnations and thus bring his moksa or release. If a person c
an not reach the river Ganges to die, you usually get water from that river. The
body of the deceased is placed in a pile of firewood or funeral pyre and the el
dest son lit the fire. Three days after the ashes are collected and thrown into
a river, if possible at Ganges.
For many Hindus, the center of religious life is the house, with its own altar,
where members of the family can worship daily. Deo a way to honor the gods are t
he many festivals throughout the year are devoted to dioeses and goddesses. The
worship in the temple is also important. The Hindu temples are some of the most
beautiful and ornately decorated of all religious Edicifio and provide homes for
the gods and goddesses who live in them. Hindus do not have to attend the templ
e. Another important part of worship is the pilgrimage.
The worship is called puja can be performed in a temple or at home. When you pla
ce in the house, each family gathers at the family altar, which is usually decor
ated with pictures and statues of deities. The members of the family lights a ca
ndle and pray together every day before the altar. The faithful can wash the ima
ge or murti, touching his face and feet with a flower submerged in water, pour i
t, decorate it with flowers and anointed with oils. They offer food to the deity
, burn incense and hymns sung entertain you. And most importantly, the faithful
make eye contact with a ritual called darshana.
Each family altar choose their own gods, depending on education and personal pre
ferences.€For many Hindus worship deities helps focus the mind and takes them b
eyond the individual gods, to the understanding of Brahman.
The Hindu temples vary in design. Most are dedicated to a god or goddess. In the
deepest part of the temple, there is usually an altar or shrine with a statue o
f a deity. This image is called murti. The sanctuary has a loop-shaped roof that
acts as a link between earth and sky and symbolizes Mount Meru, the abode of th
e gods. Each temple has also at least one mandapa room or outside where there ar
e shrines for other deities.
During the worship, Hindus walk around a shrine in the sense of clockwise. It is
believed that through darshana or eye contact with the murti, the person commun
icates with God and can make requests and receive spiritual insights. The faithf
ul can bring gifts such as fruit and flowers. All the temples have a Brahmin pri
est, who placed the offerings to the god to be blessed. He later returned to the
ir owners so that they pass on the blessing. The Brahmins do sometimes with a re
d powder, a mark of blessing called tilak on the foreheads of the faithful.
FESTIVALS and Peregrine
The Hindu year. The Hindu calendar has 12 lunar months, ie based on the phases o
f the moon. This calendar is used to calculate the dates of festivals and other
religious events and make the charts. In everyday life follow the solar calendar
. Every year hundreds of religious festivals celebrated, most of them related to
events in the life of the gods. Some holidays such as Diwali, is celebrated aro
und the world while others are local.
Diwali. It is a five-day festival that takes place between October and November
and in which worships Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and beauty. In this event a
lso marks the triumphant return of Rama after his exile, accompanied by his wife
Sita. Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Also known as festival
of lights. The light represents knowledge and the triumph of good over evil. The
houses and temples are decorated with oil lamps called diyas and fireworks are
set off to drive away the darkness and light the way back home to Rama and Sita.
Before the festival of Diwali was clean and decorate the house because if it is
clean and pretty, Lakshmi will enter and bless the inhabitants. In Diwali is th
e time for brand clothes, visit family and exchange cards, gifts and sweets.
Holi marks the beginning of spring and commemorates the death of Holika, a wicke
d woman who according to legend subrino attempted to kill her for being a follow
er of Krishna. The night before Holi are lit huge bonfires and burned Holika dol
ls. The day of Holi is reminiscent of the antics of Krishna and jokes that he sp
ent as a young man to the cowboy. There are processions, singing and dancing, an
d participants will pour water and dyes to each other. In Holi is customary to g
o to see family and friends and greet everyone. On the feast of Dassehra recalls
the victory of Rama over Ravana giant. Through dances and plays include key mom
ents in the life of Rama and Sita. Huge dolls are constructed of Ravana stuffed
with straw and firecrackers, and a person dressed as Rama shooting a flaming arr
ow to ignite.
Among the faithful make pilgrimages to Hindu stresses the Kumbh Mela or Kumbh Me
la. Usually four times every twelve years and takes place in turn in the followi
ng holy places: Prayag, the Hindu name of Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh), Hardwar (in
Uttaranchal), Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) and Nasik (in Maharashtra). The legend sa
ys that in the beginning of time the gods and demons made a pact to produce the
nectar of immortality. Once created the demons ran away with the "boat" the nect
ar. The gods and demons battle lasted twelve days (= years) and during the fight
fell four drops of the nectar of Immortality. The places where these fell monde
gort is the Kumbh Mela held every twelve-year cycle includes one Maha Kumbh Mel
a (or 'big meeting of the pot') at Prayag, on the banks of the Ganges, involving
several million people, which probably makes the greatest pilgrimage that takes
place in the world. Gathered at the confluence of two sacred rivers of India, t
he Ganges and the Yamuna, where according to legend rises to the surface also th
e mythical, invisible river of wisdom, Saraswati, the faithful are relieved of t
heir sins and pray to escape the cycle of reincarnations. The estimates consider
ed in the three weeks of the Maha Kumbh Mela held in 2007, gathered 70 million p
eople.€View Maha Kumbh Mela procession VIDEO
The highlight of the Kumbh Mela is immersion in the river as sins to them and th
eir parents, thereby facilitating favorable cycle d in bathing are the sadhus an
d other holy men, then the rest concentration of sadhus, and faithful spiritual
advantage for Contemplation .
is False
False and True called Nanuk
Towards the V century a. C. Vedic gods were replaced by more popular gods like S
hiva, Vishnu, Rama or Krishna. The cemetery hosted goddesses like Devi, Parvati,
Durga True or False
Name of the supreme and immutable reality that exists beyond the changing world
of appearances, soul or Brahma
Atman Brahman Shiva
is the soul of each person
A "incarnation" of the god Vishnu, as an avatar.
Is capitalized and is the name of a god. Name of the supreme and immutable reali
ty that exists beyond the world of appearances ca, universal soul.
of Ganesn Siva Lakshmi
The universal law applied to everyone. What everyone needs to do. That of religi
ous and each is assigned according to their particular situation Birth The set o
f actions, both good and bad, have consequences that are reincarnated form.
you have
This is the flag of India and what is in the middle is a wheel that sim dharma o
r eternal law of reincarnation of the soul. It is a flag that is usually in the
temples deb Siva, which is in the c a wheel that symbolizes the dharma or law of
eternal reincarnation of the soul
This is the flag of India and what is in the center is a sun that symbolizes and
gives light to all Hindus is the flag of India and what is in the center is a s
un that symbolizes eo law reincarnation of the soul eternal.
moksa The release cycle of reincarnations. The image is in the Hindu temples and
altars red signal carrying off some Hindus in the forehead
following the Qur'an
The Veda The Upanishads Ramayana Mahabharata Purana
Rulers, warriors and monks jatis Caste or Lay and religious, rich and poor
The outcasts are not the same as the untouchables.
For Hindus, the outcasts, are those of other religions, those who did not believ
e dharma. The lowest members of Hindu society, rejected and discriminaos other m
embers of castes. The priests of Hindu temples. Takes care of presenting offerin
gs to the faithful image of the god or goddess.
appears a shiva An outcast A sadhu A brahman
What gets the young Indian in a ceremony called upanayana they fulfill ten years
and has to keep all Incense A bar at all A white cotton string A text of the Ve
das, the sacred book of hindismo
Bury the cadavers think that the rise if they are good bodies incinerated ashes
are thrown into the Tigris River
Swimming in the Thames
Ritually bathe in the Ganges at the festival of Diwali for the goddess to bless
and bring luck Bathing in a ritual in the Ganges to purify themselves and achiev
e better liber Wash clothes that are dirty. It is a rite of passage as baptism t
o become Hindu.