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Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, which is believed to have started 4,000 years ago in Northern India. It is the 3rd largest religion in the world, with more than 900 million followers. Hindus praise Brahman as the supreme god along with his many forms.
- Many scholars believe that Hinduism started way back, between 2300 BCE to 1500 BCE in the Indus Valley. As the Indo-Aryan people migrated to the Indus Valley, their culture blended with the natives.
- The era between 1500 BCE to 500 BCE is known as the Vedic Period. It was the time when Vedas were composed. The term Vedah means “knowledge” and is the oldest sacred text of Hinduism. These include the Rig Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, and Atharva-Veda.
- Most of the ancient sacred texts got written in Sanskrit. Vedas guide Hindus’ belief system and daily life principles. In about 250 BCE, the Hindu Holy scriptures that contain the Law of Manu, known as Smritis, were created. Also, Upanishads contain scriptures about the individual and universal soul as well as the concept of reincarnation.
- Ramayana is a Hindu Holy scripture that told the epic of Rama and Sita as they triumph over evil. Their love story depicts the perfect life of married couples.
- On the other hand, Mahabharata contains poems about the war in the family. Furthermore, Hindus are guided by the 18 Puranas, depicting ancient stories about the life of saints and incarnations.
- In general, Hindu philosophy is divided into 6 Darshanas, namely; Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Vedanta, and Mimamsa. Aside from these, they also believe in the concept of karma and reincarnation. Karma is about the law of cause and effect, while reincarnation believes that the human soul is immortal; thus, the cycle of rebirth is continuous.
- Like Buddhists, Hindus aim to achieve Nirvana or Moksha as part of the soul’s salvation. To attain this, one must follow the Samskaras or the rituals. They are not allowed to harm other people (Ahimsa), not to steal (Asteya), not to utter promiscuous words or thoughts (Brahmacharya), and to possess virtues like Satya or truthfulness, forgiveness (Kshama), steadfastness (Dhriti), compassion (Daya), and honesty (Arjaya).
- Several festivals are marking the Hindu calendar. These include Diwali (festival of lights), Navaratri (celebration of fertility and harvest), Holi (spring festival), Janmashtami (birthday of Krishna), Mahashivaratri (festival for Shiva), Gudi Padwa (Hindu New Year), Ramnavami (Lord Rama’s birthday), and Ganesh Festival.
- Hindus also practice a rigid social hierarchy. It is based on people’s dharma and karma. The primary caste system includes the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, Sudras, and Pariah. For many centuries, the caste system was strictly followed. It determines the Hindus’ social and religious life.
- When India became an independent nation, its constitution banned any form of discrimination through the caste system, but the old customs of marrying by social class are still observed.
- Some Hindus revere the Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, in which all other deities are their manifestation.
- Hindus worship many gods and goddesses. Some of their known deities are Brahma, the creator of all things, Vishnu, the protector of the universe, Shiva the destroyer, Devi who restores the dharma, Krishna the god of love, Lakshmi goddess of wealth, and Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom. They worship in temples called Mandir.
- Most Hindus do not eat beef and pork. They see all living things as sacred, especially cows. The majority of Hindus are vegetarian, and wasting food is considered a terrible habit.
- During the British colonial period in India, reformers and activists like Mahatma Gandhi emerged. He pushed for India’s independence. In 1947, the British Indian territory was divided into now India and Pakistan. After a year, Gandhi was assassinated. Hinduism became India’s state religion.
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Hinduism Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Hinduism which is the oldest religion in the world, which is believed to have started 4,000 years ago in Northern India. It is the 3rd largest religion in the world, with more than 900 million followers.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Hinduism Facts
- India and Hinduism
- Gods and Goddesses
- Hindu Scriptures
- The Caste System
- Hindu Vedic
- Mapping Mandir
- Six Darshanas
- The Ramayana
- Hindu Festivals
- Making Meaning
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