Some facts about Hinduism:
Hinduism is the main religion of the Indian subcontinent.
Hinduism consists of many different traditions and has no single founder.
Hinduism, with about one billion followers (950 million estimated in India)is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.
It is the oldest living major religion in the world.
It does not have one person who founded it.
It does not have a fixed set of beliefs but contains many different beliefs.
Task: Watch this video…
Task: Hindu philosophers have spent centuries thinking about the nature of reality. What does this famous Hindu story tell us about the nature of reality?
For Hindus there is one supreme God. Each of the different Gods are different aspects of the one supreme God.
Hindus recognise three principal gods:
- Brahma, who creates the universe
- Vishnu, who preserves the universe
- Shiva, who destroys the universe
Task: Look at the images below. Using the information sheet, explain how symbolism is used in imagery of each god.
The goal of liberation (moksha) is to make us free from this cycle of action and reaction, and from rebirth.
Karma is a word whose literal meaning is ‘action’. It refers to the law that every action has an equal reaction either immediately or at some point in the future.
In Hinduism karma operates not only in this lifetime but across lifetimes: the results of an action might only be experienced after the present life in a new life.
This process of reincarnation is called samsara, a continuous cycle in which the soul is reborn over and over again according to the law of action and reaction.The goal of liberation (moksha) is to make us free from this cycle of action and reaction, and from rebirth.
Task: Write down definitions of moksha, karma and samsara.
Task: What is reincarnation? What do you think about the idea of reincarnation?
Task: Answer these questions…
Is reincarnation fair? How can you be held responsible for what you have done in a previous life?
In what way is it really you in a previous life?
Can a snake be a good snake?