Overview of Hindu faith
- is a major world religion / third most popular religion,
- around 900+ million followers world-wide.
- about 83% of Indian population regard themselves as Hindus.
- is also the third most popular faith in Britain with 500,000+ followers.
- in Swindon – 1,008 citizens registered themselves as Hindus (census 2001)
Origins of Hindu faith
- is over 3000 years old, with elements of the faith are much older.
- has no founder, single teacher, nor prophets.
- not a single unified religion but various sects.
- belief in a universal soul or God called Brahman,
- there are many other deities – Krishna, Shiva, Rama and Durga.
- belief that existence is a cycle of birth-death-rebirth.
- governed by Karma (law of action): one’s own deeds are responsible for the making of one’s fate
Philosophical bases of Hinduism
Belief in God almighty (Parmeshwer)
Realisation of Divine Power – He is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the Universe
Reincarnation (Punar janma)
Immortality of soul….without ending or beginning – oneness with god himself
Unity with the Divine Power
Reincarnation (Punar janma)
Immortality of soul….without ending or beginning – oneness with god himself.
Karma (Law of Action) (Purushartha)
“As a man does so shall he reap” – closely linked with reincarnation and cycles of rebirth. The conditions under which one is born is of one’s making
Compassion for all living things (Prani Daya)
Reverence and spiritual unity with all forms of life.
Doctrine of Non-Violence and compassion for all beings and God’s creatures
The Rise of “Hinduism“ (1000 BC)
This period saw Hinduism gaining strength at the expense of Buddhism. However it was probably developments in Hinduism itself that helped the faith to grow.
Hinduism now included not only the appeal of devotion to a personal god, but had seen the development of its emotional side with the composition and singing of poems and songs. This made Hinduism an intelligible and satisfying road to faith to many ordinary worshippers.
The Arrival of Islam (7 – 12 BC)
Islam arrived in the Ganges basin in the 7th century, but its influence was not really felt until the Turks arrived in the 11th and 12th centuries BC. Islam and Hinduism were in conflict because, although the mystical traditions of both religions had some common ground, Muslim rulers sought to conquer Hindu territories and from the 17th century, to assert the authority of Islam. Islam was established, and as they say “that is History” became modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Hinduism remained strongest in the southern India
Hindu Holy Days & Festival Celebrations
Hindu festivals are Astrological based are largely linked with the movements of the sun and moon and with seasonal changes, but they also incorporate the myths of the Ramayana, and Krishna’s activities.
DIWALI (Deepawali) : A festival of lights which celebrates the New Year.
MAKAR SANKRANTI : The first Hindu festival of the solar calendar year.
MAHA SHIVRATRI : Hindu festival dedicated to Shiva, one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity.
HOLI : The spring festival celebrates creation and renewal.
RAMA NAVMI : Celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, son of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya.
RAKSHA BANDHAN : The Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love.
JANMASHTMI : The festival marks birth of Krishna, most highly venerated God in the Hinduism
GANESH CHATURTI : This festival sees Hindus all over the world celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesh.
NAVRATRI : & Durga Puja : Navratri (nine nights) is the greatest Hindu festivals to celebrate powers of Durga.
DASSEHRA : Tenth day Durga Puja of celebration in honour of Durga or Kali.