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UNIT I: Religions Originating inIndiaHinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,Sikhism
Distribution of World Religions,1980s
Adherents of ReligionsOriginating in India, 1998•Hindus761,689,000 (12.8% )•Buddhists 353,794,000(6.0%)•Jains3,922,000(0.1%)•Sikhs22,332,000(0.4%)•Total1,141,737,000(19.3%)
Hinduism – Part I -- Introduction•Origins of the Term Hinduism•Geography and Demography•Brief History of India
Hinduism•Third largest religion today afterChristianity and Islam.•Second fastest growing religion after Islam.•Amalgam of spiritual traditions originatingin South Asia•Unites–the worship of many gods–belief in a single divine reality.
Origins of the Term Hinduism•comes from Sindhus.•Sindhus = great Indus River in Sanskrit.•8thc. CE, Muslim invaders used Hindu todesignate people who lived east of the IndusRiver.•19thc. the British used Hindu to designate the non-Muslim natives in census-taking.•Later, South Asian intellectuals and politiciansaccepted the term
Hinduism is Falsely Singular•Some traditions might justify–caste–social inequality•Others might argue–for the reform of society–for “God-given” egalitarianism•Some practice–animal sacrifices–extreme sensuality•others are non violent ascetics
Contrary to Christianity andIslam, HinduismDOES NOT HAVE- an identifiable founder- a single canonical text accepted by allfollowers- a religious elite or single priestly groupwho exert control over the development ofits fundamental beliefs and practices- a strong organizational structure to defendand spread its influence
How do Hindus Name theirReligion?
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Where do Hindus Live?•Mainly on the South Asian subcontinent•India•Nepal (the world’s only Hindu nation)•Pakistan and Bangladesh•Buddhist Sri Lanka•Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Fiji, and theCaribbean
Demography•About 800 million Hindus in the world•in North America over one million•There are Euro-American converts toHinduism (the Hare Krishna movement)
Brief History of India•The two major ethnic groups in India are:–Indo-Aryans in northern India–Dravidians in southern India•The Dravidians = the aboriginal people ofIndia.•The Indo-Aryans = invaders?
Dravidian Harappa Civilization•When? From about 2500 BCE to 1500 BCE•Where? in the Indus Valley (in modern-dayPakistan)•Significance: Religious symbols found at Harappastill appear in contemporary Indian culture•seals depicting an ascetic male figure, sitting in yogic posture•natural elongated oval stones (= the low columns that someIndians now worship in honor of the god Shiva)