HINDUISM

Remember it, Test it!

Remember it, Test it!

  • Most Hindus regard the Vedas as the most important holy scripture, adhere to the Dharma system of values and believe in a Supreme God as well as subsidiary Gods.

religious studies

  • 1) The Trimurti are the three main Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the first god of the triumvirate, Vishnu the second and Shiva the third.
  • 2) Brahma, creator of the universe, is the principal God, the second God Vishnu preserves creation and the third God Shiva leads a double life, puritanical or hedonistic.
  • Minor deities include:
        • 1) Shakti represents female creative power
        • 2) Lakshmi is the consort to Vishnu and is the Goddess of wealth and purity. Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu.
        • 3) Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu.
        • 4) Shakti as a symbol of female power.
        • 5) Hanuman is the King of the Monkeys in the epic Hindu story Ramayana.
        • 6) Ganesh has the head of an elephant and is the God of good luck.
  • Hindus believe the four aims of life are Dharma (following the moral code), Artha (achieving success and wealth), Karma (pursuing good behaviour) and Moksha (reaching a sacred state of holiness).
  • The most important Hindu texts are the Vedas which consists of the Samhitas (hymns worshipping God), the Brahmanas (Hindu rituals for priests), the Aranyakas (about worship and meditation) and the Upanishads (interpretations of Hindu teachings).
  • A Hindu temple is called a Mandir and includes a central shrine and a tower.

religious studies

  • There are three types of religious rite. The Nitya are daily rituals often observed at home, the Naimittika are annual rituals and the Kamya are optional rituals which include pilgrimage.
  • The three main places of pilgrimage are the Ganges River (the holiest of rivers for Hindus), Varanasi (a city on the banks of the Ganges) and Allahabad, also on the Ganges and the place where Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 12 years.
  • Diwali, the Festival of Light, takes place each year and lasts for five days. Holi, the Festival of Colour, celebrates the coming of spring.
  • Hindus believe life has four stages called Ashramas. Theses are Brahmacharyi (the student stage), Grihasta (the householder stage), Vanaprastha (the retirement stage) and Sannyasin (the holy stage).
  • Hindu birth and childhood ceremonies include Punsavana at the third month of pregnancy, Jatakarma soon after birth, Namakarna, the naming ceremony, and the Upanayana (sacred thread) ceremony, performed when the child is about to start school.
  • The caste system divides Hindus into five different Varnas (classes). These are Brahmins (priests), Ksahtriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (skilled workers), Shudras (unskilled workers) and Harijans (untouchables).

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Test it!

1) Name the three main Hindu Gods and give their collective name.
2) Describe the three principal Hindu Gods.
3) Name three subsidiary Gods and give a brief description.
4) According to Hindu teaching, what are the four aims of life?
5) Describe the four parts of the Vedas.
6) What is the name of the place where Hindus worship and what are the main elements of the building?
7) What are the three types of Hindu religious rite?
8) What are the three most important Hindu pilgrimages?
9) What are the four Ashramas?
10) Describe Hindu birth rituals.

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Some top tips!

  1. Print out the Test It! Questions – it will allow you to replicate exam conditions and also allows you to give your eyes a rest from the computer screen whilst doing your crucial revision.
  2. Make a copy of the Remember It! Section and put in a place that you often look at. i.e. front of a journal, next to a mirror, on a kitchen cupboard door, etc. That way you can do some cheeky religious studies revision whilst doing those things you have to do!

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