• Hinduism is the oldest among all religions.
• Jainism and Buddhism are said to have their
beginnings in Hinduism, and so are called the
‘daughter religions’ of Hinduism.
• The more appropriate name of hinduism is
• ‘Sanaatana’ means eternal or everlasting.
• ‘Dharma’ means that which upholds or keeps
together the creation ,sustain and protect it.
• Hinduism is called Sanaatana Dharma as it
teaches us ideals and values which are of
eternal validity or which will last for ever.
The religion has it’s roots in the vedas, which are
scriptures of highest wisdom. So it is also called
as Vedaanta or Vaidiki Dharma.This Vedaanta or
Vaidaka Dharma lays down ways in which man
has to conduct himself during his life’s journey.
The Textbook meaning of word Hindu
The word ‘Hindu’/’Indu’ was first used to describe people who
lived near the banks of river Indus .
Baba gives it his divine touch , and explains it as ‘Hin’ means
‘himsaa’ and ‘du’ means ‘dur’. Thus ‘Hindu’ means people
who do not hurt anyone (man or animal) by thought , word
The Basic Principles
Ishaa Vaasyam Idam Sarvam
• Baba says ‘Bhaa’ means God and ‘Rati’ means
love and attachment.
• So Bhaarata means ‘Bhagwadrati’ land of
people who are intensely god loving.
• Love of all beings and Love for God is the main
teaching of Hinduism.
• So the meanings of the words ‘Bhaarata’ and
Hindu sum up the whole essence of Hinduism.
Main teachings of Hindu Religion
• Natural Force are all but an expression of Divine
It is believed natural forces like Sun, Fire, Earth, Wind etc. are
all expressions of God. Though different deities are
worshipped ,it is believed GOD IS ONE.
Ekam Sat Vipraa Bahudha Vadanti
• One’s innner self is also an expression and
aspect of the Divine
Just as external forces of nature are an expression of God,
similarly God is present in each one of us in the form of
individual Soul or AATMAN.
• Many Forms of GOD
God can be worshipped in any forms that one chooses-
infinite are his forms and names. One can worship God in any
form as per his liking i.e., his
• Unity of all existence of life:
God is present in every being, whether big or small.
Therefore, everything deserves our love and veneration.
Ishaa Vaasyam Sarvam
Hindu Ethics and Code of Duties
• Great Rishis have laid down 4 main goals of life.
They are called 4 ‘Purushaarthas’-
1. Dharma – Right conduct
2. Artha – Wealth
3. Kaama – Desire
4. Moksha – Liberation
While acquiring wealth(Artha) and fullfilling one’s needs and
desires(Kaama) one’s action must be in keeping with the
principles of Dharma. One must always remember that the
higher purpose of life is to attain Moksha or Liberation.
The 4 Stages of Life
1. Brahmacharya : The student stage
2. Grihasthasrama: The householder
3. Vaanaprasthana: Retirement from
wordly life and going to the forest.
4. Sannyaasaashrama: Total
The Caste System
The caste system was a cooperative
division of labour for the common
good of society. The 4 Castes –
1. Brahmins- were the spiritual
guardians of the society e.g. priests.
2. Kshatriyas- physical guardian of
society e.g. kings, noblemen and
3. Vaishyas- looking after commercial
needs of the people e.g. Farmers,
4. Shudras- The main workforce, the
musclepower e.g. Cleaners,
The work was done by each class was important.
No work was high or low. Untouchability was
practised by selfish men.
All are equal in the eyes of GOD.
Every Duty in every state of life must be
governed by the important virtues of Sataya,
Dharma, Shaanti, Prema and Ahimsa.
Law Of Karma And Doctrine of Rebirth
This is an important characteristic
feature of the Hindu religion.
Karma means action or work
and its result.
Good deeds bring peace and sin is
followed by suffering.
As a man sows, so shall
There are 3 types of Karma-
1. Praarabdha Karma-Man’s accumalted karma
2. Sanchita Karma- Name given to accumalted
3. Aagami Karma- Karma which is now created
in present life and fruits of which be bore in
The Concept Of Avatara
This word is derived from the root word ‘Avatarana’
means ‘to descend’.
In Bhagwad Geeta , Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that
whenever Dharma is on decline, the Lord comes
down again and again in human form to preserve
Hinduism usually believes in 10 avatars of Vishnu.
Now let’s have a small quiz. Let’s test your
Rituals or samskaaras are essential features of
all religions. They help us to cleanse the mind,
purify the heart and spiritualise the attitude of
man. From birth to death, man had to
undergo different samskaaras-
• Jaatakarma & Aksharaabhyasa in childhood.
• Upanayana in boyhood.
• Marriage in manhood.
Click here to watch Sri Sathya Sai Baba performing the Sacred Thread Ceremony
Every man has to perform certain rites everyday.
These are Sandhyaa Vandaana, Panch Yajnas etc.
The Pancha Maha Yajnas are:
• Brahma Yajna: Studying scriptures and holy texts.
• Deva Yajnas: Offering worship to deities or
• Priti Yajna: Grateful rememberance of ancestors
and offering of obligations to their spirits.
• Bhoota Yajna: Feeding of animals & birds.
• Manushya Yajna: Offering of hospitality and food
to the needy.
The Hindu Saadhanas
Saadhanaas means pathways to liberation. The
main paths are-
1. Karma Yoga: Path of Action
2. Bhakti Yoga: Path of Devotion
3. Jnaana Yoga: Path of Knowledge
4. Dhyaana Yoga: Path of Meditation
Surrendering ourselves whole-heartedly to the
lord and doing everything as an act of worship
to the god, without expecting the fruits of
action is karma yoga. This kind of action is
called Nishkaama Karma.
इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रमित्यमिधीयते!
एतद्यो वेमि तं प्राहुः क्षेत्रग्न इमत तमिदुः !!