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  • Created by: TGHK
  • Created on: 18-05-16 16:24


Brahman:Refers to the invisible aspect of God as ultimate reality/ God the creator

Brahman represented with 4 hands representing 4 corners of Universe

Four faces representing 4 Vedas ( Hindu scriptures), holds a book of Knowledge, crown depicts supreme authority

*God manifests himself in many forms

*These forms are Hindu Deities such as Vishnu, Shiva,Durga and Krishna

*Brahman is the SPIRIT OF LIFE FORCE


Brahman is both Personal and non personal

Many Hindus prefer to think of God as a representation or symbol of Human essential nature and not as an external being

Traditionally GOD is depicted as TRIMURTI or 3 Forms as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

The 3 Forms of God illustrate his cosmic roles as:

Creator ( BRAHMA) First aspect of Trimurti

Preserver ( VISHNU):

Transformer ( SHIVA)

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SHIVA - The Third aspect of the Trimuri and represents God the transformer of the Cosmos.

Shiva transforms the universe by creating, preserving and destroying

Shown as a dancing figures a symbol of his creating , preserving and destroying

The ring of fire that surrounds him symbolises his power to create and destroy

He holds a drum which symbolises the rhythm of life

His foot stands on the demon of ignorance

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Worship at home called PUJA
Most Hindus worship at home 1,2 x per day
Families are devoted to 1 particular deity
Shrine at home
Each day the deity is woken up and a lamp lit
The image or Murti is washed and dressed
Flowers are offered and incense burned
Special food is offered and blessed
Prashad ( blessed food) is eaten by the family
Prayers may in in the form of mantra or chant
Some practise Yoga or mediation instead
At the end of the day PUJA is performed and the image is put away for the night

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Karma is our personal experience of the law of cause and effect

Karma affects samsara and how we behave in a reincarnated life

A Good life now means the next life will be happier or better

A Bad life now means the next life will be unhappier or unlucky

Bad Karma could result in being reincarnated as a lower life form

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Every living thing is essentially spirit or ATMAN
When the atman lives as a body it is called Jivatman and goes through a cycle of birth and death

When the body of a living thing dies its Jivatman moves on to another body, this is called samsara or reincarnation

Samsara also describes the changes we go through in life as our bodies change

Our Characters may change but deep down we are the same person or ATMAN

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Hindus believe every living thing has a goal to reach during its lifetime - this is called Moshka. For humans there is traditionally 3 paths to Moshka

  • Moshka means release from samsara/ cycle of rebirth
  • When the soul or atman is pure and free from delusion and desire it is released to become one with Brahman where it experiences perpetual bliss
    1: First path to Moshka is Karma yoga/ action/good words
    2: Second path : Joanna Yoga / Knowledge of God
    3: Bhakti yoga/ devotion to God

Moshka is also achieved through meditation and bodily /mental control called raja Yoga or Royal pathway

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Ganesha : Elephant deity riding a mouse
1: Lord of Success
2: Destroyer of evils and obstacles, destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride
3:God of education, wisdom and health
4: One of the prime Hindu deities glorified as the panchayatana PUJA.

  • His head symbolises the Atman or the soul
    Body symbolises Maya, The Earthly existence of human beings
    The elephant head denotes wisdom and the trunk represents OM - the sound of cosmic reality.
    Upper right hand - Goad: helps propel mankind forward on eternal path
    Noose is to capture difficulties
  • Broken tusk held as pen is a symbol of sacrifice which he broke writing the Mahabharata
    Rosary suggest pursuit of knowledge should be continuous
    The Ladoo ( sweet) in his trunk is that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman
    His Fan ears convey he is all ears to our petition
    The snake around his waist represent energy in all forms
    He is humble enough to ride the lowers the of creatures - a mouse
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