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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 : History of Hinduism

1

Chapter 2 : Sacred Places

2

Chapter 3 : Major Beliefs

3

Chapter 4 : Sacred Writings

4

Chapter 5 : Rituals and Ceremonies

5

Chapter 6 : Daily Life for Practitioners

6

Glossary of Terms

7

Bibliography

8

Chapter 1 :

HISTORY OF HINDUISM

Origin

Chapter 1 : HISTORY OF HINDUISM Origin Indus Valley Civilization Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion

Indus Valley Civilization

1 : HISTORY OF HINDUISM Origin Indus Valley Civilization Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion of

Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion of the world, where its origin took place before history was ever recorded. Although there wasn’t a single founder of Hinduism, there were several cultures that contributed to the development of Hinduism. Two of the most important contributing sources are The Indus Valley Civilization ( 3300-1200 BCE ) who were one of the great cultures of the Ancient world, and a group called the Aryans who were a nomadic group of people that migrated to India from Central Asia.

group of people that migrated to India from Central Asia. The Indu Valley Civilization Occupation The
group of people that migrated to India from Central Asia. The Indu Valley Civilization Occupation The

The Indu Valley Civilization Occupation

The Indu Aryan Migration

Hinduism comes from the Indus Valley. The words Indus and Hindu sound the same since they are deeply related. The Indus Valley has a river that runs through it called the Indus River. This same river was known in Sanskrit as the Sindhu River. The Persians who came to India a whole lot later, referred to the Sindhu River and Valley as the Hindu River and Valley. So, the word Hindu was initially meant to describe anyone who came from the Hindu Valley.

The Sindhu or Hindu Valley Chronological Timeline - Major Events Number of Practitioners Hinduism is

The Sindhu or Hindu Valley

Chronological Timeline - Major Events

Sindhu or Hindu Valley Chronological Timeline - Major Events Number of Practitioners Hinduism is the largest

Number of Practitioners

Hinduism is the largest religion in Asia and the world's third largest, in terms of numbers of followers with approximately 806 million worldwide. About 400,000 – 555,000 followers are based in the UK. These tend to be descendants of Hindu immigrants.

It is the main religion of India, where it began. From there it spread, about 1000 years ago, east along the trade routes to other lands. In some places other religions later became more important In others, like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and India, it is still the main religion.

Lanka, Malaysia, and India, it is still the main religion. Millions of Hindus Gather for Pilgrimage

Millions of Hindus Gather for Pilgrimage

Hinduism Around The World Today

and India, it is still the main religion. Millions of Hindus Gather for Pilgrimage Hinduism Around

1.

Chapter 2 :

SACRED PLACES

Sacred Places

In Hinduism, pilgrimage is not required yet numerous Hindus do so to show their faith and devotion. There are many options for Hindus, as there

are many sacred places. A lot of Hindus try to bathe in the river Ganges, as it is supposed to be able to cleanse sins. There are also seven cities

that are deemed especially holy - called tirthas, and are centres of pilgrimage. Examples are Ayodhya, where Rama was born, and also Varanasi.

These are also deemed good locations to die or be cremated, as it connects the earthly to the divine.

Some of the Sacred Places within India:

GANGA RIVER

divine. Some of the Sacred Places within India: GANGA RIVER The Ganga River The Ganga River

The Ganga River

The Ganga River is a very sacred river. Very religious Hindus bathe in the Ganga river every Tuesday. They pay honor and respect to their ancestors and gods by cupping her water in their hands, lifting it and letting it fall back into her; They offer flowers, petals and float shallow dishes filled with oil and lit wicks. Many Hindus ask in there wills for there ashes to be thrown into the Ganga river. During special ceremonies and rituals, practitioners use ordinary water to symbolise the Ganga river since it is sacred and brings good blessings.

the Ganga river since it is sacred and brings good blessings. Hindu Praying at Ganga River

Hindu Praying at Ganga River

the Ganga river since it is sacred and brings good blessings. Hindu Praying at Ganga River
the Ganga river since it is sacred and brings good blessings. Hindu Praying at Ganga River

Hindus Bathing in Ganga

River

Hindu Praying in Ganga River

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Vaishno Devi Temple Entrance

Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most sacred places for Hindus. Many of them, go on pilgrimage there. It is known for its 200-300 shrines,. The main Hindu shrine, people most frequently visit, is that of Goddess Mata. It’s believe that Goddess Mata was ill-treated by God Bhero, therefore she killed him as a punishment for his shameful deed. Feeling slightly guilty later on, Mata decided that whenever people come to Jammu, they’ll first visit her temple and then visit God Bhero’s. She also resoluted that all men that visit God Bhero’s temple will gain strength and power.

The Goddess Mata

MATHURA

She also resoluted that all men that visit God Bhero’s temple will gain strength and power.

Mathura Vrindavan

Widely known as the birth place of Lord Krishna, Mathura , a very sacred Hindu site, is located on the Western bank of river Yamuna. Mathura represents the religion of living. Mathura’s art has flourishe since over 1200 years. The Great School of Sculpture consists of numerous sculptures and clay figurines to depict its devotion to Art. Such art forms are rare in the records of Indian Art History.

In Mathura :

1) Shri Krishna Janma Bhumi - The Birth Place of Lord Krishna.

2) Jama Masjid - Built by Abo-inNabir-Khan in 1661.A.D. the mosque has 4 lofty minarets,

with bright colored plaster mosaic of which a few panels currently exist.

3) Vishram Ghat - The sacred spot where Lord Krishna is believed to have rested

after slaying the tyrant Kansa.

4) Dwarkadheesh Temple - Built in 1814, it is the main temple in the town.

During the festive days of Holi, Janmashthami and Diwali, it is decorated on a grand scale.

Janmashthami and Diwali, it is decorated on a grand scale. 5) Gita Mandir - Situated on

5) Gita Mandir - Situated on the city outskirts, the temple carving and

painting are a major attraction.

the temple carving and painting are a major attraction. 6) Govt. Museum - Located at Dampier

6) Govt. Museum - Located at Dampier Park, it has one of the finest collection of

archaeological interest. Rare items from the Gupta and Kushan period (400 B.C.-1200A.D.) are on display.

Major attraction for tourists.

from the Gupta and Kushan period (400 B.C.-1200A.D.) are on display. Major attraction for tourists. Sacred

Sacred Places on a Map

Religious Hindu Symbols LOTUS The flower of lotus represents culture and politeness. It is often

Religious Hindu Symbols

LOTUS

Religious Hindu Symbols LOTUS The flower of lotus represents culture and politeness. It is often seen

The flower of lotus represents culture and politeness. It is often seen in the hands of various deities and gods such as Lord Ganesha. The Deity Brahma is always depicted sitting on a big lotus. The lotus is also used in many Hindu rituals.

SWASTIKA

SWASTIKA Swastika is the second most important symbol for Hindus. The word Swastika means “Everything is

Swastika is the second most important symbol for Hindus. The word Swastika means “Everything is Good” which adds to it’s meaning, luck and prosperity. It is also worn as a pendent and drawn on temple walls.

OM

It is also worn as a pendent and drawn on temple walls. OM Om is the

Om is the most important symbol in Hinduism. All the major mantras start with Om which represents Brahman, the Almighty. It is said that Om is the sound heard at the time of the creation of the universe. It is worn as a pendent, ring, cup, printed on t-shirts and even on temple walls.

Place of Worship

Mandirs are the term for Hindu temples or places of worship. These can be devoted to one or more gods/goddesses, and they are the focal point of religious life. However, there is no established rite of communal or group worship in mandirs. In fact, Hindus are supposed to try and offer personal offerings and prayers to gods or goddesses.

Birla Mandir Delhi

In villages or in the streets there are shrines, and the majority of Hindu homes have a small shrine where Puja may be performed. The family will also make offerings or prayers to the god/goddess of their choice in the morning and possibly in the evening. The shrine may be small with a picture or statue of god/goddess.

The shrine may be small with a picture or statue of god/goddess. Shrine in the Home

Shrine in the Home of a Hindu

Lord Ganesh

2.

The shrine may be small with a picture or statue of god/goddess. Shrine in the Home

Statue of

Chapter 3 :

MAJOR BELIEFS

Gods and Goddesses

There are many, many gods and goddesses in Hinduism. However, the main three are Brahma, Vishnu, and Ganesh/Ganesha. Brahma is the creator of the world, while Vishnu is the preserver of the universe. Vishnu can represent mercy and protection from evil. Rama represents following dharma - always following sva - dharma with perfect adherence to moral and ethical codes. He is also the husband of Sita. Ganesh, the elephant god, is the youngest god and is reffered to as the Remover of Obstacles.

youngest god and is reffered to as the Remover of Obstacles. God Rama God Vishnu God

God Rama

God Vishnu

reffered to as the Remover of Obstacles. God Rama God Vishnu God Ganesh God Brahma Defining
reffered to as the Remover of Obstacles. God Rama God Vishnu God Ganesh God Brahma Defining

God Ganesh

as the Remover of Obstacles. God Rama God Vishnu God Ganesh God Brahma Defining Beliefs In

God Brahma

Defining Beliefs

In Hinduism, there is no single belief, contrary to some other religions. Everyone has their own goal, although there are the four goals of life,

but these are very general. However, it is believed to be good when following one’s sva - dharma, but bad when ignoring it.

SVA-DHARMA

one’s sva - dharma, but bad when ignoring it. SVA-DHARMA Sva - Dharma is similar to

Sva - Dharma is similar to your moral, or even conscience. Sva - dharma is your belief to do what is right. Dharma is doing what is right, and adharma is ignoring sva - dharma or dharma and is very bad. One must always follow their sva-dharma, although this may differ from person to person. A child may believe that he/she must wash clothes in the Ganges every day, but on the contrary a grown woman may think this is wrong as it dirties the Ganges. Everyone has their own sva - dharma, and must do his or her best to follow it. Dharma is believed to have two parts, pleasure and profit. This is called Purushartha.

VARNA

Varna is linked to sva - dharma. Varna is a term referring to sva - dharma based on what class or stage of life you are at. For example, if you

were studying the philosophies of Hinduism, you may arrange your sva - dharma to try and memorize a certain part of the Mahabharata.

KARMA

to try and memorize a certain part of the Mahabharata. KARMA You get what you give

You get what you give

Hinduism religion believes in karma, which you may have heard of. Karma is the belief that when you perform an act of goodness, a reaction of goodness will happen to you. If you do something bad, for example go against dharma, then a bad reaction will occur to you. This reaction can happen immediately or in the future, maybe even in future lives (samsara).

ATMAN

in the future, maybe even in future lives (samsara). ATMAN Atman is the real, spiritual self

Atman is the real, spiritual self behind all ego and material longing. It is referring to yourself as a spiritual, enlightened. Atman can also be considered a spirit having a human’s experience, instead of a human experiencing a spirit.

experience, instead of a human experiencing a spirit. Food Money Values Education In the Hindu tradition,

Food

Money

Values

instead of a human experiencing a spirit. Food Money Values Education In the Hindu tradition, it's

Education

a human experiencing a spirit. Food Money Values Education In the Hindu tradition, it's valued that

In the Hindu tradition, it's valued that boys touch the elders' feet for blessings and good luck with education, though girls are not to do so. Education, money and food is thoroughly valued. All over India, no one ever touches their books or education related items with their feet. No one ever shoves them away with their feet or throws them on the floor, mostly books. This is done to show respect and value for education.

Goddess Lakshmi There is a particular goddess that represents money, education and food, and by

Goddess Lakshmi

There is a particular goddess that represents money, education and food, and by disrespecting any of these, it's believed that you don’t care about them and these can be taken away from you. Money is never thrown, and food should never be eaten in a sulk. Food is always supposed to be eaten with joy to show that it is cared about. Money is never to be touched by feet, but if it does then amends must be made by toughing the money to the forehead.

3.

Chapter 4 :

SACRED WRITINGS

The sacred writings of Hinduism are split into two main parts. These are the Mahabarata and the Vedas.

Vedas and Mahabharata

The Vedas

A scene from The Mahabharat

The Vedas or Veda is composed of the most ancient texts in Hinduism. The name Vedas literally mean “sacred knowledge”. The Mahabharata includes many philosophical and worship teachings.

Scriptures in Daily Life

Original Hindu scrpture - Written in Sanskrit

Hindus must read from the sacred texts at least once a day, usually in the morning accompanied by praying. Sometimes, they may also sit down together as a family and explain the scripture to each other. During daily life, many Hindus may also use the stories in scripture to make hard decisions or to guide their moral and ethical decisions.

Important Stories in Sacred Texts

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord), in the sixth section of the Mahabharata, talks of the houses of Bharata in war - “If you will not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your duty, lose your reputation, and incur sin.” This text was written 500BCE - 100CE and is the world’s longest poem. It’s moral is interpreted as hard decisions, and deciding what is best for you and others.

Lord Rama and Hanuman from the Mahabharat

Another story in the Mahabharata is the Ramayana : a famous tale about princess Sita being kidnapped by an evil devil, Ravan - “Dear to him appeared his purpose, Rama to his people dear, Private wish and public duty made his path serene and clear.” This moral is similar to the story of Bhagavad Gita, it is a story of sva - dharma, adharma, and following one’s duty.

Sanskrit

sva - dharma, adharma, and following one’s duty. Sanskrit The ancient sacred texts of Hinduism are

The ancient sacred texts of Hinduism are all written in Sanskrit, an archaic language which was developed from the Aryans. The Aryans came from a foreign country and brought with them a different religion and from them also developed the Vedas/Veda. Not much is known about them, but their relatives are supposedly from Europe, Ireland, Iran and Iraq.

4.

Chapter 5 :

RITUALS & CEREMONIES

Hinduism is often described as a religion of fasts, feasts and festivals! There are numerous important rituals, festivals and ceremonies that mark a Hindu’s life.

Naming Ceremony

and ceremonies that mark a Hindu’s life. Naming Ceremony An important ceremony in Hinduism is the

An important ceremony in Hinduism is the naming ceremony. It is usually attended by close friends, relatives, and the nuclear family. The naming ceremony is called either Namkaran or Namkaran Sanskar, and is quite an elaborate tradition. This tradition is performed after 10 days from when the baby is born, since the first 10 days are believed to be unlucky (both mother and child are impure). When those inauspicious ten days have passed, a cleaning of the house takes place to cleanse and purify. The mother and child are then washed and bathed in the traditional manner, preparing for the ritual. The guests are there to participate in the ceremony - showing close relationship with the baby and the mother. A major guest who must be invited is a priest. The rite starts with the mother wetting her child’s head with some water, not unlike a Christian baptism. The wetting of the head signifies the purification of her baby. When this is completed, the baby is passed to his or her paternal grandfather or father sitting nearby or next to the priest. A holy fire is lit and the priest will chant or sing hymns in order for the gods to bless the child. According to the date and time of birth of the child, a particular letter of the Sanskrit alphabet is chosen which would prove lucky for the baby. A name will be decided starting with that letter, and the father will then whisper the name four times in the right ear of the baby. Through this, the baby will receive blessings and good wishes from everyone present, including the priest. A feast is usually held to end this tradition.

Mundan Vidhi

A feast is usually held to end this tradition. Mundan Vidhi Mundan Vidhi is performed to

Mundan Vidhi is performed to carry out the first hair cut of the baby. This ceremony needs to be carried out at the age of exactly 2 ½ years old. If the ceremony doesn’ take place at precisely this age, then it can only be done after another 2 ½ years, at the age of 5 years old. Mundan is a huge festival and a very important part of a Hindu’s life. If it is carried out as per the Vedic Method. it removes any deficiencies developed in the child before birth. It is also said that the shaving of the hair stimulates proper growth of the brain and nerves. During this vidhi all the hair of the baby are removed and the baby's head is cleanly shaven.Hair collected during the hair cut are kept in between two puris ( fried indian bread ) and then offered to holy waters like Ganges, Yamuna or any other holy water bed.

Marriage

Wedding function is considered as the biggest occasion in one's life. To make the occasion very memorable, the wedding is normally celebrated

on a grand scale.

on a grand scale. Mandapt ( The place where the main ceremony takes place ) Wedding

Mandapt ( The place where the main ceremony takes place )

Wedding function consists of a series of rituals. Instead of making the wedding function as a routine ritual performance, they have made it more colorful and enjoyable for both the bride and the groom. The function includes :

i) exchange of garlands

the groom. The function includes : i) exchange of garlands ii) pidi sutrudhal - throwing colorful

ii) pidi sutrudhal - throwing colorful rice balls after taking them around the couple three times. This is a symbolic gesture to ward off any evil eye on the bride and the groom

iii) nalangu - a fun filled evening for the bride and the groom

Hathleeva :

fun filled evening for the bride and the groom Hathleeva : Hathleeva is a ceremony in

Hathleeva is a ceremony in which henna or “mehndi” is applied to the bride’s hands and feet.

The couple’s are then loosly coonected to each other with a scarf. This symbolizes their

The couple’s are then loosly coonected to each other with a scarf. This symbolizes their bond for life.

The Wedding Ceremony :

The bride and groom are seated in front of a holy fire. a “pundit” leads the ceremony, making offerings to the holy fire and saying religious words. The couple walk around the fire 3 times, making religious vows.

Sapthapadhi :

the fire 3 times, making religious vows. Sapthapadhi : Sapthapadi means taking seven steps together. The

Sapthapadi means taking seven steps together. The bride and groom do this while walking around the fire. This is considered to be the most important in a wedding function. If one follows seven steps with another person, it is considered as a confirmation of their eternal friendship. The meaning of the mantras chanted during Sapthapadhi is summarized below. 1. Let the first step you take be with full of emotions. 2. Let the second step be with full of valor and strength. 3. Let the third step be for disciplined and controlled life. 4. Let the life together be a comfortable one.

5. Let the life be full of desirable wealth.

6. Let the seasons (nature) be good to you.

7. The seventh step symbolizes that the couple declare that they aspire for all the above for a happy, married life together.

Death

After the death of a family member, the relatives become involved in preparation of the
After the death of a family member, the relatives become involved in preparation of the
After the death of a family member, the relatives become involved in preparation of the

After the death of a family member, the relatives become involved in preparation of the body and a procession to the burning ground. In

Hinduism, funerals are carried out in white clothes, unlike Christianity and many other Western cultures. The closest relative of the deceased (

usually the eldest son ) takes charge of the final rite and lights the funeral pyre at the site. After the cremation, ashes and fragrants of bone

are collected in a clay pot ( matka ) and then eventually immersed in a holy river, usually the Ganges. Once the funeral is over, everyone

undergoes a purifying bath. Usually, 2 weeks subsequent to the funeral, close family members meet for a meal and often give gifts to the poor

charities.

During memorial services, rice balls ( pinda ) are offered to the spirit of the dead person, as a religious Hindu ritual. These ceremonies are

view as contributing to the merit of the deceased while pacifying the its soul so that it doesn’t linger in this world as a ghost, but rather pass

through the realm of Yama ( the god of death ).

Festivals

Hindu holy days and festivals follow a lunisolar calendar, thus dates vary from year to year. A few of the most popular are:

dates vary from year to year. A few of the most popular are: Rangoli made outside

Rangoli made outside of a hindu's house on Diwali.

Feet of Goddess Lakshmi symbolise entry of wealth in the Home.

of Goddess Lakshmi symbolise entry of wealth in the Home. Diwali ( between late October and

Diwali ( between late October and the middle of November ) - Known as the festival of lights, this commemorates the return of Lord Rama from His exile in the forest. It is, for many traditions, a new-year celebration. All over india, people burn crackers all night, to celerate this festival.

for many traditions, a new-year celebration. All over india, people burn crackers all night, to celerate
for many traditions, a new-year celebration. All over india, people burn crackers all night, to celerate

Diyas are lit to celebrate Diwali

Fire Crackers on the night of Diwali

Dussehra ( between late September and the middle of October ) - A celebration of good conquering evil, this festival lasts ten days

of good conquering evil, this festival lasts ten days People gathered to blow up Ravan -

People gathered to blow up Ravan - the evil demon from the mythological

story of Mahabharata

Holi ( day after full-moon, usuallu falls in Febuary-march ) - A spring festival to celebrate creation and renewal, linked with Lord Krishna. Colours are smeared on each other with paint, and coloured powder is thrown around in an atmosphere of great good humour.

is thrown around in an atmosphere of great good humour. Holi colours Navaratri - A nine
is thrown around in an atmosphere of great good humour. Holi colours Navaratri - A nine

Holi colours

Navaratri - A nine day festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Hindus hold fasts for these ten days and are permitted to only eat certain things.

Janmastami - A celebration marking the birth of Lord Krishna.

5.

5.

Chapter 6 :

DAILY LIFE FOR PRACTITIONERS

Since Hinduism is a such a vast religion, all Hindus don’t believe in the same things. They all have diverse opinions about ways of life depending

on where they come from. Overall, the purpose of life for Hindus is to obtain liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. The three most

important debts, who are looked upon the most are: Gods, Saints, Sages, and Ancestors. In Hinduism, there are three paths of life to be

followed :

Karmamarga - path of work and action, Jnanamarga - path of knowledge, Bhaktimarga - path of devotion to God. Karma also

plays a big and very important role in the life of Hindus. It is a guide of how to behave and act throughout their life. ( For more about Karma,

see Chapter 3 : Major Beliefs )

Studying the Vedas will also help as a Hindu - it will enrich one’s mind with sacred knowledge. Being a good host/hostess - serving guests with

respect, love, and reverence is an important practice for a Hindu. This is considered the basis for traditional hospitality in Hindu homes.

the basis for traditional hospitality in Hindu homes. Daily Life Tuesdays Non vegetarian practitioners become

Daily Life

Tuesdays

Non vegetarian practitioners become vegetarian on Tuesdays and the religious go pray at the temples. Also it is a day off for small stores and

local businesses (Tuesdays for Hindus is like Sundays for Christians).

Worshiping Daily

Most Hindus have a small shrine in their homes which they pray to in the morning and at night and give offerings to. While praying, Hindus sing

hymns, knows as Aartis, to specific gods. Although personal prayers towards gods/goddesses are encouraged, Hindus may also choose to pray as

a family in their home shrine. This will make you conscious of God throughout the day. This also helps the family to become one, as they are

worshipping together and generally pay tribute to the gods/goddesses together. An old quote is “a family that prays together stays together”.

The shrine is located in a separate place of its own and is usually considered inauspicious if it’s placed in the bedroom. It’s encouraged to take a

bath before praying so as to be clean before ‘meeting god’. Before exiting the home, Hindus may touch the feet of their god to have the best of

luck for the day.

6.

6.

Aartis: Hinduism hymns Hinduism hymns

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

( Alphebetical Order )

Adharma: Going against dharma (see dharma), considered very bad Going against dharma (see dharma), considered very bad

Aranyakas: Worship and meditation Worship and meditation

Aryan: The language of Aryans which eventually developed into Sanskrit The language of Aryans which eventually developed into Sanskrit

Bhagavad Gita: The Song of the Lord, the world’s longest poem included in the Mahabharata The Song of the Lord, the world’s longest poem included in the Mahabharata

Bhaktimarga: The path of devotion The path of devotion

Brahma: The god who created the world The god who created the world

Brahmanas: Rituals and prayers to guide priests Rituals and prayers to guide priests

Dharma: Conscience or belief to do what is right Conscience or belief to do what is right

Ganesh: The elephant - headed god, god of travellers and good fortune The elephant - headed god, god of travellers and good fortune

Ganges: A holy river in India A holy river in India

Guru: A Hindu teacher who teaches disciples through example and spreads knowledge to them, revered highly. A Hindu teacher who teaches disciples through example and spreads knowledge to them, revered highly.

Hathleva: Henna being applied to bride and groom, and they are loosely connected with a scarf Henna being applied to bride and groom, and they are loosely connected with a scarf

Hinduism: A religion that this book speaks of which originated in India. A religion that this book speaks of which originated in India.

India: The founding country of Hinduism The founding country of Hinduism

Jnanamarga: The path of knowledge The path of knowledge

Karma: A reaction to whatever you do - good things happen when you do good things A reaction to whatever you do - good things happen when you do good things

Karmamarga: The path of work and action The path of work and action

Mandir: A temple which is a place of worship for Hindus A temple which is a place of worship for Hindus

Mantra: A Hinduism chant A Hinduism chant

Mundan Vidhi: The first haircut of a baby The first haircut of a baby

Nalangu: An evening of fun and parties for the bride and groom An evening of fun and parties for the bride and groom

Namkaran: The naming ceremony The naming ceremony

Pinda: Rice balls Rice balls

Pidi Struduthal: Throwing rice spheres around the bride and groom to ward off bad luck Throwing rice spheres around the bride and groom to ward off bad luck

Puja: Prayer and singing Prayer and singing

Puris: Fried Indian bread Fried Indian bread

Purushartha: The two parts dharma - pleasure and profit The two parts dharma - pleasure and profit

Ramayana: A mythologicalal story about Prince Rama and his wife, Sita A mythologicalal story about Prince Rama and his wife, Sita

Samsara: The belief of reincarnation in Hinduism The belief of reincarnation in Hinduism

Sanskars: Hindu rituals Hindu rituals

Sanskrit: The ancient original language of Hinduism The ancient original language of Hinduism

Sapthapadhi: Taking seven steps (bride and groom) to symbolize a good marriage Taking seven steps (bride and groom) to symbolize a good marriage

Sva - dharma: Personal conscience Personal conscience

Tirthas: The seven cities considered especially holy, and which many pilgrimages are made to The seven cities considered especially holy, and which many pilgrimages are made to

Upanishads: Mystical and philosophical teachings Mystical and philosophical teachings

Varna: Arranging dharma according to what stage of life you are at Arranging dharma according to what stage of life you are at

Vedas: The most ancient writings of Hinduism The most ancient writings of Hinduism

Vishnu: The preserver of the world, a god representing mercy and goodness The preserver of the world, a god representing mercy and goodness

Yama: God of Death God of Death

7.

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