Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone. — Mohandas Gandhi

Introduction

This workshop introduces Hinduism, an ancient faith birthed in India in a time beyond memory and still practiced by more than 900 million people around the globe. Hinduism is frequently associated with Buddhism, which is logical, since Buddhism grew from Hinduism: The man who became the Buddha was born Hindu. However, Hinduism is distinct, and more ancient. The almost infinite paths to God supported in Hinduism are the result of its unique approach to the human spiritual quest.

Hinduism is an indigenous religion, yet its complexities and staggering variety of practices can make it seem more foreign to modern, Western youth than earth-based indigenous religions with which they are familiar. Also, the youth may know some followers of earth-centered faiths in their congregation but may not have encountered Hindus. Like Eastern religions in other workshops, Hinduism is based on philosophies that can seem very different from the Western way of looking at the world.

If your congregation includes people who are Hindu or who have a Hindu background, consider replacing an activity with a guest visit and discussion. It is important for participants to see a form of contemporary Hinduism.

Goals

This workshop will:

Introduce some fundamental aspects of Hinduism Acquaint participants with some of the most important figures in the Hindu pantheon and the birth story of Krishna Familiarize participants with some parallels between Hinduism and Unitarian Universalism Explore the four yogas, or paths to God, of Hinduism.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

Deepen their understanding of the many forms religions can take to meet the same goal Become familiar with and be able to discuss important aspects and concepts of Hinduism Increase their knowledge of their spiritual lineage by learning how the teachings of nonviolence traveled from Thoreau to Gandhi to King Think more deeply about how their own spiritual growth takes place and what aspects of their own lives serve their spiritual growth.

Workshop-at-a-Glance

Activity

Minutes

Welcoming and Entering

0

Opening

25

Activity 1: Story — The Birth of Krishna

15

Activity 2: The Thoreau-Gandhi-King Connection

15

Activity 3: Four Paths to the Ultimate

20

Activity 4: Fact Sheet

7

Activity 5: Time Line

3

Faith in Action: Nonviolent Social Change

Closing

5

Alternate Activity 1: Engagement

90

Alternate Activity 2: The Bhagavad Gita

25

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.