Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Taking It Home: Hinduism: One God, a Thousand Faces

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

IN TODAY'S WORKSHOP... we examined some of the fundamental concepts of the ancient faith of Hinduism. We discussed the four yogas or paths to enlightenment, Hindus' monotheism (belief in a single God), and some concepts that Unitarian Universalism shares with Hinduism.


  • What is your natural inclination for spiritual growth: through the mind, the feelings, work, or a spiritual practice, such as meditation?
  • Do you currently have a spiritual practice? If not, do you think you would benefit from a regular spiritual practice, in some form? What form would best help you on your path?


  • The Hindu greeting of "namaste" (NAHM-uh-stey) is accompanied by placing the palms together in front of the heart and slightly bowing the head. The word "namaste" translates as, "The divine within me honors the divine within you." This has the affirming effect of reminding us that every single person carries a divine spark. Discuss with your family this practice. You may not want to give up your customary "Hi!" but you could incorporate something into your greeting that reminds you of the other person's connection with the holy. Brainstorm what form this could take—a simple gesture, perhaps, such as a hand over the heart. How can you constantly remind yourselves of the sacred nature of every other person?
  • Ayurvedic medicine is the traditional, natural healing practice of Hinduism. Many practices of homeopathy and natural medicine that are now popular in the West originated as Ayurvedic medicine and techniques. You can read more about it on the website for The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, but the basic idea behind it is to create balance, and to not treat symptoms in isolation, but rather take into account all aspects of a person's life that contribute to their health. Ayurvedic medicine encourages us toward consistency in different areas of our lives. You might have Ayurvedic products in your home. Try Ayurvedic aromatherapy products in your bath or with a massage.
  • Examine the lives of your family and friends—and yourself—in light of the Ayurvedic principles of balance. Use these questions to begin a family discussion: Are you concerned about sustainable living but buy food in little packages that generate lots of waste? Are you concerned about air pollution but leave lights on all over the house? Are you concerned about the deteriorating health of the nation's youth but never exercise yourself? Discuss what changes you could make, starting now. Even a small change, if you stick with it, can make a big difference.