Cross-Cultural Training Tour Notes
An Overview of the Various Faiths
1. Hinduism: A religion of philosophy and cultural beliefs.
- No founder in Hinduism goes back to 2500 BC
- Oldest surviving religions of the world
- Population: more than 1 billion followers in the world
- Holy Scriptures: Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Ramayana and Baghvad Gita
- Scriptures were written in Sanskrit
- Main doctrine: Hindus believe that the soul never dies, after the body dies; the soul is reborn in another life form
- Social order or casteism: four major castes
- Salvation is through good works
- Religious and cultural practices
2. Islam: Followers of Islam are known as Muslims, it means to surrender or submit.
- Monotheistic religion
- Origin 580 CE in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- Founder: Prophet Mohammed (570 – 632 CE)
- Scriptures: Koran or Qur’an written in Arabic
- Population: Over 1 billion followers of Islam in the world
- Five Pillars: The Shadhadah or bearing witness to the faith
- Prayers, zakah means to purify, the fast and the Hajj
3. Sikhism: Followers of Sikhism are called Sikhs.
- Sikhism is a monotheistic religion
- Population: 25 million
- Sikh means: a disciple, or a learner
- Founder: Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539)
- Scriptures: Adi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib, written in Gurmukhi language
- 10 Gurus laid the Sikh panth
- The five symbols of Khalsa society: Kachh, Kara, Kirpan, Kangha and Kes
- Believe in reincarnation and salvation is through good works
4. Buddhism: A religion of “the enlightened one”.
- The followers of Buddhism are called Buddhists. It means: “One Who Is Awake”
- The history of Buddhism spans almost 2, 500 years from its origin in India
- Founded in 6th Century BC in India
- Founder: Siddhartha Gautauma, born approximately 563-483 BC, called “The Buddha”
- Place: Northern Indian, in- between India and Nepal.
- Sacred Books: Tripitaka (The Three Baskets of Wisdom)
- Adherents: 400 – 700 million with many branches
- China, Japan, Srilanka, Thailand, Tibet, Korea and Mongolia, etc.
The Four Noble Truths:
1. Life is suffering. To live be to suffer, it is a reality of life
2. Suffering is caused by attachment
3. Freedom from Attachment is the cure for suffering
4. The way out of suffering is through the eightfold path.
The Eight Fold Path:
Right view; thinking, speech, action, living, effort, mindfulness and concentration.
The Three Major Groups:
1. Theravada: The Elders Teaching
2. Mahayana: The Greater Vehicle
3. Vijrayana: The Diamond Vehicle.
5. Christianity: A relationship with Jesus Christ (Christian means a follower of Jesus).
- Origin: 1st century with Jesus of Nazareth in Palestine
- Population: 3.5 billion followers in the world
- Scriptures: Holy Bible, (Old and New Testament)
- Main teaching: Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ
- Promise of Eternal Life to all those who believe in Christ