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Chapter 5-4 Hinduism- the oldest religion

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1 Chapter 5-4 Hinduism- the oldest religion
No prophet, books or bureaucratic structure, is an intricate web of religious, philosophical, social, economic and artistic elements in Indian civilization (largest Hindu temple complex) Originated from Indus Valley, 4000yrs ago in today’s Pakistan, spread by contagious diffusion Souls, in the next life, move upward in the hierarchy and then to escape from the eternal cycle through union with the “Brahman”, up or down movement depend on “good” or “bad” behavior in the present life Reincarnation -(ahimsa) if you mistreat an animal in this life, chances are you will be that animal in a future life, all creature are ranked, even within human, caste system, goal is to move up to higher hierarchy and eventually liberated from the cycle and reunion with Brahman (universal soul).

2 The Caste System in Hindusim
“Caste System” bound to the Hinduism - to observe dharma (duties) to keep balance of society/nature then move onto higher level in next life.- 1. Brahmins(White) - Priests and Teachers (don’t eat meat) 2. Ksatriyas(Red) - Warriors and Rulers 3. Vaisyas(Brown) - Farmers, Merchants, Artisans,etc Ganhdi means “Greengrocer 4. Sudras(Black) - Laborers Outcastes -“untouchables” could not enter temples……a generation ago.-- Polluted Laborers There are literally thousands of subclasses in India, often with an administrative or corporate structure. When Gandhi wanted to go to England to study law, he had to ask his subcaste for permission to leave India.

3 Brahmins - peace, self-harmony purity, loving-forgiveness, vision
Boys reborn at age: Brahmins - peace, self-harmony purity, loving-forgiveness, vision wisdom and faith 8 Twice Born Ks.atriya-heroic mind, inner fire, courage in battle, generosity and noble leadership member of Vedic religion, eligible to learn Sanskrit 11 marriage for girl who will be bestowed with the thread Vaishya - Trade, agriculture, rearing of cattle 12 Varn.as Sudras - service Outcastes Untouchable - sometimes

4 The Untouchables Hinduism -Diffusion/Cultural Landscape
20% of Hindus. Some ejected from castes to untouchables, example of Gandhi. Job Description - dealing with the bodies of dead animals or human body, manufacturing leather goods, cleaning up the human and animal waste Gandhi - went on fasts in the hope of improving the condition of the Untouchables Hinduism -Diffusion/Cultural Landscape Essentially is a cultural religion of South Asia. Hinduism is “a way of life”, if you build a temple you will be rewarded. So, there are many “shrines” which should be in a “comfortable” position (for example, under a large, shady tree) and near water which has a holy function in Hinduism. A village temple should face the village from a prominent position

5 Bathing in Ganges River
Bathing in Ganges River. They believe Ganges springs from the hair of Siva, one of the main deities. Hindus achieve purification by bathing in the Ganges, and bodies of the dead are washed with water from it before being cremated. (once in 12 years)

6 Rejection to Hinduism Jainism began in 6th century B.C. as a revolt against the authority of the early Hindu doctrines, caste distinctions and modifies concepts of karma and transmigration of souls - 4 million followers Sikhism - rejecting the formalism of both Hinduism and Islam and proclaiming a gospel of universal toleration, and Buddhism - 6th century B.C. four noble truths: 1) existence involves suffering 2) suffering is the result of desire 3) pain ceases when desire is destroyed 4) the destruction of desire comes through knowledge of correct behavior and correct thoughts

7 Buddhism A protest to the Hinduism’s strict social hierarchy that protected the privileged and kept majority in poverty (another protest - Jainism) Founded by Prince Siddhartah (Gautama), the heir to a wealthy kingdom - Nepal, in 3rd century Buddha - Enlightened One was the first prominent Indian religious leader to speak out against Hinduism’s caste system Enlightenment would come through self-knowledge, elimination of greed, craving and desire; complete honesty; and never hurting another person or animal- vegetarians Seeking Perfect Wisdom and the permanent escape from all anguish via the realization of True Ultimate Reality - Nirvana

8 Buddhism - Diffusion Emperor Asoka - started diffusion process. It reached Sri Lanka, Mediterranean, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia Contagious diffusion - but decline at home in 4th century, 8th century dominance broke by Islam in N India, 15th century disappeared. While Buddhism spread to distant lands, it began to decline in its region of origin. After Asoka, India is mainly Hinduism. A process of Migration Diffusion

9 Branches of Buddhism (vehicles)
Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) -Vietnam/China/Japan /Korea - appeals to superhuman/ personal meditation/ worship Theravada (vehicle of Elders), conservative - Sri Lanka/Myanmar/Thailand /Laos/Cambodia - salvation is personal matter/ good behavior/be monk or nun Lamaism(Vajrayana) - Tibet: Dalai Lama: reincarnated Buddha. Self-discipline, conversion through meditation and study of philosophy Zen - Japan, Taiwan and US - Zen Master

10 Buddhism Asian Diffusion Routes
Source: Fellmann Getis, Getis, 2000

11 Lamaism - Tibetan religion of about 3 million Tibetans and 7 million Mongols and others, including Richard Gere. The Dalai Lama is the equivalent of the Pope for them. A secondary leader is the Teshu Lama (or Panchen Lama). These two are regarded as ‘Living Buddhas”, being reincarnations of Buddha passing from one existence to another. When one dies, his successor is sought from among the baby boys born at the time the leader passed away because it is believed that the soul of the Buddha has only passed into another existence

12 Lahsa: Potola Palace - Tibet, 13 stories, 1000 rooms, red and white palaces

13 Cultural Landscape Because Prince Siddhartha sat under the “Bodhi”, this tree has become the symbolic characteristic of Buddhism. Photo: The site of Buddha’s enlightenment Pagoda - symbolizes peace, compassion and the noble exemplary qualities of the Buddha.

14 Feng Shui- harmony with nature
Taoism 1) “Tao-te-ching” - “Book of the Way” , Simplicity, spontaneity, tenderness, and tranquility. Avoid “Competition, possession and even the pursuit of knowledge . Evils - War, punishment, taxation, and ceremonial ostentation 2) The best government is the least government 3) Taoism became a cult of the masses, Lao-Tsu is god which himself would have disapproved. 4)A sort of Taoist witchcraft emerged Feng Shui- harmony with nature “Feng” means Winds, “Shui” means Water Consult with “geomancers” for doing everything, including building houses, naming the business, garden layout, location of the stores, highway systems, president’s palace, maybe …The White House facing

15 Confucius - born b.c. 1) Present life is more important than the future life, 2) Urged poor to assert themselves, 3) human virtues and abilities to determine one’s position in society 4) educated the landless and the weak 5) disliked supernatural mysticism 6) Confucian Classics - guide for Chinese civilization Confucianism

16 Issues in cemeteries and funerals
Christian faiths bury their dead while Hindus, Buddhists, and Shintoists cremate the dead Decoration of graves/elaborate rituals and in parklike cemeteries Significant economic enterprise in Western cultures - cemeteries and funeral business

17 Hanging Coffins in China
Minority “Ba” people - buried their dead by suspending the coffins on the cliff faces so that they were closer to the heavens.

18 Shintoism Shintoism- Japanese ethnic religion, closely related to Buddhism, a case of syncretism. Most Shinto shrines house sacred objects such as mirrors (the symbol of the Sun Goddess), swords and jewel on the altar where the gods are believed to be reside. observes deified emperors, family spirits, and divinities residing in rivers, trees, mountains, rocks, moon and sun gods are approached through ceremonial torii (gateway arches) 45 million reported adherents in Japan, but the modernization is reducing the importance of Shintoism

19 Zen ? Just Two Words -1 There once was a monastery that was very strict. Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to speak at all. But there was one exception to this rule. Every ten years, the monks were permitted to speak just two words. After spending his first ten years at the monastery, one monk went to the head monk. "It has been ten years," said the head monk. "What are the two words you would like to speak?" "Bed... hard..." said the monk. "I see," replied the head monk.

20 Just Two Words -2 Ten years later, the monk returned to the head monk's office. "It has been ten more years," said the head monk. "What are the two words you would like to speak?" "Food... stinks..." said the monk. "I see," replied the head monk. Yet another ten years passed and the monk once again met with the head monk who asked, "What are your two words now, after these ten years?" "I... quit!" said the monk. "Well, I can see why," replied the head monk. "All you ever do is complain."

21 Just Two Words - 3 YouGuys … Wake up…


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