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Hinduism Chapter 3.

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1 Hinduism Chapter 3


3 The Quest for Discovering Hinduism

4 Hinduism Terms Indus Valley Aryan Yoga Hinduism
Veda/Vedas Rig Veda Sanskrit Sutras Brahmanas Aranyakas Upanishads Ramayana Mahabharata Bhagavad Gita Puranas Tantras Brahmanic tradition Brahman Atman Deva Avatar Caste system: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudra Trimurti: Brahma Shiva (Sheva) Vishnu Durga Kali Karma Samsara/reincarnation Moksha Dharma Santana Dharma Ahimsa Asceticism Puja Mantra Om Bhakti yoga Vedanta Lingam Maya Prana Darshan Guru Ashram Holi Durga Puja Divali

5 Hinduism: Lecture Overview/ Outline
Introduction Highlights Overview of the Religion Historical Overview from Origins of Hinduism and Vedic Times to Classical Age to Modern Times Main Beliefs Main Sacred Texts Main Practices Main Divisions Main Festivals

6 Hinduism: Introduction (1)
Hinduism one of the oldest & most complex of all religions of the world “Hinduism” term: not a single tradition “Hindu” was first used by Muslim sailors label people in India, derivative of “Indus” (according to another source), and then centuries later by Colonial British power; in both cases, the term is applied by foreigners Only recently has “Hinduism” begun to be used to refer to their own religious beliefs and practices Dharma: duty, right, natural law, social welfare, ethics, transcendental realization, religion

7 Hinduism: Introduction (2)
One of the most diverse and complex of all religions Spiritual expressions/ traditions range from extreme asceticism to extreme sensuality and from heights of personal devotion to deity to abstract Brahmanic philosophy, from metaphysical monistic proclaims to the worship of a multiplicity of deity-images

8 Hinduism: Highlights Overview of the Religion
The Vedas are the oldest Hindu religious texts Karma--moral sense and consequential effect of all action In modern Hinduism, millions of gods and goddesses are worshipped The Laws of Manu are the “blueprint” for Hindu society (codified the Caste system) The Bhagavad Gita is among the great epic poems of Hinduism. Hinduism--the source for three more world religions:Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism


10 Timeline of Hinduism Highlights
B.C.E Indus Valley civilization B.C.E. Aryan migration to India 1st Vedas (texts) compiled B.C.E Brahmanas written 400 B.C.E Vedas completed B.C.E Upanishads compiled 400 B.C.E.200 C.E. Ramayana (present form) 400 B.C.E. –400 C.E. Mahabhata (includes the Bhagavad Gita) compiled 100 C.E.-300 C.E. Laws of Manu compiled; caste system formalized C.E. Puranas recorded 711 C.E. Muslim invasion begins Mogul Empire rules India British rule of India

11 Origin of Hinduism I: historical and geographical context
From the 3rd to 2nd Millennium B.C.E. (2500–1500 B.C.E. in the Indus Valley A civilization had come…and gone

12 Origin of Hinduism II: Setting the Stage
Pre-Aryan India: the early Dravidian peoples of India developed a flourished civilization in Indus Valley Archaeology uncovered cities w/ streets, elaborate plumbing, irrigation, and amulets in “yoga”? position and fertility gods & goddesses images Then come the Ayrans…(Aryan theory: see next few slides)

13 Origin of Hinduism III: The Aryan Theory (a)
Aryans (“Noble ones” from land of Persia) Indo-European invaders came into the Indus Valley in migratory waves B.C.E. The highly civilized city culture had worn out their land w/ agriculture, & they declined Aryan migration in Indus Valley: assimilation into the culture The Aryans may have moved in AFTER the decline or they invaded & conquered before the decline

14 Origin of Hinduism IV: Aryan Theory (b): Invasion into India
They spoke an Indo-European language Some Aryans remained in the Iranian plateau where the ancient Iranian religion Zoroastrianism was founded

15 Origin of Hinduism V: Aryan Religion (1)
Best source of knowledge: the Vedic literature Vedas use “Aryan” to mean a noble person, not a racial category Polytheistic religion: the worship of personifications of the natural forces: storm, sun, moon, fire, & fertility of soil, as similarly did other Indo-European peoples

16 Origin of Hinduism VI: Aryan Religion (2)
Open air altars The chief manner of worship of the Aryan gods was sacrifice of animal & diary products, on altars in open places Agni, the god of fire, was the channel thru whom offerings were presented to the other gods (source: Vedas The horse sacrifice (the Vedas)

17 Origin of Hinduism VII: Aryan Contributions & Society
Early sources reveal Aryan society began to develop into 3 basic classes, varnas: Brahmins-the priests who served the cults Kshatriyas-the chieftains, rulers, and warriors Vaishyas-the commoners, merchants A 4th group: Shudras, may have been the pre-Aryan conquered people and were not full members in society, but slaves, servants to the Aryans

18 The Vedas

19 The Vedic Era and the Vedas (1)
Oldest sacred books of Hinduism Begun as early as 2000 BCE But others date it B.C.E. The Four basic Vedic Books: Rig-Veda-basic mythology of the Aryan gods Yajur-Veda-knowledge of rites Sama-Veda-knowledge of chants Atharva-Veda-Knowledge of sage Atharva

20 The Vedas (2) Each Vedic book contains Mantras, hymns to be sung to the gods These hymn/mantra sections are considered to be the most ancient material, since it is believed that in the case of most ancient religions, these were conveyed, memorized, chanted, and passed from one generation to generation to the next orally before they ever got written down (Hopfe and Woodward p. 85). Together, the Mantra and Brahmana (priestly rites) sections are considered to be the oldest material in the Vedas.

21 Vedic Deities Ingra-god of thunderbolt, clouds, & rain, and ruler of the heaven, receives most of the attention in the Vedas Agni-the god of fire, and god of the priests Varuna-god who presides over the order of the universe & who forgives those who sin Vishnu-at time of the Vedas, he was not an important deity, and so mentioned briefly Post-Vedic Times: Shiva & Vishnu became two of the most popular gods of Hinduism Devi—deity Behind the myriad aspects of divinity, the sages perceived ONE unseen reality

22 Comparative: The Vedas Story of the Flood comparative w/ the Biblical Account (1)
The Vedas, besides hymns to the many Aryan gods, also contain legendary and mythological material from earlier Indian life, such as the Story of Manu: “They brought water to Manu for washing, customary for washing hands. While he was washing, a fish came into his hands. It said to him in word, ‘Bring me up, I shall save you.’ ‘From what shall you save me?’ ‘A flood will carry away all creatures. I shall save you from that flood… The flood will come in such and such a year. Take my advice and build a ship. Enter it when the flood arises, and I shall save you from the flood.’ After rearing the fish, Manu took it to sea. In the year indicated to him by the fish, he acted according to the advice of the fish and built a ship. When the flood arose, he entered it. The fish…

23 Comparative: The Vedas Story of the Flood comparative w/ the Biblical Account (2)
Then swam to him. He tied the rope of the ship to the horn of the fish and thus reached swiftly the Northern Mountain there…. The fish then said, ‘I have saved you. Tie the ship…and descend as the water subsides.’ Thus he gradually descended the slope of the Northern Mountain. The flood carried off all the creatures, Manu alone survived. Wishing for a progeny, he began to worship and do penance. Then he performed a sacrifice of cooked meat. In the waters he offered melted butter, buttermilk, whey, and curd as oblations. In a year, a woman was created out of them. She rose dripping, melted butter collected at her footprints…he continued to worship and perform penance along with her. Through her this race was generated by him. This is the race of Manu. Whatever blessing he desired through her were all conferred on him.” Satapatha Brahmana 1:8

24 The Religion of Vedic Times
The Brahmin priests compiled the Vedas, and were most influential over the religion Worship of deities through chants, mantras, and sacrifices Sacrifices, including animals, were still in practice This period of early Hinduism, being controlled by the Brahmin priests, is sometimes called Brahmanism or Brahmanic tradition

25 The Varna Classes Brahmin (priest) Kshatriya (warrior)

26 The Varna Classes, continued
Vaishya (merchant) Shudra (servant)

27 Timeline of Hinduism Highlights
B.C.E Indus Valley civilization B.C.E. Aryan migration to India 1st Vedas (texts) compiled B.C.E Brahmanas written 400 B.C.E Vedas completed B.C.E Upanishads compiled 400 B.C.E.200 C.E. Ramayana (present form) 400 B.C.E. –400 C.E. Mahabhata (includes the Bhagavad Gita) compiled 100 C.E.-300 C.E. Laws of Manu compiled; caste system formalized C.E. Puranas recorded 711 C.E. Muslim invasion begins Mogul Empire rules India British rule of India

28 Other Revealed (shruti) Texts (after the early Vedas)
Brahmanas-ritual material: directions to performance of the ritual sacrifices to deities Aranyakas-Forest Treatises-material for hermits Upanishads-Philosophical materials from “highly realized” spiritual masters

29 Brahman: All Encompassing
The ancient sages (rishis) believed that the cosmos was/is one unified whole, the Absolute Reality, they called Brahman The Hindu system of thought the belief begins with Brahman Brahman, the Absolute, Unknowable, Impersonal Reality, pervades all nature The sages found Brahman in their self-soul, the atman (universal soul)

30 Understanding Brahman and The Atman (1)
All things in creation flow out of the Brahman, and the Brahman is in everything The atman is the soul in all beings, thus, the universal soul, whose source is Brahman Some scholars call the atman in humans as the self/ Self The atman or soul is what transmigrates from one life to the next, and carries the karmic consequences (good or bad) of the previous life into the next life

31 Understanding Brahman and The Atman (2)
Scholars/ Sources Definitions: Brahman - impersonal, pantheistic world-soul, the Absolute or total reality, union w/ which is the highest goal of the Upanishads Atman - universal soul Fisher on Atman: inner self, Self, individual soul H. Smith on Atman: hidden self, infinite, the atman-Brahman “The joyous discovery of the rishis was that they could find Brahman as the subtle self or soul (atman) within themselves (Fisher p. 79)

32 The Upanishads (1): Central Doctrines to all forms of Hinduism
Expresses several doctrines central to all forms of Hinduism Karma from Sanskrit karma root means “to do or act” now takes on new meaning of consequence of action, and moral grounding Samsara/ reincarnation, lit. samsara “to wonder across,” referring to souls that leave one body & onto the next, (also called transmigration of souls); each lives many lives until or if released… Moksha, lit. means “release,” break the cycle of karma & samsara (=“liberation”) and be free from burden of life and merge with the Absolute Reality; the Ultmate Goal: break the karmic cycle/wheel to be free

33 Karma: meaning transformed from Veda to Upanishads in Classical Period
Karma originally meant to act, perform, i.e. perform sacrifices (religious/cultic context) in the 2nd mill. BCE era of open-air altar sacrifices Upanishads introduce the concept of karma as it has since come to mean Upanishads introduce the concept of Samsara (wonder-across) soul migration from one life/body to next Karma drives this process, the cycle Every action and every thought had its consequence, marking internally in the person, an effect felt in this life or the next One may be born as a human or animal

34 The Upanishads (2): Overview
“Teachings from highly realized spiritual masters” (Fisher) Date from c. 600—100 B.C.E. (Fisher) About 200 Upanishads Some consider these the cream of Indian thought Became the basis of later Hindu philosophy Ancient Indian thinkers preferred to attribute virtue or evil to choices made by individuals

35 The Upanishads (3): Meditation on Brahman & Atman
Mystical insights from the rishis (sages) who sought ultimate reality through meditations The Upanishads emphasize meditation as a means of worship, not the worship of deities The rishis taught the outward senses-fleeting; what is real is the all-pervading reality found inside ourselves, called Brahman, and the self/soul (atman) is a part of the Brahman

36 The Upanishads (4): (from Hopfe & Woodward text)
The living beings that inhabit our world are really only expressions of the Brahman They are souls (atman) that are a part of the great ocean of souls that make up Brahman Phenomenal existence is an illusion (maya) A person’s individuality apart from Brahman is illusion, a dream, and ignorance The plight of human beings is that we are bound up in this world of illusion & ignorance It is the task of religion to reveal the divine within us and to show us how to live on a new plane.

37 The Upanishads (5): Presumption and Assumptions
Some scholars assert that they operate from a monistic presupposition in contrast w/ the polytheism of the rest of the Vedas The Upanishads assume that there is only one reality, the impersonal god-being Brahman. All that is not Brahman is not real. Humans have false knowledge (maya) when they believe that this life and our separation from Brahman are real Fundamental assumption is that there is but one true reality in the universe—Brahman-eternal, infinite, unknowable, sexless, and totally impersonal (Brahman is neuter, lit. means “ever growing”)

38 The Upanishads (6): Influence
Tremendous influential for later Hindu philosophy Never extremely popular among the masses, yet its teaching has had wide influence laying a foundation for Hinduism: Karma, Samsara/ reincarnation, Brahman, Atman, “Om” “I will tell you the Word that all the Vedas glorify, all self-sacrifice expresses, all sacred studies and holy life seek. That word is OM. That Word is the everlasting Brahman: that Word is the highest End…. It is the supreme means of salvation….” The Upanishads, trans. J. Mascaro, Penguin Books, 1965

39 Theistic and Divinity ”Within You” Hindu Paths
The Upanishads-not about worshipping gods, but realizing the divinity within you, & monistic In BCE times, for the educated elite But in both BCE and CE times, the masses (popular religion) worship many gods (theistic: polytheistic) In Common era, the popular worship of deities by individuals came to be called Bhakti devotion (and Bhakti yoga)

40 Two Alternative Paths arise out of Hinduism
6th cent. B.C.E., two alternative paths to Hindu sacrificial deity-worshipping (Brahmanic tradition) arose in India, within the Indian worldview, but challenging deity worship: Jainism & Buddhism These serious challenges arose when the Vedas were being compiled in the early Classical period Hinduism gradually enveloped these alternative paths attests to the strength of the Hindu religion(s) Question: How does the tolerant attitude of multiple expressions aid Hinduism’s success?

41 Foundations of Hinduism Established by 1st cent. B.C.E.
To the foundational three: Karma Samsara/ Reincarnation, and Moksha, add: Dharma, within this Indian cultural context of the developing caste system, rooted in the Rig Veda, in which “duty” meant duty to one’s caste/class Dharma: came to mean not only duty, but right, natural law, social welfare, ethics, transcendental realization, and religion in general (last one called Santana Dharma)

42 Major Practices: Communal and Group Rituals
Public worship: Pujah—led by Brahmins Ritual Fire ceremonies—led by Brahmin pandits Mantra Chanting Pilgrimages Festivals (see near end of PPT)

43 Major Practices: Family and Individual Rituals
Prayers Fastings Mantra Chanting Pilgrimages Reverence of Trees and Rivers Bhakti--devotion to particular deities Sacred Thread Ceremony Meditation (e.g. based on Upanishads) Yoga: Raja yoga, Jnana yoga, karma yoga, Bhakti yoga Asceticism-extreme self-denial Sannyasin

44 Mantras: a Foundational Hindu Practice
Origin from the priestly Brahmanas of the Vedas Reinforced in the Upanishads Practiced ubiquitously by all kinds of Hindus of various classes since the Classical into modern times

45 Om (or Aum) The most sacred syllable, first appears in the Upanishads
The supreme syllable Regarded as the seed of all mantra Source: Oxford Dict. Of World Religions The most important sacred sound in the Vedic & Hindu traditions A symbol and expression of the Brahman Source: Dict. Of Comparative Religion

46 Classical Age of Hinduism
Marked by the compiling of the great classic works of Hinduism and Indian Lit. B.C.E. Brahmanas written 400 B.C.E Vedas completed B.C.E Upanishads compiled 400 B.C.E.200 C.E. Ramayana (present form) 400 B.C.E. –400 C.E. Mahabhata (includes the Bhagavad Gita) 100 C.E.-300 C.E. Laws of Manu compiled

47 The Law of Manu (1) 300 B.C.E. – 300 C.E.
Another piece of traditional Indian literature produced during the Classical era: *Two Main Things to Remember: 1) Formalized the Indian Caste System 2) Gave divine authority to the Caste System Valuable for its religious teachings as well as what it reveals about Indian life, culture, society during Classical era, but some scholars see it as priestly propaganda They provide the outline for the caste system which are hereditary occupational groups One finds ethical and social standards which were held as ideal during this era

48 The Law of Manu (2) Basic Assumption: the Varna system apparently developed from early Aryan divisions of society Description of the Varna system is based on earlier account in Rig-Veda that describes the gods’ sacrifice of the cosmic man Purusa as origin of Hindu society: “The Brahman [priest] was his mouth. His two arms became the Raja [ruler]; his two thighs are the Vaishya [artisans, merchants, farmers], from his two feet the Sudra [servant] was produced.”

49 The Law of Manu (3) It is more explicit in the duties of the 4 varna and these 4 social groups are seen as being divinely ordained: “For the growth of the worlds, (Brahman) created Brahmanas (Brahmins), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (traders), and Shudras (manual workers)…” Members of each group have specific duties (dharma) and opportunities and must obey them only. The Law also shows the state of understanding of reincarnation at this period Shows also the effect the religious & philosophical teachings of the Vedas had on Indian society & roots of religious traditions in modern Hinduism

50 Bhagavad Gita (1) 400 B.C.E. – 400 C.E.
Contained within the Mahabharata (ch ), the story of the struggle of two leading families in beginning of Indian history, the two of which come together in a battle It’s a great epic poem, a dialog between Arjuna, a warrior, and his charioteer, Krishna.

51 Bhagavad Gita (2) The Bhagavad Gita means the “Song of God,” and is sometimes referred to by its short title of “Gita” Term: Avatar: an earthly incarnation of a deity Considered the concluding statement on Classical Hinduism A conversation between Krishna & the warrior Arjuna as he ponders the folly, human,& karmic consequences of war. Krishna explains that because Arjuna is a Kshatriya (ruler caste), & obligated to fight, he will not suffer the consequences that members of other castes would in battle

52 Bhagavad Gita (3) Highlights of the Teaching
You should perform the duty of your caste, thus avoiding karma (bad karma) Obligations of each caste is raised to the level of religious duties Openness to a variety of means of religious expressions: asceticism, yoga, meditation, devotions to and worship of the gods, obedience to rules of the caste. It is for this reason that Hinduism is often described as the most tolerant of all the world religions

53 Quotes from Bhagavad Gita
On the Atman: Some yogis merely worship the devas. Others are able, by the grace of the Atman, to meditate on the identity of the Atman with Brahman. For these, the Atman is the offering, and Brahman the sacrificial fire into which It is offered. When a man is made perfect in yoga, he knows the truth within his heart. The man of faith, whose heart is devoted, whose senses are mastered; He finds Brahman. Enlightened, he passes at once to the highest, the peace beyond passion.” Bhagavad-Gita, trans. Swami Prabhavananda, Mentor, 1972, Renunciation through Knowledge section

54 Classical & Post-Classical Hinduism
The Bhagavad-Gita marks the close of the Classical period Vishnu becomes one of the most popular gods in this period, almost anticipated in the Bhagavad-Gita All the contributions of the Classical period (the Vedas, Law of Manu, & Bhagavad-Gita) became the basis for later Hinduism Some scholars distinguish by calling the earlier period (pre-Classical) Brahmanism Brahmanism was much like that of the religions of the Graeco-Roman world-multiple deities (=polytheism) & sacrifices on open-air altars

55 Post-Classical Hinduism
In Post-Classical period, a gradual shift to emphasis on a few major deities, although they were worshipped in many forms Worship came to be love and devotion to those gods Temples were built to honor them Hymns composed about their qualities The literature of this period centered on the gods and goddesses Scholars also point out a change in basic attitude toward life changed to a pessimistic view, negative & life-denying forces emerging, but roots appear in the Vedas

56 Middle Ages to Modern Pd: Key Events 600-1857 C.E.
Rise of devotional and anti caste movements Shankara organizes Vedanta Portuguese conquest of Goa Moghul Empire (Turkish Muslim rule, for most part, tolerant)

57 Shaktas An estimated 50 million worshippers
Worship of the feminine aspects of the divine are probably pre-Vedic Her great power is called Shakti The goddess worshipped in many forms Term “Devi” may be used generically to all her forms Durga—beautiful woman but a fighter w/ 10 arms Kali—fierce form of her, with dripping blood Lakshmi-embodies wealth, generosity, fortune Tantras—sacred texts instructs how to worship the feminine divine

58 Shaivites Shiva is a personal, many-faceted manifestation of the attributeless supreme deity: Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), and Shiva (Destroyer) Trimurti: Brahma,Vishnu, and Shiva Shiva is also the god of yogis, for he symbolizes asceticism His devoted spouse/consort: Parvati The unity of the male and female: expressed abstractly as a lingam (stylized phallic symbol representing the male comic force) within a yoni (symbol of female vulva

59 Vaishnavites Worship Vishnu, beloved as the tender, merciful deity, overpowers by goodness and generosity Worshipped since Vedic times His consort is Lakshmi Most beloved incantations: Rama Popular devotion to Krishna-regarded as the transcendent Supreme Lord This form: Hari Krishna, gets exported to America

60 Devotion to the 3 Major Gods
Brahman, the ultimate reality, is at the core of Hindu thought. He is one & undivided Yet, post-Classical Hinduism sees him in terms of three forms/functions: the three deities of the Trimurti: Brahma-the creator Shiva-the destroyer Vishnu-the preserver Devotees of any of the 3 gods tend to see all the functions of Brahman is their chosen deity Devi-the great goddess, represents the feminine principle of Hindu thought; creative power, all-pervasive energy

61 Theistic Paths Overview
Brahman-the Absolute, Supreme Realty Bhakti-intense devotion to a personal manifestation of Brahman, became the heart of Hinduism for majority of Hindus Shaktas-those who worship of Mother Goddess Shaivites-those who worship the god Shiva Vaishnavites-those who worship the god Vishnu Tantra devotees: worship of God/deities in feminine form

62 Philosophical Systems: Overview
Samkhya Advaita Vedanta Yoga

63 Indian Philosophy/ Worldview during this Era
Time moves endlessly through various cycles World was created by Brahman World cycles: Peace, abundance, & morality then decay; Vishnu intervenes on behalf of humanity; but world continues to decay; Famines, wars, & general immorality become the rule. Finally, the world destroyed by Shiva; world dissolves and all souls depart into suspended being; after a period of repose, the world begins again and the souls take up new bodies.

64 Devotion to Knowledge The Sankhya System
Philosophical system founded by sage Kapila, 6th cent. B.C.E.-basically an nontheistic approach to life The Yoga system Various extremes of asceticism Fr. Root yuj, “to yoke” or “union” It basically follows the philosophical views of Sankhya system, w/ dualistic worldview, w/ goal to yoke one’s individual spirit to atman, Brahman. The philosophy of Yoga today was developed by sage Patanjal c. 200 C.E.

65 Strength and Success of Hinduism
Hinduism, with hundreds of thousands of practitioners into modern times attests to its strength and success through many challenges: It absorbed Buddhism (3rd cent. BCE - ) It was not run over by Islam (8th cent. CE- It did not become a Christian nation (1st –21st cent. C.E.)

66 Modern Hinduism (1) Hinduism, like all major religions, has had to face the rigors of the modern age, with its nationalistic movements, its social reforms, its encounters between religions, and its scientific revolutions An important factor has been its encounter with Christianity beginning w/ the Thomast Christians from 1st cent. C.E. More influence since 20th cent.; British allowed missionaries in India in the 19th cent. e.g. notable missionary was William Carey But Christianity had little impact on vast majority of Indian people until recent times due to the Indians treating Christians as a caste, as they also did with Muslims

67 Modern Hinduism (2) Hindu Reformers:
Ram Mohan Roy ( ) the “father of modern India; he was influenced by Christianity, accepted monotheism (but not divinity of Jesus), and worked on reforms Mohandas Gandhi ( ) the best known Indian reformer of the 20th cent.

68 Modern Hinduism (3): Modern Caste System
Modern caste system develops after 700 C.E. Ultimately, more than 3000 separate castes emerged in Indian society Dalits, the lowest caste, are sometimes referred to as untouchables, perform basically the dirty jobs; but if these outcasts accept the dharma (duty) of this life and do not rebel against it, they may hope for a better caste in the next life. Due to the efforts of reformer Ghandi, discrimination against the outcasts was forbidden

69 Modern Hinduism (4): The Main Denominations
The three main branches are: Vaishnavism-worship of God in form of Vishnu and his many incarnations Shaivism-worship of Shiva, Lord of Destruction Shaktism-veneration of Goddess (Kali, Durga, Uma, etc. Source: Introduction to World Religions, vol. 6 Hinduism

70 Modern India

71 Hindu Holy Days (Festival Practices)
Holi-the most popular festival: Feb/March Dasehra (Durga Puja)-celebration in honor of Durga, consort of Shiva, 9 days in October Divali-the New Year: November

72 Hindu Symbols

73 Key Terms Review (1) Brahman – the Ultimate Reality
Atman – the universal soul (of which individual souls are a part Avatar - an incarnation of a Hindu deity Deva (pl. devas) Skr. - A god or divinity usu. In feminine form Dharma – duty, right, righteous, moral/legal code, religion Karma – orig. act/ sacrificial act, action and effects in this life and future lives Samara – lit. “wonder across,” the karmic cycle of souls reincarnating, birth, life, death Reincarnation – part of the karmic cycle of a soul after death going into the next life form Moksha – release, liberation from the endless

74 Key Terms Review (2) Prana – invisible life force
Veda - knowledge or sacred lore Vedas – oldest Hindu sacred texts Upanishads – philosophical portions of the Vedas, teachings from spiritual masters Ramayana – famous epic deals with eternal play of good & evil, battles involving incarnations of Vishnu Mahabharata – famous epic includes Bhagavad Gita Puranas – Scriptures which popularize abstract truths of the Vedas through stories Sankrit – orig. language Hindu texts including Vedas Shruti – revealed knowledge/truth, not human orig. Sutra – terse spiritual teaching/saying

75 Key Terms Review (3) Mantra - ritual sound, words, to evoke a certain religious effect Puja – ritual worship Bhatki – intense devotion to a deity Asceticism – extreme denial of earthly comfort Yoga – lit. “yoke” or “union,” practices for union with true Self Maya – False knowledge; all sensory knowledge is Maya; illusion Pantheism - belief that reality comprises a single being of which all things (e.g. deities) are modes, members, or projections of it Brahma (Skr.) - creator or creative principle of the universe

76 Key Terms Review (4) Hindu—derivative of Indus, term coined by Muslim invaders to label people in India Caste – hereditary occupational groups, from Portuguese “casta” meaning “race,” multiple classes into which traditional Indian society has been divided Brahmins – priestly caste Kshatriyas – ruler and warrior caste Vaishyas – Merchant caste Shudras – artisans and laborers caste Guru – a spiritual teacher Sage - an aged man distinguished in wisdom Trimurti-the three most important Hindu gods: Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu Lingam – stylized phallic symbol (c.f. Shaivites)

77 Review of Hinduism: Core Beliefs
Karma: The karma one accumulates determines the nature of future existences. Hinduism assumes that there is a constant cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Karma drives this process Samsara/Reincarnation: the soul moving from one life to the next in the Karmic cycle Moksha: Release from the endless cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth Earth has its endless cycles with yogas as ages within the cycles Dharma: right, religious duty, duty to one’s caste, legal code, religion

78 Review of Hinduism: Beliefs continued
Brahman Polytheism--Deity has many faces, forms, incarnations, manifestations, a total of 330 million; Most common deities: Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Divine Mother, Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, Parvati The Vedas, oldest sacred texts, are shruti (divinely revealed, not human) Multiple paths of religious expression and practice to achieve ultimate goal

79 Review of Hinduism Practices
Brahmin rituals Mantra chants Puja worship Bhakti worship or yoga Meditation Yoga Asceticism Shaktism Shaivism Vaishnavism Practicing one’ duties according to caste

80 Hinduism Review: Development Overview
“Old” Hinduism – Vedic Times: 2nd Millennium to 500 B.C.E. also called Brahmanism Classical Hinduism – 500 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. Post-Classical (pre-modern) Hinduism – 500 C.E. to 1600 C.E. Modern Hinduism – 1600 C.E. to the present

81 Analysis, Synthesizing, Evaluating, Assessing, Comparative w/ other Religions
Analyze & evaluate the Hindu belief that all the deities are modes/ manifestations/ expressions of the one ultimate Brahman If ultimate goal for most Hindu religious expressions is moksha (release from the Karma cycle), how does their belief in maya fit into it? Is release even necessary? Is “Karma” meant in basically a non-theistic sense? And to what extent is it moral action? Compare & contrast the monotheistic concept of God e.g. Judeo-Christian sense to Hinduism’s Brahman and Karma beliefs

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