World Religions, Sixth Edition Warren Matthews Chapter Three:
World Religions, Sixth Edition Warren Matthews Chapter Three: Hinduism This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease, or lending of the program.
The Origins and Historical Development of Hinduism Dravidian peoples lived in cities along the Indus River in modern-day Pakistan and northwest India Around 1000 BCE, Aryans migrated into Dravidian territory from the west From the intermixing of Dravidians and Aryans, the earliest forms of Indian society (including the caste system and Hinduism) emerged
The Sites and Sacred Rivers of Early Hinduism Recent India and Neighboring States Shruti and Smriti: Revelation and Scriptures The Vedas
Sacred oral traditions brought by migrating Aryans Were regarded as having been revealed to humanity Were the subject of later commentaries
Accounts of the gods Instructions on the performance of ritual to influence the gods Shruti: Revelation and Scriptures Vedic scriptures Rig-Veda stories of the gods Sama-Veda chants used by priests in soma sacrifices Yajur-Veda litanies and prayers used in devotions Atharva-Veda charms and spells for use by ordinary people
Shruti and Smriti Shruti also expands on the theological implications of the accounts and rituals revealed in the Vedas Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads Smriti is remembered and thus less authoritative Laws of Manu (how to live as a Hindu) Itihasa-Purana
Mahabharata Ramayana The Four Stages of Life According to the laws of Manu (composed 200 BCE - 200 CE)
For upper-caste males: Student Married householder
Retired contemplative Renunciate
Goal is samadhi unity of the soul with Brahman Raja yoga helps release the soul from the body Women practice three stages, with the fourth being optional Gods of the Rig-Veda
Agni the god of fire (a central element in ritual sacrifice) Indra warrior god who slays demons and protects human beings and gods Soma the sacred drink Varuna the god of truth Mitra the god of contracts or agreements The Upanishad Some Hindus branched out from the Brahmins and Vedas
The Upanishads seek a sacrifice of psychological aspects to unite the Atman in humans with Brahman, the absolute of the universe Many Hindus consider the Upanishads to be natural developments of thoughts already suggested in the Vedas No social upheavals were necessary to bring about this evolution of religious thought The Upanishads have a common spirit of inquiry, offering ways that religion can supplement other practices of the Vedas
The Guru A teacher who has gained a special insight into reality Upanishads formulated as dialogues between student and guru Yajnavalkya a prominent guru in the Upanishads Regarded as more than human Karma, Samsara, and Castes Law of karma the Hindu principle that thoughts and deeds are followed by deserved pleasure or pain, we reap what we sow
Samsara the Hindu concept of the wheel of rebirth that turns forever, meaning that souls are reborn until they reach perfection Caste the particular social standing into which one is born, according to ones karma in prior lives Kshatriya the Hindu caste of rulers, warriors, and administrators Vaishya the third Hindu caste, that of merchants and artisans Shudras the fourth Hindu caste, that of laborers
The Bhagavad Gita A portion of the Mahabharata, an epic poem A battlefield dialogue between the warrior Arjuna and his chariot driver, the god Krishna in disguise Krishna sees Arjunas reticence to enter battle, tells him to fulfill his duty as a warrior, the caste into which he was born Karma yoga, or fulfilling ones caste duty, is a way of ultimately achieving moksha liberation
Krishna and His Brother Balarama The Bhagavad Gita Four Ways of Salvation The Path of Work karma yoga The Path of Knowledge jnana yoga The Path of Physical and Mental Discipline raja yoga The Path of Love bhakit yoga
The Laws of Manu A Hindu code of conduct compiled from about 200 BCE to 200 CE Developed full discussions around a thread of precepts, or sutra Described an ideal code of behavior for Hindus Depicted Brahmin ideals for each caste and for each member of society Described four stages of life student, householder, forest-dweller, and samadhi (optional stage); allowed women to observe the first three stages
Orthodox Hindu Systems of Philosophy Sankhya frees souls from bondage to matter Advaita Vedanta accepts that appearances are not ultimate reality, and that ignorance, that avidya keeps individuals from seeing Other philosophic systems
Yoga philosophy liberates the soul from the body Nyaya philosophy focuses on intellectual analysis and logic Vaisheshika philosophy studies the external world and understands it in terms of atoms Purva-Mimamsa emphasizes literal truth and duty Hindu Responses to Western Influence Ramakrishna (1836-86) a Brahmin with a devotion to the goddess Kali, taught that all divinities are manifestations of the one God
Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) turned to the resources within his Hindu tradition to improve Indias social conditions and resist British imperial rule Sri Aurobindo (1827-1950) underwent a transformative religious experience that led him to practice and teach yoga, and taught that world reform comes through spiritual development of the self Kali, the Fierce Goddess Who Destroys Forces of Evil
Mohandas K. Gandhi Hindu Worldview Henotheistic rather than polytheistic understanding of the Absolute One superior god served by lesser deities Cyclical universe marked by polarities of creation and destruction and influenced by the divine Human life marks the appearance of the atman and is influenced by
the law of karma Hindu Worldview Human fate is bound to endless cycles of reincarnation unless some method for attaining moksha is adopted Solution to samsara (reincarnation) is harmony with the Absolute through the liberation of the soul There are various paths to harmony but all follow the laws of karma
Assistance of deities is necessary at times The Sri Mhamariamma Temple in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur A Contemporary Hindu Temple in Flushing, New York
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