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Hinduism & Buddhism
Transcript of Hinduism & Buddhism
: sacred knowledge originally preserved orally by Brahmin priests and eventually written down (Rig Veda)
Challenges to the Old Order
Jainism & Buddhism challenged the religious status quo & position of the Brahmins.
: "Great Vehicle" branch, followed in China, Japan, Central Asia. Focus on reverence for Buddha (near god)
Buddhism & Hinduism
: physically isolated landmass
: seasonal winds that bring rain
3 harvests per year possible in some regions
monsoons and trade
Remember the Aryans?
Aryas: light-skinned, Indo-European peoples
Dasas: darker-skinned, Dravidian peoples
literally meant "color"
: further subdivisions, or castes, based on occupation
c. 600 B.C.E
Upanishads: Symbolic, mystical, interpretation of Vedas
Belief in vast cosmic periods of creation and destruction
Belief in reincarnation
Recognition of multiple paths to salvation and truth
Acceptance and reverence for the Vedas
Unity in multiplicity?
330 million different gods representing different ethnic & linguistic traditions
Moksha: liberation from the cycle of reincarnation
You are where you deserve to be.
Only by accepting your position & fufilling your duties can you improve your lot
non-violence towards all creatures
many practiced extreme asceticism,
Siddhartha Gautama: "The Buddha" Enlightened One
Four Noble Truths
1. Life is suffering
2. Suffering arises from desire
3. eliminate desire to eliminate suffering
4. desire can be curbed by following the "Eightfold Path"
gods: devotion helps us reach moksha
founding: Siddhartha Gautama
founding: developed over time
caste: has no bearing on enlightenment
caste: determines liberation
: "Way of the Elders", followed in Sri Lanka, & S. East Asia; closest to original buddhism (non-theistic, individual meditation)
c. 500 BCE
Buddhism & Hinduism
Why did Buddhism essentially die out in India, but flourish elsewhere?
Mahabharata: longest epic poem
: intense devotion to a god/goddess
Revitalized popular participation