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Hinduism (World Lit)
Transcript of Hinduism (World Lit)
Oldest major religion
Vedic roots- Iron Age
Not a single religion
MANY branches, sects
& philosophical schools
Most revere Vedas
Branches of Hinduism: About Hinduism: Referred to as "sanatana dharma" Vaishnavism Smartism Shaivism Shaktism Worship of Vishnu as the Supreme God
and his avatars, Rama and Krishna.
Hare Krishnas are one sect of vaishnavism,
though there are many.
Particular emphasis on Bhakti Yoga, or devotion. Worship of Shiva as the Supreme God
Many impressive temples housing the sacred
Worship of all dieties as forms of Brahman-
Much more emphasis on Vedas.
Dharma more important than beliefs.
Ritual important, especially Yajna.
Swami Sivananda brought Yoga to the West.
Worship of Devi,
Roots go back to pre-historic
Several sects, two major ones
Srikula and Kalikula.
Closely linked to Tantra.
Scriptures: Pantheon: Branches of Yoga: Beliefs: Life stages and
Practices: Varnas and the
caste system Written in Sanskrit,
ancient Indo-Aryan language The Vedas Among oldest secred texts,
going back to 1500 BCE Four main divisions:
Atharveda Veda is sanskrit for "knowledge" The Upanishads The Bhagavad Gita The Epics The Puranas The Ramayana The Mahabharata Epic tale of Rama (an avatar of Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana. Thematically, the epic explores the tenets of human existence and the concept of dharma. Circa approx. 450 BCE Epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War, andcontains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas. Circa approx. 400 BCE A vast literature of stories and allegory. Authoritative references on the Gods and Goddesses, religious rites and holy places The Song of God Part of the Mahabharata, conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna taking place on the battlefield before the start of war. Often described as a concise guide to Hindu theology
and also as a practical, self-contained guide to life.
Focuses on Yogic path. "The language of battle is often found in the scriptures, for it conveys the strenuous, long, drawn-out campaign we must wage to free ourselves from the tyranny of the ego,
the cause of all our suffering and sorrow" -Easwaran Considered Vedanta,
or end of Veda. Exact age unknown, 2000 BCE? Most important treatise on Hindu philosophy. Primarily discusses philosophy and reality
through beautifully flowing poetry. Means "Setting to rest ignorance
by revealing the knowledge
of the supreme spirit." Over 300,000 deities BRAHMAN The Trimurti The Tridevi Feminine Trinity Masculine Trinity Brahma Vishnu Shiva The Creator The Protector
/ Preserver The Destroyer
/ Judge Saraswati Learning and Arts
Consort of Brahma Lakshmi Wealth and Fertility
Consort of Vishnu Parvati Power and Love
Consort of Shiva Ganesha The Fact of Existence
The Universal Soul
The Collective Consciousness
God. Period. Kali Remover of Obstacles, Lord Of Beginnings,
Intellect, Wisdom Time
RajaYoga The path of meditative practice. Karma Yoga The Path of Right Action
Jnana Yoga The Path of Knowledge Bhakti Yoga The Path of Loving Devotion Hatha Yoga The Path of
Human Life) Purusharthas
Human Life) Brahmacharya:
Puja: Worship Murtis: Icons Mantras: Prayers Japa: Chanting Mandir: Temple Yajna- Fire Sacrifice Brahmins: Priest Class
Laborer Class "Lovers of God do not belong to any caste . . . A brahmin without this love is no longer a brahmin. A pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah. Through bhakti an untouchable becomes pure and elevated."
-Sri Ramakrishna Vary greatly between sects,
but some important concepts: Samsara The sacred cycle Life
Rebirth The Physical Reality Atman The Eternal Soul
True Inner Self
Indistinguishable from Brahman,
IS Brahman, not created by Brahman
YOU ARE THAT. Moksha Enlightenment
Liberation from Samsara & Suffering
Awakening into Self-Realization Dharma Natural Order of All Things
Moral Law, Righteous Duty
Living in a Natural and Harmonious Way Karma Planting the Seeds One Shall Reap
Consequence, not Punishment
Simple Cause and Effect
Free Will! Prakriti (Lump of Clay) All that exists- Primal Energy-Matter
The clay from which all things are made
Purusha- Conscious Energy Maya The World of Forms
What We See- Illusion
The Pots from the Clay of Prakriti
/Delusion Mount Meru Allegory for the Heirarchy of Creation
Summit is Home of the Devas
Center of the Universe
(Reason for Vegetarianism) The most widely recognized mystical symbol of Hinduism, the other being the Swastika.
A syllable in Sanskrit meaning "to praise/sound", said prior to any prayer or mantra.
3 letters symbolize the 3 Vedas, the Trimurti or the 3 stages of life.
Aum was the first sound when the Universe was born/created.
Aum is without beginning or end, encompassing the totality of all creation.
Aum is the ultimate name for God.