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Year 13 Understanding Religion

John-Paul Powley

on 9 August 2016

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Transcript of Hinduism

You can have what you want
What do you want?
Hinduism says we want four things:
Worldly success - power, wealth and fame
To behave responsibly, and
Liberation =
Freedom from anything that will stop you from gaining your complete fulfillment
It also says that life is divided into four stages:
Youth - When your chief obligation is to learn
Householder - When your concern is for family, and your job, and your community, and
Retirement - When you begin your true education
Wandering Recluse - Free from all ties, seeking freedom from the circle of birth and death
There are realms of gold in the depths of our heart
That thou art
Tat Tvam Asi
Everything that we seek is within us
So, you can have what you want
because you already have it
If we can clean the dirt from the "lamps" the light of enlightenment that is within us all will shine
One of Hinduism's key messages is,
be honest, what are four things you think people want
Lesson One
Population 1.2b
Capital: New Delhi
Languages: Hindi, English + 16 others
81% Hindu
12% Muslim
World's largest democracy
“India is not a nation, nor a country. It is a subcontinent of nationalities.”
― Muhammad Ali Jinnah

You are going to write a poem today called:
Welcome to India
You are going to watch a video about India. The teacher is going to stop the video every five minutes and you are going to write down the most interesting image you saw in that five minutes. You are going to do this eight times, and then you're going to read your poem out.
What does this mean?
"Om is an eternal song of the Divine. It is continuously resounding in silence on the background of everything that exists.”
- Amit Ray
This is the "om" symbol - often used as a symbol of Hinduism itself. "Om" is a sound, a hum. Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM". Om is the mysterious cosmic energy that is the basis of all the things and all the beings of the entire universe. It is an eternal song of the Divine.
Read the sheet on Hinduism and summarise the similarities between the texts.
"Cheer loudly, hail Mother India.
The golden bird, (as well as) Dengue and malaria,
We have the good as well as the shitty, hail Mother India"
- Bharat Mata Ki Jai
Bharat Mata
Means Mother India. For Hindus, India is the Holy Land. This is a song called "Hail Mother India" from a Bollywood movie. It celebrates India but also notes the bad points: malaria, dengue, government corruption and gangsters. Because it was a satirical song it caused a bit of controversy in India (but was also a hit).

The Ganges River
One is born a Hindu. The religion does not grow through converts but through the birthrate. Until recently you actually could not "become" a Hindu - you HAD to be born a Hindu. Only someone belonging to a recognized caste, with a Hindu mother and father, who had undergone the correct rituals could be a member of the Hindu community. Originally Hinduism was totally confined to India - crossing the dark sea meant losing caste and being cut off from the Hindu community. This is no longer true.
Watch the video on Hinduism and answer the questions on the viewing sheet
What do you want?
There must be more to life than this?
Firstly, what are some examples of "this"?
Have you ever thought:
Secondly, what would "more" than this be?
Remember in our first lesson we saw that Hinduism said there were four things we wanted? What were they?
Read page one of What Do You Want, and then watch ten minutes of the TV show called Affluenza. Find, and write down five points that you think are related to the first two things that Hinduism says we want.
The Path of Renunciation
Renunciation? What does it mean to renouce something?
Read the sheet: The Path of Renunciation and discuss.
Now let's watch a video from Russia. Note down three ways the stories fit with the path of Renunciation, then answer these question: do you know anyone who you think might be in this third stage? Do you think it is something you could do?
Free from the dross
Today we will learn about the final thing that everyone wants. This picture actually gives you a clue - what does it mean?
Read and discuss the sheet: Hindu Beliefs.
Make a concept web of all the italicised terms to show how they relate to each other. Explain the connections.
The Path of Desire
The Path of Renunciation
Worldly Success
Olga likes shopping
Roman used to be the head of a huge company
Now Roman and his girlfriend have renounced worldly success and pleasure. Roman serves others by recycling
Don't think of Olga as "bad" - at this point in her life, or in this lifetime, she is seeking pleasure, but perhaps as she grows older, or in another life she will pursue other things.
Hinduism would say that there is a stage beyond behaving responsibly
kali yuga
"India is the least tolerant nation in social forms while the most tolerant in the realm of ideas." - Nehru
Here are two clips about caste. The first is short and pretty positive. The second is not positive. What is your point of view based on the sheet you have read and the videos?
Read the sheet on the Caste System and summarise into five key points
What does the word
Can you think of some examples?
Isn't it normal for groups to make hierarchies?
What are the upsides and downsides?
The four varnas of traditional Indian society
"Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Giving all you love to just one man"
- Tammy Wynette

How important is culture in shaping our attitudes to men and women?
What has been the issue with the Blurred Lines lyrics, the video, Miley Cyrus and Defined Lines?
Religion is a strong factor in shaping a culture. Much of what we have seen of Hinduism seems pretty positive, but as we saw last lesson some of its beliefs have had negative impacts. Today we are going to look at women in India. First we will read a little.
- Ramayana
Read the sheet on Hindu Religious Practice and Vishnu, then explore this image:
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.”
-Bhagavad Gita
To be happy always is something which is difficult to achieve. That is to say, happiness and sorrow alternate in one’s life and there cannot be uninterrupted happiness alone.
Read the sheet on Krishna and then look at the image of Krishna using this as a guide:
AS90826 (v.2)

- Analyse the response of a religious tradition to a contemporary ethical issue
Credits: 6
Due Date: 10.00am Friday, 17 October (Week One, Term Four)
Death penalty
Stem cell research
"Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
Genetic engineering
Life, according to Macbeth, has no significance. Major world religions disagree and have often taken quite strong stands to protect life. Our theme for this assessment is life and how a religious tradition has responded to an ethical issue associated with life.
“Non-injury to all living beings is the only religion." - Jainism
Hinduism is a very diverse religion, but some forms of Hindu worship have become separate branches of Hinduism, and are considered separate religions. In this lesson we will focus on the Jains. Read the sheet on the Jains.
Sikhs & Jains
This is the first part of a BBC documentary about the Jains. The key to understanding why Jains are non-violent is explained in the section about a cow, Gandhi, and karma. If you understand this then you understand Jainism's position on non-violence.
In this first documentary the presenter starts with the Sikhs and then moves to the Jains. The documentary following this has a short section on the Sikhs.
Having read a bit and seen a bit about these two religions have a go, as a class, at filling this out:
Comparing Indian Religions
Jainism & Hinduism
Sikhism & Hinduism
All three
Jainism & Sikhism
Don't worry if you can't fill every segment out, we have studied these religions very much, but have a go
Ethical issues with stem cell research:
Getting stem cells from embryos pushes this into the abortion / pro-life debate
Should we mess with life at this level - doesn't it lead to playing God?
Ethical issues with genetic engineering:
Messing about with genes without knowing the consequences is dangerous
It turns natural things into products that are trademarked by companies
(but that equals 150m people)
Welcome to India
One story of the Ganges begins with a sage, Kapila, whose intense meditation is disturbed by the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara. Angry at being disturbed, Kapila sears them with his angry gaze, reduces them to ashes, and dispatches them to the netherworld. Only the waters of the Ganga, then in heaven, can bring the dead sons their salvation. A descendant of these sons, King Bhagiratha, anxious to restore his ancestors, undertakes rigorous penance and is eventually granted the prize of Ganga's descent from heaven. However, since her turbulent force would also shatter the earth, Bhagiratha persuades Shiva in his abode on Mount Kailash to receive Ganga in the coils of his tangled hair and break her fall. Ganga descends, is tamed in Shiva's locks, and arrives in the Himalayas. She is then led by the waiting Bhagiratha down into the plains at Haridwar, across the plains first to the confluence with the Yamuna at Prayag and then to Varanasi, and eventually to Ganga Sagar, where she meets the ocean, sinks to the netherworld, and saves the sons of Sagara
Because the Ganges flows in heaven, earth, and the netherworld, it is seen as a crossing point of all beings, the living as well as the dead. Among all hymns devoted to the Ganges, there are none more popular than the ones expressing the worshipers wish to breathe his last surrounded by her waters. No place along her banks is more longed for at the moment of death by Hindus than Varanasi, the Great Cremation Ground, or Mahashmshana. Those who are lucky enough to die in Varanasi, are cremated on the banks of the Ganges, and are granted instant salvation.
Within India the River Ganges is probably the holiest place.
Looking at the information you have summarised today, and considering the clips you have seen recently, please answer these questions:
"To what extent do Hinduism and India go together."
"Considering the religions you have already studied, how important is place to religion in general?"
An ethical issue is a problem that requires an organisation – like a church – to choose between alternatives that are judged as right (ethical) or wrong (unethical) according to their standards of morality. A religion’s standards of morality are based in principles often found in their sacred texts.
efore we start let's begin to think about some of the ethical issues that might be involved in this topic. We are going to watch a few clips by a lecturer at Harvard called Michael Sandel. We will discuss his ethical issues, and take some notes so that you can think a little more deeply about this topic.
Play from start to 13'10"
Michael Sandel, Justice - Episode One
If you save the five and kill the one your ethical decisions are being made based on consequences. In story one you saved five workers on the track, but in story four you killed a healthy person to save five transplant patients.
If you let the five die in story one, and story four then you are thinking of the rights and duties you believe are inherent in people. Religion tends to be in this "category". You do things regardless of the consequences.
The point being, of course, that you probably made decisions that were both consequentialist and categorical. Religion tends to be categorical about life: thou shalt not kill. This is fine, most of the time, but sometimes feel that the possible consequences outweigh this, or that other people's rights need to be considered too.
Michael Sandel, Justice - Episode One
Play for 24'40" to the end
The greatest good for the greatest number?
Bentham is a famous Englishman who came up with the idea of utilitarianism. What is that? What does Sandel say it is? Listen to the story and discuss.
Is this important?
Is that ok?
Now your teacher is going to review a few of the examples from the list for our assessment and we will see that many of the arguments Sandel has discussed come up again and again. These are all hard issues, problems that law makers around the world struggle with and that religions respond too. Now it's your turn.
Also called mercy killing. the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition.
Taking human life is wrong in all situations
Humans have the right to self-determination
The greatest good for the greatest number of people
= It's probably cheaper if the terminally ill - who want to - are euthanised early. In societies with aging populations keeping alive thousands of people against their will when they're going to die anyway is not a good use of resources.
Does consent change anything?

But actually laws control your body already.
what kind of consent?
Full transcript