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Lesson 2 - Lesson Two Hinduism HUM 216"World Religions...

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Each BOLD PRINTED WORD is also discussed in the Handbook. Further discussions may also be found in the textbook. Lesson Two Hinduism HUM 216 “World Religions” Spring Semester 2008 Discussion Outline I. Indian Religion 1. The Religious World View of Indian Religions 1) The Given Human Condition: Human Desire 2) The Cause of the Human Condition: The Law of Karma 3) The Given Reality for Life: Samsara 4) The Goal for Life: Moksha/Nirvana 5) The Transformational Path: Dharma II. Hinduism 1. Basic considerations in the study of Hinduism 2. The Religious Language of Hinduism 3. The Family of Terms 1) Terms for the sacred. 2) Terms for the nature of reality. 3) Terms for the nature of humanity 4) Terms for the nature of religion 5) Terms for the nature of society 6) Terms for sacred scriptures 4. Defining Hinduism 5. Three Transformational Paths to Liberation 1) Jnana Marga 2) Karma Marga 3) Bhakti Marga 6. The Hindu Social Superstructure 1) The Varnas 2) The Ashramas 3) The Purusarthas Hinduism 1 Reading Assignment: Molloy: Chapter 3 Handbook : Hinduism
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7. Hints for Reading the Textbook Indian Religion The Religious World View of Indian Religions The first task in the quest for understanding Indian religion is to survey the general worldview of religion in India. The reader must note that in any discussion of world views we are primarily interested in the religious view points, while almost always alternative secular views do exist in any particular culture. The Given Human Condition: Human Desire Traditional Indian worldview concludes that the given situation or condition for life within which every person is born is explained as human desire. As with all religious worldviews, the condition of human life is defined as a problem that must be overcome if human life is ever to be transformed and improved. 1. Indian worldview, which includes both Hindu and Buddhist views, states that the reason human beings act the way we do is because of human desire. 2. Due to cultural influences and selfish interests, human beings become motivated to fulfill human desires. 3. Human desire is therefore a problem that must be overcome if the individual is to experience any transformation in life. Both Hinduism and Buddhism assess the human situation in much the same way. 4. Human beings become acutely aware of their individuality, and, because of selfish desire, human beings become attached to the temporal world in order to fulfill their self interests. In other words, the individual ego becomes dependent upon and enslaved to the tangible, material world. Hinduism 2 Study Question 2.1 What is the Indian explanation of the problem that adversely influences life on earth?
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The Most Unique Concept in Indian Religion: Karma Red Flag Fact: All existence is possible because of a prior conditioning caused by the universal cosmic principle called karma. The Indian culture and religions cannot be fully understood without a full understanding of karma.
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