Book Notes - Book notes Chapters 3, 4, 6 Though modern...

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Book notes Chapters 3, 4, 6 Though modern Hindus have become accustomed to using the word Hindu to describe themselves, they typically use the word “dharma.” o Dharma – Way of life and thought Hindus have a wide selection of beliefs and practices from which to choose: o They can be: Pantheists, polytheists, monotheists, agnostics, atheists, dualists, pluralists, or monists. o Can follow different moral standards, or choose a supramoral mysticism. o Can live an active life or a contemplative one, may spend much time on domestic religious rituals or dispense with these completely. The Religion of the Vedic Age o Pre-Aryan India The Indo-Aryans invaded northwest India from about 1800BCE to 1500BCE. Living there at the time were the natives that the Aryans called the “Dasas.” Described as: Dark-skinned, thick-lipped people who possessed cattle and spoke in a strange language. They were people of mixed origin and diverse ethnic compositions who combined to produce a Bronze Age civilization with well-developed art and architecture. Had an advanced religion that had some idea of Karma and reincarnation. o The Coming of the Indo-Aryans Aryans originated in Europe and migrated eastward looking for a permanent home. They subdued the Dasas with horse-drawn chariots and settled at first on the upper branches of the Indus River. They were a nomadic people. Diet consisted of meat and milk, and they also made a drink called soma which was made from an unknown stalk. Had a continuous struggle with the Dasas that was later immortalized in the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Need of a Way of Release - Pages 102-103 o With the adoption of reincarnation and the Law of Karma, disaffection with the world grew in India. o After the Aryans ended their wanderings, their lives became less active and they no longer viewed the world as a sphere of action and adventure. They then used thought as a substitute for real adventure. Moksha o Because of the discouragement of the idea of ever-recurring rebirths some Hindus sought the idea of moksha. Moksha – release, liberation from the cycle of samsara. Samsara – sequence of change, impermanence, the cycle of rebirth-redeath that afflicts every living being until release. o Moksha began with the need to get off of the wheel of life, the constant cycle of reincarnation. o Rebirth was seen to supply a network of suffering extended over great stretches of time and space. Chapter 4 – Later Hinduism Reasons for dissent o Changes in Brahmanism People no longer wanted to seek the help of the gods by way of sacrifices. The fire on the altar that was used to sacrifice was replaced by the tapas (inner fire) Communal sacrificial rites were replaced by the solitary struggle of the individual seeking to disentangle the inner self from its multiform physical entrapment. This led to the development of yoga.
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Book Notes - Book notes Chapters 3, 4, 6 Though modern...

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