hist120-01_murphey9808 - • Ahimsa –...

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HIST120-01 Murphey p.21-25 September 3-8, 2008 Chapter 2: Asian Religions and Their Cultures Hinduism Caste system more of a nonreligious system (also observed by Muslims, Xtns and Buddhists in Sri Lanka) o Functional units of caste – “subcastes” – jatis o Sadhu – Hindu holy man beyond caste Hindu Beliefs and Writings Developed in part by Indus civ (cult of Shiva) Aryans brought own tribal gods – war god Indra and fire god Agni Vedic religion – mix of Harappan, Aryan and Dravidian (S Indian) o Dravidian – probably Krishna (manif of Vishnu) – gentleness/compassion, “dark one” Vedas composed b/w 1500-600 BCE orally o Then written as hymns, spells, rituals and poems for sacrifice o Changed when Upanishads in 7C BCE – nature of universe and human place Main ethical text – Bhagavad Gita Core of classical Hinduism: 1) good/evil, 2) law, 3) morality, 4) human duty Dharma – selfless execution of one’s earthly duties Karma – caused by one’s actions
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Unformatted text preview: • Ahimsa – nonviolence/reverence for all life Reincarnation • Karma produced by one’s mortal life determines next rebirth of that soul o Piety, meditation, asceticism, eternal truth can escape from cycle Achieve moksha – blissful rejoining • Cows revered for creation/motherhood • Late Vedic times (600 BCE) dominated by trinity of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma (deities/creators) o Shiva most commonly worshipped (creator/destroyer, harvest/fertility/yogis) • Like Buddhism/Zoroastrianism, Hinduism accepted presence of evil/suffering, recognized that people (good, evil) must come to terms w/nature/ cosmos • No fixed/uniform rituals o No day, some offerings, prayer • Hindu festivals o Diwali (fall-festival of lights), spring (Itali) • Hinduism long recognized human life, achieving material well-being – artha , provide family, personal love/sex – kama o Parts of human nature/good...
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hist120-01_murphey9808 - • Ahimsa –...

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