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Unformatted text preview: Arnold Gregory Arnold All Work and No Play Could Set You Free...Or Not: Ascetism vs. Ecstasy in Finding God Hinduism is unique amongst the world’s top five largest religions in that it has not one, but many gods. There are obvious connotations to this, and the most obvious is the nature of worship. In a religion that is reported to have one god for every three people in India (a number exceeding 300 million in number), how does one choose a god to worship, and how do they possibly worship them? In Songs of the Saints of India by Hawley and Juergensmeyer, the verses of the disciples of Krishna, the mischievous blue god of the Braj, and his devaloka , or paradise, show the idea that God can be worshipped by living in ecstasy. However, in Speaking of Siva , translated by A.K. Ramanujan, it talks of Siva, the creator/destroyer god, and his mok a ṣ , or escape from reality as a whole, by adhering to a path of ascetism, or escape from worldly desires. These dichotomies, and the various implications for salvation and existence they imply, are essential to understanding the nature of the Hindu religion. In connection with their respective god, disciples in Hinduism often follow very divergent paths. This is reflected often in their views of God him/her-self. In Hinduism, there are two terms to describe the nature of a god or goddess. First, there is saguna , which literally translates to “with attributes”. Gods who are translates to “with attributes”....
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course PERS 2001 taught by Professor Naderbolouri during the Fall '11 term at GWU.
- Fall '11