Intro to World Religions Hinduism • Hinduism is the only religion with NO one single founder. • Some of Hinduisms features can be traced to the Harappa civilization (Lived on banks of Indus River from 2750 B.C.) • Between 1750 & 1500 B.C. thousands of Aryans moved into the region and mixed with Harappas forming the religion of the VEDIC period. (Aryans influenced Hinduism) • VEDAS : 4 collections of HYMNS and RITUAL texts. India’s earliest surviving compositions written between 1500 BC and 600 BC. Considered TRANSHUMAN (not authored by man) by Hindus. Written in SANDSKRIT . • RIG-VEDA: Oldest of the 4 Vedas. Book of HYMNS (over 1,000) • SAMA – VEDA: Book of SONGS and MELODIES • YAJAR- VEDA: Book of RITUALS , for ceremonial religion • ATHARVA-VEDA: Book of SPELLS , Spells and charms for the common people similar to MAGIC . Taught in homes. • RIG-SAMA-YAJAR: Triple Sacred Science • SANDSKRIT: is considered sacred and is NOT TRANSLATED , Language of the GODS • CASTE SYSTEM : Influenced by the ARYAN concept VARNA and LAWS OF MANU BRAHMINS: Priestly class, (scholars, philosophers) ONLY ONES TO LEARN & TEACH VEDAS KSHATRIYAS: Royalty, Kings, Rulers, Warriors DEFENSE OF THE PEOPLE , LEARN ONLY NO TEACH VAISHYAS : Traders, Merchants, ECONOMIC & WEALTH DECISIONS SHUDRAS : “DALIT” Servants, Laborers, SERVE HIGHER CASTES (Basically SLAVES) UNTOUCHABLES : Outcasts, people that dealt with Death and Dirty Jobs • UPANISHADIC ERA : Between VEDIC period and Classical Hinduism, Philosophical Texts, Critical Thinking, Do NOT reject VEDAS, FIRST MENTION OF KARMA • VEDANTA SYSTEM : Upanishads, means “end of Vedas” • KARMA : System of rewards and punishments for one’s actions. Determines the quality of Rebirth • AHIMSA : practice of non-violence • GANGES RIVER : Most sacred place to scatter ashes, Hindus are cremated to free the soul. Ones not Cremated are unnamed babies, Holy Men, Untouchables (Buried) • RAMAYANA : Story of RAMA and his wife SITA • BHAGAVAD GITA : KRISHNA (1 of 8 incarnations of VISHNU) describes to cousin ARJUNA the way to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. The book recounts KRISHNA’S descriptions of THE WAYS of ACTION/KNOWLEDGE/DEVOTION. Urges ARJUNA to act according to DHARMA not KARMA. Teaches FIVE TRUTHS : Ishvara(supreme controller),Jiva (Living beings/individualized soul), Prakrti (Nature/Matter),Kaala(Time) • DHARMA : Religious and social DUTY (Righteousness and Faith) • HOLI : Most Celebrated Hindu festival, dedicated to KRISHNA, FEB/MARCH (welcome spring) • SHIVA : other GREAT GOD, contradictory roles, threatening but benelovent/creator and destroyer
• GANESHA : Hindu GOD with the HEAD OF an ELEPHANT • GUPTA PERIOD : 320-540, HINDU Tradition cane to DOMINATE INDIA • KALI YUGA : The 4 th and final stage of EARTH (now)/ 400,000 yrs till destruction!
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