1. Why is a brahmin essential to Vedic Ritual?
2. What reasons might be suggested for the transformation of the polytheism of the early Vedic peoples into the monism and theism of later Hinduism?
3. Compare and contrast the spiritual practice of the shaman (Chapter 2) with that of the yoga practitioner. Is it possible to know exactly how different their experiences are?
4. Why would the lowest castes regard the doctrines of karma, caste, and duty as a system designed to subjugate them?
5. What reasons would a woman have for abiding by her dharma?
6. To what extent can karma theory be considered to be a doctrine of fatalism? Do humans still have freedom of action?
7. If you were an Islamic judge in Mughal India, how would you advise the local sultan who asks if his subjects who follow Krishna (as depicted in the Bhagavad Gita) are in fact monotheists?
8. How does ritualism express the ideals of bhakti Hinduism?
9. Why was the influence of colonialism on the religions of India powerfully conveyed by the term Protestant Hinduism?
10. What reasons are Hindu nationalists giving to support their view that the creation of India as a secular country is a perpetuation of colonialism and a betrayal of Hindu ideals?
11. Explain why M.K. Gandhi's biography reveals many of the factors shaping modern Hindu reform.
12. Critique the following statement, from an ecumenical Hindu organization: "We can follow Jesus without contradiction, for he is none other than another avatara of Lord Vishnu."
13. What does it say about the power of ideas regarding the sacred versus the power of profane modern economic interests that the Ganges is now in danger of becoming a toxic waterway?
14. How do Sikh traditions differ from and find agreement with the teachings of the Hindu philosophy and also those of Islam?
15. If you visited a Sikh gurudwara, how would the activities there reflect Sikh beliefs?
16. What is lost, and what is gained, by the addition of virtual temple visits to the Hinduism of today?
17. A California state court in 2013 had to rule on a program called "Yoga for Kids" in the Encinitas public schools designed to "promote the children's physical and mental well-being." Local evangelical Christians had sued, arguing that the program is unconstitutional since it really represented "religious indoctrination" and so violated the US Constitution's provisions for separation of church and state. How would you testify in informing the court?
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