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16 Feb 2011
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A History of Asia Page 23-42
Hinduism (Indianism):
Oldest main world religion, remains strong with 800 million followers
Caste system = system of social organization
Holy men (sadhu), always beyond caste
Caste remained a source of group identity and strength
Hindu Beliefs and Writings
There is no founder, or single doctrinal text
Developed from the Inudus civilization, which included the cult of Shiva (a dominate
Hindu god)
The Vedas are the worlds oldest religious texts still used in worship *composed
between 1500 and 600 B.C.E*
Dharma: selfless execution of ones earthly duties, came from caste rules
Karma: is the consequences of ones actions; faithfulness to ones dharma produces
good karma
Reincarnation:
Cycle of rebirth : karma produced by ones moral life determines the next rebirth of
that soul, in a person of higher or lower status or in an animal or insect
Samsara, aka, reincarnation; the endless cycle of life
Hinduism is deeply rooted in the Indian tradition *800 million people*
Buddhism in India and its spread eastward:
Buddhism & Jainism developed out of the Hindu tradition
Jainism:
ofounded by Mahavira aka Great Hero
oAs an ascetic faith, went naked and starved himself to death
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