Lecture Notes on Hinduism-March 5th

18 views2 pages
5 Aug 2010
of 2
Hinduism March 5th
Nivrtti - Goal: Moksha (only ONE goal)
- devoted to highest religious pursuits
- oneness
Pravrtti ± engaged in life
1) path of knowledge - knowledge = experience
- intuitive knowledge
- get rid of ignorant ways of thinking
primal ignorance
distinguishing what is real/unreal
- ONE ultimate reality => Brahman (non-dual)
- However, Æ we perceive multiplicity (disillusion)
comes from MAYA (illusion) ± provisional reality
function ± we superimpose our idea of reality on to what is actually
reality (superimpose our idea of something onto the reality of that
something we believe to be true)
- we superimpose our perception on the primal reality disregarding the actual ultimate
- existence = provisional, temporary reality
o things can be real events but NOT ultimate reality
- ULTIMATE REALITY = unchanging
- Ontological (ultimate being) ± ultimately speaking
o in terms of ultimate reality
o there is only ONE reality
o limited level of knowledge leads to misperception
o higher level of knowledge = realization that other
things are not absolute
o e.g. ± snake and rope Æ not ultimate reality (existence)
but a sort of provisional reality (illusional for a certain
o e.g. ± dreams
Higher perspective ± differences in different beings is irrelevant (unimportant); ultimately there
is only one reality
2) Path of Action ± to get Moksha = gain knowledge and wisdom (philosophically inclined
- activity oriented people
- the manner in which you act in the world
- to do the right thing
o w/o regard of what you get in return for it
o w/o desire
o w/o thought of reward/punishment
NISKAMAKARMA Æ desireless action
Æ having no attachment to your actions
- Equanimity
o Mental balance, calmness, serenity
o Formulation taken from Hindu text
o Accepting both good and bad
o Acting in the world (duty) in a spirit of calmness; equanimity not by desire
and aversion to do something
GHANDI ± karma yoga practicer
Critical Statement
- your entitlement extends only to the action not to the result of the action
- authority over action
3) Path of Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
- more emotionally inclined people
o learn through emotional involvement
o not (suited) for everyone
1. Nirguna ± Beyond characteristics, beyond quality
- Brahman (non dual); cannot be contained/limited in description
- Beyond language (set boundaries ± alienation)
- All quality is limiting (e.g. if light then not dark)
- Most people are more comfortable with dualistic language
o Creation (creator, created)
o What we tend to do ± ascribe characteristics
2. Saguna Brahman ± GOD (supreme being) ± [gender, female/male]
- Sa = with, Guna = quality