Mar 14 - Hinduism - Paths to Heaven

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14 Mar 2011
February 28th, 2011.
Hinduism: Paths to Heaven
Reading: Ch. 5 “The Hindu Tradition, “ pp. 259-281
Ultimately, Brahman in absolute terms, is beyond characteristic
The reality we speak of is Brahman that we all share
But not so easy for everybody to conceptualize or access because abstract
understanding of reality
A lot of people work better in conceptualizing world, being in relationship b/w
creator and created
A lot of people thrive better by thinking of al of reality as being one created by
God and we as being subject to some kind of relationship with God
Creating dualism b/x god and ourselves
Hindu traditions accommodates this way of thinking by thinking of Brahman as
having certain kinds of characteristics called Saguna Brahman (possessing
characteristics, having quality)
Ultimately speaking at highest levels of knowledge, reality is one
Saguna Brahman is a personified way of understanding Brahman
Hindu tradition is a highly individualistic tradition, depending a great deal on who
you are, what sort of image/ideas move you as an individual
Therefore highly expressive of diversity of people who practice Hinduism
Concept of God
Masculine (Abrahamic, Western traditions) or feminine
In masculine term for God is Isvara and feminine is Devi
Major functions of God
-Controls natural world, God creates the world
-God commands – is guiding/leading the world
-Judges moral actions – engaged in day to day behaviour of humanity in some way
-Creates rules
-Therefore God maintains order in the universe through setting our rules and
guidelines, through his commandments, through reward and punishment
Hindu tradition conceptualizes God as a destroyer, ends world when it is time to
do so
God is one who initiates cycle of creation and who brings it to completion
Hindu traditions – each functions of God are associated with a different figure
Masculine Imagery
Brahma – Creative aspect of God
Vishnu – Maintaining order kind of function of God
Siva – Destructive aspects of God
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Document Summary

In masculine term for god is isvara and feminine is devi. Controls natural world, god creates the world. God commands is guiding/leading the world. Therefore god maintains order in the universe through setting our rules and. In path of karma, emotion is negative, want to control and master emotions. Figures of god: brahma/ganesa early creative times associated with brahma but overtime character of brahma became less inspiring and creative aspects of god taken up with ganesa. Ganesa understood as the son of siva and parvati. Represented as a short figure, pop belly, and huge elephant head on human body. Ganesa"s story of how he got his elephant head siva has power of renunciation, destruction, www. notesolution. com. Parvati has nurturing, creative, domestic characteristics of culture and now have this child ganesa. Ganesa"s head represents extraordinary intelligent, creativity, functions of royalty. Ganesa represented has having pop belly representing ideas of prosperity.

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