World Religions 10-01-2011
Indic World View
1.Anadi “without beginning”. Understanding of the way the universe works; without
beginning or end, and will continue to do so infinitely. However it’s constantly
changing and things are transforming in a dramatic and minimal way.
2.Kala “time”. Time moves in rhythms, in a wavelike pattern at a set pace (has its ups
and down; evolving and devolving). It has to do with physical as well as moral and
spiritual development. Time also moves in cycles, each cycle has four phases (birth,
evolution, destruction and rebirth) called Yuga. Kali Yuga “age of distress”, the last
phase of the cycle.
3.Samsara – the nature of our worldly experience. The constant movement of change
creates anxiety, stress, suffering, etc.
4.Punarjanma “multiple birth”. Everyone’s actions keep time moving. After we die we
move onto another body, which is crucial because it keeps the cycle going. We inhabit
many different forms, and can be born into four varieties; the ladder of existence (as
a human being, animal, bodiless being such as a ghost, or a divinity). However Jains
also believe we can come back as plants. The quality of moral action determines
what we come back as. All of these phases are temporary. The ‘better’ phases are
similar to the concept of heaven. The human being is the median point (because we
can make moral choices).
5.Karma “action”. There are various kinds of action such as verbal, physical, mental,
and emotional. What we do are all choices that we make ourselves. These actions can
be moral, immoral, and amoral. Every action has a consequence attached to it. The
types of actions we perform are returned upon us. Karma is what pushes us through
the cycle of life, death, and rebirth because it assigns us roles for the next lifetime.
The choices we make regarding how we interact in the world are out of our own free
will. Our actions create a chain of results that we cannot escape and which will be
experienced at a future date if not suddenly.
Dharma “right thing”. It is the moral standard.
How does Karma work?
Every time we perform an action it leaves a trace in the mind. Every time the action