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Religion & Culture
Ali Zaidi

CHAPTER 6 NOTES  Hinduism derived from Sind, which is a part of Pthistanthow, and was given to people who were not muslim by the british colonizers in 8 and 9 century. Literally meant the religion of those Indians, majority of the population, who were not muslims. It is a catch all term for all the traditions that originated in India, Sikhs Jaina and Buddhism, and no single book or god is authoritative of all of them. most hindus identify their religion through their caste, community and linguistic group  The term hindu is a very plural term that combines anyone who is not a jew or parsi or muslim under one tradition however most hindus identify themselves by their caste, community or linguistic group Harappa Culture (hindu could have originated from here)  Two large towns on the banks of Indus River now Pakistan. Towns called Mohenjo Daro and Harrappa  Continuous travel and communications present among them due to similar object found  Impressive builders, built planned cities and the great bath (swimming pool)  Found scriptures written on pillars  Worships a goddess, possible that women were given a high status not sure though  Had fire altar in house  Found a spirit emerging from a papal tree, significant in hindu tradition  Found no dead bodies, no idea how they were disposed. Probably like the hindu through cremation The Vedas  Scholars use the term indo-europeans to refer to the family of languages of which Sanskrit is one  Earliest surviving indo-euro are the Vedas (means knowledge) collectively known as shruti (that which was heard)  Thought of as revealed scripture and is a oral tradition to present  Composed roughly 1500 BCE and 600 bce  Four vedic collections; Rig, sama, yajur and atharva  Each of these consist of 4 sections; hyms o Samhitas: earliest parts o Directions for rituals (brahmanas) o Compositions for the forest (aranyakas) o Philosophical works (Upanishads) take the form of conversations  They are considered scared books but are not kept in homes only used by scholars or ritual specialist who are familiar with the early form of the language  They act as manuals of ritual  Only some mantras are known from the Vedas that are used at home  The Brahmins reserved the Vedas to study for themselves, while others were allowed to study some were not  Vendata school thought of veda was flautless, not human compsed and the perfect supreme source of knowledge The Vedic Hymns (Agni)  Earliest hymns speaks of gods that are out of date like Agni  The god of fire, he carries the offerings t deities placed in fire as prasises by humans  Agni protests those who praise him because the purpose of hymns was to praise gods to have a happy life on earth The Upanishads th  Came about in 7 and 6 century, the time when emphasis on praises through ritual scarfrice was given to philosophical inquiry  Upanishads don’t reject the hymns but reformulate and rethink them  Is given a form of conversation  In it we find central hindu concepts like Karma: action, system of rewards and punishments for actions  Karma implies a cycle of birth and rebirth meaning Samsara; reincarnation  To achieve liberation from samsara, requires experimental wisdom. You become inmmortal Atman and Brahman  To achieve that wisdom is to understand the relationship between the two things  Atman; human soul  Brahman; supreme being, to know him is to enter a new state of consciousness, the inner controller of the human soul Classical Hinduism  Literature after veda around 500 BCE. Of human creations and loosely called Smrti (that which is remembered)  Lesser authority than revealed shruti, plays an important part  3 types of smrti; o Epics (itihasas) o Ancient stories (puranas) o Codes of righteous action and ethics (dharmashastras). The term smrti can also refer to code  Two epics are most known the Ramayana (Story of rama) and Mahabharata (great india) Ramayana  Danced, sung, recited, etc  Rama is exiles from his dad dasaratha. He goes with his wife, sita and half brother laskhmana.  Other brother bharata comes to get rama but he refuses in his dad’s respect who has died  Sita gets kidnapped by ravana, demon king  Rama goes with hanuman, monkey god, to rescue her but later banishes her even shes pregnant doubting her innocence  Rama is a ideal husband, son The Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita  Long poem, an extract copy called bhagavad gita  Main story is that there is a war between two cousins; kauravas and pandavas  K trys to cheat p out of their share of kingdom  Kishna, incarnation of god vishu, is on p’s side Three ways to liberation that the bhagavad gita gives are called the paths to discipine (moksha)  In gita Krishna tells the 3 ways to liberation o The way of action (karma yoga). Path of unselfhish duty preformed neither in fear of punishment or in hope of reward o The way of knowledge (jnana yoga). Through scriptural knowledge one may achieve a transforming wisdom that destroy;s past karma o The way of devotion (Bhakti yoga). If hindus surrender to kishna in loving devotion, sins will be forgotten Vishu  Is portrayed as coming to earth in animal and human form to get rid of evil and establish dharma  Will have 10 reincarnations and 7 was rama Shiva  Emerged in post upunishads era  Did not appear through incarnations but rather he expressed the manifold aspects of his power by appearing in paradoxical role
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