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RELS 131 Midterm: hinduism review notes

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Religious Studies
RELS 131
Forough Jahanbakhsh

HINDUISIM • Ramayana: Straightforward story, composed in ballad style, clearly lays down moral laws. • Mahabharata: Much more complicated story with numerous shades of grey but also deals with morality • The Bhagavad Gita: A part of the Mahabharata. The book that bridges the gap between the Vedas and the Upanishads. • Difference between Vedic and Vedas • There are only four Vedas they are texts • Vedic is a historical time bracket. The Upanishads fall in the Vedic period. • The epics span over longer time but they too have their roots in the Vedic period. The Epics • Stories play a vital role to maintain social order • It reiterates the moral code and shows us the consequence of transgressing them • They are accessible to all • They serve as a bridge between the rituals and philosophical ideas • They create role models The Significance of the Epics • The foundations of legal and moral code • The promise of hope • Empowering the holy trinity, particularly Vishnu • The birth of the hero god • The hero god and the birth of faith and devotion. The Bhagavad Gita • Dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna at the battlefield • 18 chapters • Out of all the texts we have seen so far the Gita has the greatest international appeal • Many would argue that it is THE text that defines Hinduism (I disagree but it’s a popular point of view) **Words and main ideas to remember** Difference between the Vedas and Vedic: ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ The names of the four Vedas: ___________________________________________________________ Rig Veda: ___________________________________________________________________________ Yajur Veda: ______
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