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University of Toronto Mississauga
Shinji Takagaki

BUDDHISM REVIEWEarly India Aryan Invasions 20001500 BCEish IndoEuropeans The Vedas texts which shared knowledge or wisdomthey teach about many gods The vedas contained more hyms to the gods along with religious materials and teachings used in ritual sacrifices and in daily lifeVarna Caste System Brahmins priests Kshatriyas warriors Vaishyas merchants and artisans Shudras farmers workers and servants UntouchablesThe Hindu Tradition Reincarnation Karma action intentional act the effect such actions leave that influence the future of the actor Atman the soul or essence of ones self the permanent self According to the Upanishads in order to gain liberation it is not enough to worship the gods one has to destroy ones karma and attain spiritual realization of the divine in all things in order to escape the rounds of rebirth Sramana members of new communities who set out to seek liberation These were often wandering ascetics who lived in poverty and begged for what they needed Among these Sramana communities were the Jains Ajivakas Materialists and the Skeptics Jiva an individual soul that is bound by karma and rebirth to the material world The only way one can free jiva from this bondage is through severe ascetism Samsara wandering process of birth death and rebirth world of suffering Four Goals for Man 1 Kama satisfying the desire for sense pleasure considered the lowest goal because this urge is common to both man and animals 2 Artha acquisition of worldly possessions or money political power commercial competition considered superior to kama as it is noticeable mainly in human beings 3 Dharma observance of religious duties since Kama and artha are rooted in selfishness dharma is superior to them all hindus are expected to choose this goal 4 Moksha liberation from the cycle of rebirth and death liberation achieved though godrealization all without exception will eventually accomplish this in this life or after their death those not so involved may need several more incarnations Brahman The universal being god understood to be not so much personal but rather the source and essence of all existence Ultimate reality
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