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University of Toronto Scarborough
Henry Shiu

RELIGIONS EXAM CHAPTER 1: 4 concepts shared virtually by ALL human cultures 1. Powerful gods 2. After death life 3. Interactional spirits 4. Sacred places 3 Worlds - 3 levels: sky, earth, underworld 10 Waves of Religion 1. Shamanism (acting intermediary between humans & spirits)  shaman performing rituals to celebrate success of hunts  shaman’s soul leaves body and travels to other spirits  shaman calls spirits into body then possessed by it 2. Connecting to the Cosmos - motivation: leader desired demonstration of his power over people - Discerning Cosmic Cycles  important function of priest: track seasons & determine best time for seasonal activities  astrology: understanding cycles of seasons & fitting humans - decisions made through expert consulting movement of sun, moon, planets, stars - Hilltop Tombs  used for burial sites  link between earth & sky = axis mundi - Animals & Gods  association of certain animals w/ deities - The Bull God  most powerful male deities w/ strength & virility  association of bull seen as Judaism 3. Temple Religion - larger temples, sacrificial rituals & development of priestly class - plays huge role in shaping traditions - Indo-European Priests  most important cultural system (around Black Sea)  hunters, rode horses etc…NO FARMING  4 divisions of social system : top 3 = priests, warriors, middle-class (Brahmins, vaishyas) Servants = Shudra : each group wore special coloured clothing Priests = Brahmins : priests perform rituals, taught the young, advised kings : warriors were top clans = rulers Warriors = Kshatriyas Middle-class commoners = Vaishyas : middle-class commoners were merchants/farmers - Priests & Temples Elsewhere  temples meant for performing sacred rituals  priests: mostly males (females considered impure b/c of menstrual cycle) 4. Prophetic Religion - prophet: person speaking on behalf of deity, person foreseeing future - high mountains & close to gods: sacred ritual connection - Zarathustra (Prophet of Wise Lord)  left behind poems devoted to wise lord  Zoroastrianism – important in monotheism development w/ heaven & hell concept  powerful tools: threat to evil, promise of heaven 5. The Energy God - Finding the Dao Within  the sage experiences midlife crisis: job dissatisfaction, social & political life  Daodejing: book of Laozi’s verses st - The 1 principle: Greek Philosophy before Socrates  philosophers attempt at determining 1 cause without including God 6. Punty & Monasticism - spiritual development in India: asceticism and goal = perfect human potential - Ganges Spirituality  Jainism & Buddhism = greatest religions rooted from Ganges  Indian monasticism played role in Western monasticism 7. Mystery Religion - rituals kept a secret & revealed ONLY to people undergoing initiation - influenced development of Christianity 8. God on Earth - The avatar: “coming down” of god to earth  differences: avatar=human god, ancient gods=came down to earth as Gods  saviour figure: saves world from evil, ensures place in heaven  saviour god: special powers, works miracles, death - Krishna (Avatar of Vishnu)  Vishnu: god lying at origin of everything, world protector, took form of animals  Krishna: one of human avatars, learned religious life 1. Karma yoga 2. Jnana yoga (deep spiritual wisdom) 3. Bhakti yoga (faithful development) 9. Scriptural Religion - created when scriptures became more important than words of God - played large role in Protestant Christianity 10. Fundamentalism - sub-wave of scripturalism - rejection of secularism - Protestant fundamentalists: reject authority of science, object to evolution concept CHAPTER 2: HINDU TRADITIONS - world’s oldest religion - cultures contributing to development: 1. Indus Valley Civilization  flourished between 3000 to 15 000 BCE, dead culture  purity and pollution: different beliefs of clean/dirty  concerned w/ procreation  worshipped male animals as a way of incorporating sexual abilities  female principle = goddess 2. The Aryans  not highly organized and were nomads (travellers)  brought in Gods, traditions, languages, rituals  language evolved into Sanskrit o Official language of Hinduism  comes from collection of writings known as the Veda o “wisdom”, not a story BUT it’s a book of prayers o Not systematic like the bible o Only priests were allowed to reveal it Humanity - prana: internal air current of body, spoken as basic animating principle - Atman: “soul/self”, existing & inseparable from human body : when dead, atman leaves body to heaven - vedic practice: to maximize existence on earth Universe - 3 levels to understand world 1. Earth where human/animals exist 2. Atmosphere; mid space; above earth governed by Ritas 3. Heaven, home of Gods - Rita: harmony & order, keeps universe intact and pure - the creator is a divine essence NOT divine person (according to Veidics) Gods - 20 Sanskrit words for “God”, were crated - each God has own duty (nature, water etc…) - Indra  God of war, controls monsoon rains - Brahman  Final liberation, explains sacrifices 3 ways to Liberation 1. The way of action (karma yoga)  unselfish duty path NOT in fear of punishment  an act without attachment to consequences 2. The way of knowledge (jnana yoga)  achieve transforming wisdom destroying past karma 3. The way of devotion (bhakti yoga)  general amnesty offered to sinners The Laws of the Manu - laid down rules articulating duties of each class - Brahman-dominated society - one’s sacred duty is an eternal one (sanatana dharma) - Karma: “actions”  Every action is followed by a circumstance  Good action=good reward  Good karma= performing rituals & fulfilling duty in society - Castes  Hereditary occupational groups  Doesn’t exist among Aryans  Doctrine of karma assumes natural causal mechanism conditions 4 Stages of Life 1. The Student Stage (8-12 yrs)  Boy in upper 3 caste must learn Vedas  Teacher teaches, boy shows respect 2. The Householder Stage (early marriage)  Boy MUST marry someone within his caste  Must raise sons and have a job to support and protect family and wife  Women without husband = no meaning to life 3. The Forest Dweller Stage  Aims for enlightenment (men only)  Must practice learning skills through meditation w/o family 4. The Sannyasi Stage  Renouncer of world, personal goals & social ties  Must study Upanishads & meditate  Man leaves caste and social life 4 Aims of Life 1. Artha  wordly success, gaining/achieving success in society 2. Karma  sensory pleasure, an acceptable goal for men 3. Dharma  duty, arranged by one’s caste 4. Moksa  liberation, must practice yoga to attain Yoga - to join, unite with soul & reality - spiritual discipline/practice to achieve liberation - refers to 8-stage meditational disciple 1. Moral Restraint  need moral sense to focus mind 2. Mental Discipline  to bring about goals 3. Posture  hidden passages open, takes years to master 4. Breath Control  close relationship w/ mind & breathing & calm mind 5. Withdrawal From Sense Objects 6. Steadying of Attention  power of concentration, no insight into mentality & reality 7. Meditation on Religious Insights 8. Concentration on Mystical Merging with the Ultimate  achieve experience, knowledge vs. experience - ultimate goal:  to reach awareness, put end to past karma & experience moksa Samskaras - Birth Rituals  considered happy pollution  family prays, done to protect evil eyes - Early Childhood Rituals  serves to give infant a name, named on day its born - Coming of Age Rituals  begin to take responsibility for own actions  female: considered adult after menstruation - Householder Rituals  arranged by couples family  believed guru could read & match horoscope - Death Rituals  family performs rites for the soul  house is purified to get rid of death pollution - After Death Rites  once breath stops, soul finds rebirth Puja - intimate relationship between individual and divine - to please all 5 senses - remains of a puja offering: prasads  carry divine blessing - tilak: blessed by deity Gesture of Respect - Namskara/Namaste - right hand = pure; left hand = impure Puranas - new collection of teths to specify forms of worship - Hindus belief = the 5 Veda Kali Yuga - period of degeneration - bhakti = devotional faith Deities - bringing grace to one seeking liberation - goal: to find deity to match ones spiritual capacity 1. Ganesa  Elephant headed son on Siva  Most popular, mostly worshipped 2. Siva  Essence found in creative energies  Punishes humans, most lyrical symbol of Hinduism 3. Visnu  The theme of incarnations  The one who underlies all reality 4. Rama  Reveals ideal of: proper filial obedience to parents, loyalty to brothers 5. Krisna  Visnu reincarnation  Seen as reality from where Gods originate 6. Goddesses  Used to depict fertile, creative power of universe  Nature = principle  Innate energy (sakti) TERMS: sanatana dharma- “The eternal law”. Hinduism is referred to with that term. it’s a duty and its expected to fulfill the expectations and follow the rules. tilak (or tilaka)- a dot or mark on the forehead made with coloured powder. Different deity followers have different marks vertical stripes are Vishnu followers and horizontal stripes are Shiva’s followers Bharata- the indigenous term for India. Also the name of a deity in the Ramayana. Karma- Action good or bad, as it is believed to determine the quality of rebirth in the future lives. Samsara- The continuing cycle of rebirths. Indus Valley Civilization- urban civilization, very organized. Also known as the lost civilization. The society was concerned with procreation and purity worshiped male and female reproduction. Mohenjo-Daro- excavated cities of the Indus valley civilization. Very organized and advanced in technology, writing and city planning (bathing/ plumbing) Harappa- capital of the Indus valley civilization. Very organized and advanced in technology, writing and city planning (bathing/ plumbing) Aryans- the civilization of the Indus valley. Not highly organized and were nomads rather than settled agriculturalists. The Aryan language evolved into what’s known as Sanskrit today. Sanskrit- the official language of the Hindu religion. It was evolved from the Aryan language. One of the oldest languages in the world Puranas- “old tales”, stories about the deities that become important after the Vedic period Vedas- The four collections of hymns and ritual texts that constitute the oldest and most highly respected Hindu sacred literature Rg-Veda- consists of samhitas (hymnic compositions) and were used in sacrificial rituals. The earliest section of Rg Vedas consists of 1028 hymns. The hymns of other Vedas are borrowed from Rg Vedas. Yajur-Veda - Is one of the four Vedas written by the Indo-European people. Instructions on sacrificial rituals are contained in the brahmanas section of this book Sama-Veda- Is one of the four Vedas written by the Indo-European people. It borrows sections of the Rg Veda but its hymns are meant to be sung in a specific manner. Atharva-Veda- Contains material that is considered non-Aryan. It contains Incantations and remedies to ward off illness and evil spirits. The chants in this book are used for medical or other healing purposes Samhitas- Compilation of Knowledge a collection of Mantras or Hymns. Brahmanas- texts regarding ritual. Commentaries on the 4 Vedas, detailing the proper performance of rituals. Aranyakas- part of the four Vedas, and mean “belonging to the wilderness”. They discuss the sacrifices and are concerned with proper performance of ritual. Upanishads- Philosophical texts in the form of reported conversations on the theory of the Vedic ritual and the nature of knowledge, composed around the sixth century BCE. Prana- an internal air current of the body, is often spoken of as the basic animating principle. Atman- The individual self, held by the Upanishadic and Vedantic thought to be identical with Brahman, the world - soul. Brahman- The world-soul, sometimes understood in impersonal terms. Rita- “truth or order”, mentioned in the Veda. It is the physical order of the universe, the order of sacrifice and the moral law of the world. It led to doctrine, karma and dharma (duty). To follow rita is to run with the harmonious flow of things in a world that forever changes. The path of Dharma, however, does not change over time. Purusha (or Purusa)- “man” or “cosmic man” is the “self” which pervades the universe. The Laws of Manu- attributed to the sage Manu, articulates the etiquette and duties of each class (varna) and of each age group in the new brahman-dominated society. Varna- 4 traditional social classes in India. Closely related to the western class system. Jatis- is the hindu caste system. The term is derived from a Sanskrit and means “birth” or “born into existence”. Brahman (I think he meant the caste Brahmin,thus..)- Highest caste in the caste system. People from this caste are usually priests who are allowed to practice the four Vedas Ksatriya- The second caste in the caste system. The term means warrior and the people from this caste are usually warriors, rulers or the military class. Vaisya- The third caste in the caste system. The people in this caste system had the duties of taking care of agriculture, but as the caste system developed their duties changed to merchants, skilled laborers (associated with trades and etc). Sudra- the fourth caste in the caste system. They are the artisans or the labourers in the society. Since they are close to the bottom of the caste system, they are not allowed to recite or know anything about the Vedas. Dharmasastra- Sanskrit texts pertaining to hindu dharma, religious and legal duty. it assumes that one`s birth location is the most telling indication of one`s karma Asramas- The four stages of life every man in Hinduism experiences: student life, house holder, forest dweller and ascetic. These stages help fulfill the four aims of life: dharma (righteousness and duty), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure) and moksha (liberation). Samnyasin- The fourth stage of life as an ascetic. Known as the rejection of life and all that it means in exchange for a search to attain moksha and release from the samsara cycle. Artha- one of the four goals in life means “purpose, goal or wealth”. it is one of the duties (dharma) of a person in the second stage of life. The house holder stage where one much accumulate all wealth as much as possible without getting greedy. Kama- means physical or emotional pleasure and is one of the four goals in life. Dharma- means duty or path to righteousness and is one of the four goals in life. Good dharma brings good karma and bad dharma brings bad karma, Moksa- liberation from the samsara cycle. Good karma and following the rules in Hinduism can help you attain moksha and be free from the cycle Yoga- A practice or discipline that may involve a philosophical system and mental concentration as well as physical postures and exercise. Samskaras- rite of passage, ceremonies. Puja- ritual household worship of the deity commonly involving oil laps, incense, prayers and food offerings. Namaskara (or Namaste)- the greeting and or salutation, people greet each other with. It is a non- contact greeting as a person puts hands together. Prasad- A gift from the deity, especially food that has been presented to the god’s temple image, blessed and retuned to the devotee. Bhakti- Loving devotion to a deity seen as a gracious being who enters the worlds for the benefit of humans. Kali Yuga- the post Vedic age, a period of degeneration. 4 different yogas and 4 different stages of the universe (on the last stage). Saiva- is the tradition whose worship is focused on Siva. Vaisnava- is a tradition whose worship is focused on Visnu. Ista-devata- a devotee offering private pujas to his chosen deity. Ganesa- One of the deities worshipped. Commonly known for his elephant head and is the son of siva. Worshipped for wealth, health and material needs. Siva- his essence is found in all creative energies. He saves the world repeatedly and punishes humans. Returns the universe to a formless, resting state and is the linking of creation, fertility and destruction Visnu- his devotees believe their chosen deity is the one who truly underlies all reality. He has many incarnations into different forms. Rama- hero of the Ramayana. Reveals the ideal of: proper filial obedience to parents, loyalty to brothers and the exemplary conduct of Hindu kings. Krisna- the most complex and multifaceted of the Visnu avataras. Offers counsel about the necessity of serving the world according to one`s dharma. Also seen as the reality from which all the gods originate. Devis- they are goddesses, born of the earth and can bestow its wealth. Used to depict fertile, creative power of the universe. Their innate power is known as Sakti. Pativrata- the womens duty to be a faithful wife and a devotee to her husband. Has to fulfill her dharma. CHAPTER 3: SIKHISM History - developed in area called Punjab - since 10 century CE, North India came under rule of Muslims Religious Background - both Hinduism & Islam  shared religious devotion, recognized important role of spiritual master - In Islam, Sufism existed Sant - “holy ascetic”, truth/saint - 3 elements contributed to rise of Sant tradition: 1. Bhakti or devotional practice Many influential Sant poets: 2. Tantric yoga Namdev, Ravidas, Kabir 3. Sufism Guru Nanak - first teacher, composed more than 900 hymns - experienced God directly  belief of only ONE god = primary guru - insisted God should be experienced, NOT talked about - believed that there was no Hindu & Muslim - clothing: wore hindu dhoti, hindu religious marking (tilak) - accepted belief in reincarnation and karma - passed on authority and work to chosen disciple - Development of Sikhism - not a real religion but created to create peace with other religions - forced to adopt period of self-definition - speak of Nanak rejecting both Islam and Hinduism - they should reject ego-centered living & embrace inner life in opening to divine of Sat Guru Ten Gurus 1. Guru Nanak 6. Guru Hargobind 2. Guru Angad 7. Guru Har Rai 3. Guru Amar Das 8. Guru Harkrishan 4. Guru Ram Das 9. Guru Tegh Bahadur 5. Guru Arjan 10. Guru Gobind Singh The Khalsa - an order of loyal Sikhs bound by common identity & discipline - 5 practices adopted by members to promote strength & self-identity 1. Kes: uncut hair and beard 2. Khanga: hair comb 3. Kachh: short trousers 4. Kirpan: sword 5. Kara: bracelet of steel 4 Notions of Guruship 1. God as Guru  Guru is voice of Akal Purakh within human heart, mind, soul 2. Teacher as Guru  Nanak becomes embodiement of eternal Guru only to receive divine word then send it on to his disciples 3. Scripture as Guru  acknowledge faith in scripture with same status, authority, and functions 4. Community as Guru  Khalsa always speaking behalf of the whole group Sikhs Ethics - view on justice: respect for rights of others, non-exploitation of others  use of force = allowed but only in defence of justice - strives to eliminate poverty - Guru’s role: peacemaker Prayer - begin with meditation on divine Name - continue w/ recitation of 5 liturgical prayers -evening prayers selected from collection of hymns Life-Cycle Rituals - naming the child: by the gurdwara (place of worship) & also given second name - marriage: 1. To lead action-oriented life based on righteousness 2. to maintain bonds of reverence & dignity 3. to keep enthusiasm alive 4. to promote balanced approach to life - death: final release from rebirth cycle Cultural Norms of Family & Society - Guru Nanak: believed key to liberation lay in the life of the householder - caste  never a defining criteria of Sikh identity  rejection of caste-based discrimination - males dominate the Sikh institutions Recent Developments - attacked by negative stereotypes - in the process of “renewal & redefinition” TERMS: Sufism—defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a Sufi. A science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God. Through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one’s inner self from filth and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits Sant tradition—holy or dedicated religious person, thus equivalent to a sadhu. Sant traditions are those in which a succession of styles and teachings have been developed and transmitted (example is the Varkari movement of Pandahrpur in Maharastara) Succession of religious teachers and devotions in Northern India Sant poets—traditions of the sants remained non-sectarian, through a number of Sant poets have been considered as the founders of sects. Medieval Sufi poets such as Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, as well as Sindhi poets are considered to have many similarities with the poet-sants of Sant Mat Nanak—founder of the Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. It is part of Sikh religious belief that the spirit of Guru Nanak’s sanctity, divinity and religious activity descended upon each of the 9 subsequent Gurus when the guruship was devolved on to them Adi Granth—literally, the first/beginning scripture—as in the Mool Mantar; ‘adad Sach, Jug Aad Sach’, true in the beginning, true for all time). The early compilation of the Sikh scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji—the fifth Sikh guru. The holy scriptures of the Sikhism Sat Guru—not merely mean true guru,, only given to an enlightened rishi/Sant whose life’s purpose is to guide initiated shishya along the spiritual path, the summation of which is the realization of the self through realizations of God, who’s is omnipresent. Special characteristics Om Kara—is taken as a name of God in the Hindu revivalist Arya Samaj and be translated as I am existence. To sound out loudly or is a mystical or sacred syllable. Om is placed as a sacred exclamation to be uttered at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas. Used in prayers or mantras in the beginning Mardana—bhai Mardana, fire follower and companion of Guru Nanak, a Muslim born to a mirasi Couple. Mardana--does not die. He asked help as many people in his family were dying at a young age. Known for his generosity and hospitality far and wide. Sikh—a monotheistic religion founded during the 15 century in the Punjab r
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