Key Terms on Hinduism

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Henry Shiu

Key Terms for the Lecture on Hinduism 1. sanatana dharma: eternal law. An alternative term designating a comprehensive tradition, but it is common in only a few parts of India & some classes of society. The term is seldom used to refer to local manifestations of the faith. 2. tilak (or tilaka): A dot of mark on the forehead made with colored powder. Or forehead markings Bharata: Indigenous term for India Karma: Action, good and bad, as it is believed to determine the quality of rebirth in future lives. 3. Samsara: The continuing cycle of death and rebirths Indus Valley Civilization: The Indus Valley civilization may have spanned over one million square kilometers. Most important of the excavating sites are Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Indus Valley culture flourished between 3000 to 1500 BCE. 4. Mohenjo-Daro: a town on the banks of the Indus River in Pakistan. Mound of the Dead. The citadel at Mohenjo Daro has a huge swimming pool like structure that archaeologists call the Great Bath, surrounded by porticos & flights of stairs. 5. Harappa: A large town on the banks of the Indus River in Pakistan. The culture extends well beyond the Indus Valley itself & is therefore called the Harappa culture. 6. Aryans: They were not highly organized. They were nomads rather than settled agriculturalists. The standard vew in the early 20 century was that it had grown from a fusion of the indigenous religions of the Indus Valley with the faith of the Aryans, an Indo-European people usually thought to have migrated there sometimes between 1750 & 1500 BCE. 7. Sanskrit: The Aryan language evolved into the Sanskrit, the official language of the Hindu religion. 8. Puranas: Old tales, stories about deities that became important after the Vedic period.
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