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Key Terms for Quiz 1

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Henry Shiu

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RLGA01H3 2012 Fall Key Terms for Hinduism: SANATANA DHARMA One’s sacred duty (dharma) is an eternal duty (sanatana dharma) Sanatana dharma means “eternal law” TILAK OR TILAKA) A dot or mark on the forehead made with coloured powder “Tilaks” = forehead markings B HARATA Bharata = indigenous term for India Ancient deity named Bharata Indigenous people didn’t consider themselves to be “INDIA” KARMA • Action, good and bad, as it is believed to determine the quality of rebirth in future lives • The doctrine of karma assumes that a natural causal mechanism conditions individual destiny • The idea of karma had become widely accepted by the classical era SAMSARA The continuing cycle of death and rebirths We are bound and trapped in samsara and in samsara there are sufferings not to be denied, what determines our samsara is our karma and determines our quality of life INDUS VALLEY C IVILIZATION Indus Valley culture flourished between 3000 to 1500 BCE The Indus Valley civilization may have spanned over one million square kilometers Hinduism is a result of two main cultures = Indus Valley + Aryans Before 1950s no scholars and people knew about the existence of this advanced civilization Most important of the excavating sites are Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa (300 miles apart) M OHENJO -DARO “Mound of the Dead” Citadel mound at MDaro, there is a huge swimming-pool-like structure – called ‘the Great Bath, surrounded by porticos and flights of stairs • Led to believe that it was designed for religious rituals H ARAPPA Harappa is taken to be a capital of this civilization Inscriptions on carved seals show that this culture has a written language Impressive builders who lived in planned cities A RYANS An Indo-European people whose faith, in fusion with that of the indigenous religions of the Indus Valley, grew into Hinduism They were not highly organized They were nomads rather than settled agriculturalists Came from central Asia – northwest India They invaded and settled India and conquered people there The Aryans thought the world as divided into three levels: ‘triloka’ SANSKRIT The Aryan language evolved into the Sanskrit, the official language of the Hindu religion. They brought a sacred Sanskrit language Language is considered to have a miraculous power When some of these Sanskrit word put together, you can produce magical powers Sound of these words were awesome Oral language helping pass down religion A system developed to memorize/learn the language PURANAS • ‘Old tales’, (ancient stories), stories about deities that became important after the Vedic period • One of the three smrti, the Puranas: a new collection of texts composed to extol the glories of the deities and specify the forms of worship • Many Hindus today revere the Puranas as the “fifth Veda.” • Puranas are like a collection of manuals/guidelines on how to pay homage to the deities B HAGAVAD-G ITA A section of the Mahabharata epic recounting a conversation between Krishna and the warrior Arjuna, in which Krishna explains the nature of God and the human soul • Deities are seen as omnipotent and omniscient; they can bring their grace to persons seeking liberation by absorbing human karma = view expressed in the Gita V EDAS The four collections of hymns and ritual texts that constitute the oldest and most highly respected Hindu sacred literature The Veda divides into four samhitas or collections: Rig-Veda Yajur-Veda Sama-Veda Atharva-Veda Each of these collections in turn consists of four sections: Samhitas Brahmanas Aranyakas Upanishads Almost everything we know about Hindu gods comes from a collection of writings known as the Veda Sacred scripture of the Aryans and then later became scripture of Hinduism Veda = TO SEE So important is the Veda that Hinduism is sometimes called Vaidik dharma, meaning the religions of the Veda But all passed down orally R G-VEDA/RIG-VEDA Earliest part contained 1028 hymns Rig = most important; hymns praising gods and goddesses – to communicate with god YAJUR-V EDA Specific how to carry out rituals; instructional teachings Hymns here were borrowed from the Rig-Veda SAMA -VEDA Specific how to carry out rituals; instructional teachings Hymns here were borrowed from the Rig-Veda Was meant to be sung A THARVA-VEDA Softer discussion on nature of the universe Differs from the other 3 in that it includes material that scholars consider non- Aryan such as incantations and remedies to ward off illness and evil spirits – chants used for purposes other than sacrificial rituals SAMHITAS Hymns (the earliest parts) B RAHMANAS Directions for the performance of sacred rituals A RANYAKAS ‘Compositions for the forest’ U PANISHADS ‘Sitting near [the teacher]’ Hindu religious texts thought to have been composed between 1500 and 600 BCE 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 Aitreya Upanishad = Rig Veda Brihadaranyake and Taittiriya Upanishads = Yajur Veda Chandogya Upanishad = Sama Veda ‘Sitting near [the teacher]’ PRANA Prana, an internal air current of the body, is often spoken of as the basic animating principle • The air that goes in and out of your body = characteristic of having life; it makes us alive • Not just the air but it is some sort of energy that makes us alive • *like China’s “CHI” energy* A TMAN • The individual self, (human soul) held by Upanshadic and Vedantic thought to be identical with Brahman, the world-soul • Thought in Hinduism that we have an internal individual self in all of us that it goes through re
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