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Final

RLGA01H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Official Language, Substance Theory, Chastity


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLGA01H3
Professor
Henry Shiu
Study Guide
Final

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 18 pages of the document.
Servants = Shudra
Priests = Brahmins
Warriors = Kshatriyas
Middle-class commoners = Vaishyas
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)
: each group wore special coloured clothing
: priests perform rituals, taught the young, advised kings
: warriors were top clans = rulers
: 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

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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
- The 1st principle: Greek Philosophy before Socrates
philosophers attempt at determining 1st 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

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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
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