Hinduism Terms and Definitions
1.Atman- It is the true self beyond sensory perception. It is also the idea that people
often mistake their real self with their apparent self in identifying with it. A person
should attempt to remove self from immediate identification of ego self. The Atman
is significant because it is one small component involved with achieving Moksa. That
is because if a person is able to remove themselves from their ego self then they
would be able to avoid worldy desires. It is also significant because it shows
doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism because Buddhism believes
that there is no true Atman and rather they believe in the concept of Anatman. It
also shows the basic moral characteristics in the religion in that by not identifying
with your ego it shows that this religion honours humbleness.
2.Brahman- It is the idea that along with Atman it is the one thing that is ultimately
real that does not change. The concept of Brahman also exists with the path of
Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion and worship) and it is the idea that it is without
limited characteristics and is beyond adjectives and qualities. Saguna Brahman
means that Brahman exists with God like qualities. This concept is significant
because it shows the flexibility of the Hindu tradition. That is because Brahman can
exist as various things, it can be seen as a God figure and as the essence of a true
self. It is also significant because it plays a role in achieving Moksa because if a
person is able to be touch with Brahman it will be that much easier. It also explains
key doctrinal beliefs in Hinduism because they believe that Brahman and Atman are
the only true reality because they never change.
3.Upanisads- It was part of the focus of the SRAMAMA movement and it was most
important segment of the Vedas as Hinduism develops. They are a collection of oral
traditions that are usually memorized. It was only 2000 years ago that they were
written down. They are significant because they deal with the concept of the self
and they believe that they self is not material. (Answers important doctrinal
questions). It shows doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism because
Hinduism focuses on maintaining individuality with the concept of Atman (lasting
self) while Buddhism believes in Anatman.
4.Vedas- There are Hindu religious texts, and they are composed of 4 streams of
literature. The first stream is the MANTRAS and they consist of hymns in 10 cycles.