Theology D Test 1

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Rig Veda

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32 Terms
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Rig Veda

A collection of 1017 Sanskrit hymns composed about 1500 BC or earlier; Hinduism’s oldest sacred text

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Moksha

Liberation of the individual self from the bondage of samsara; salvation; one of the four goals of life

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Atman

the eternal Self, which Upanishads identify with Brahhman; often lowercased to refer to the eternal self or soul of an individual that is reincarnated from one body to the next and is ultimately identified with Atman

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Brahman

the eternal essence of reality and the source of the universe, beyond the reach of human perception and thought

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Upanishads

A collection of over 200 texts composed between 900 and 200 BC that provide philosophical commentary on the Vedas

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Samsara

The wheel of rebirth or reincarnation; the this-worldly realm in which rebirth occurs

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Bhagavad-Gita

A short section of the epic poem Mahabharata in which the god Krishna teaches the great warrior Arjuna about bhakti marga and other ways to God; Hinduism’s most popular sacred text

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Karma

the moral law of cause and effect of actions; determines the nature of one’s reincarnation

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Dharma

ethical duty based on the divine order of reality; one of the four goals of life

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Caste System

traditional division of Hindu society into various categories; there are four main varnas, or classes: brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra; each class contains numerous subgroups, resulting in more than three thousand categories

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Brahmin

the highest of the four classes of the caste system, traditionally made up of priests

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Kshatriya

the second of the four classes, traditionally made up of warriors and administrators

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Vaishya

the third if the four classes, traditionally made up of producers, such as farmers, merchants, and artisans

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Shudra

the lowest of the four classes, traditionally made up of servants and laborers

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Ascetic/sannyasin

one who renounces physical pleasures and worldly attachments for the sake of spiritual advancement; common in Hinduism and many other religious traditions, most notably Jainism

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Kama

pleasure, especially of sensual love; one of the four goals of life

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Artha

material success and social prestige, one of the four goals of life

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Karma marga

one of the three Hindu paths to salvation, emphasizing performing right actions according to dharma

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Jnana marga

one of the three Hindu paths to salvation, emphasizing knowing the true nature of reality through learning and meditation

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Vedanta

A system of Hindu philosophy and one approach within jnana marga, “the path of knowledge,” holding that all reality is essentially Brahman; most notable advocate is the medieval Hindu philosopher Shankara

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Maya

cosmic illusion brought about by divine creative power

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Sankhya

a system of Hindu philosophy and one approach within jnana marga, “the path of knowledge,” asserting that reality comprises two distinct categories: matter and eternal selves

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Yoga

a system of Hindu philosophy and one approach within jnana marga, “the path of knowledge,” seeking to free the eternal self from the bondage of personhood, culminating in the experience of samadhi; sometimes lowercase to refer to physical and psychological techniques for spiritual advancement

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Samadhi

a trancelike state in which self-consciousness is lost, and the mind is absorbed into the ultimate reality; the culmination of the eight steps of Yoga

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Bhakti Marga

the most popular of the three Hindu paths to salvation, emphasizing loving devotion to one’s chosen god or goddess

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Avatars

an incarnation, or living embodiment, or a deity, usually of Vishnu, who is sent to earth to accomplish a divine purpose; Krishna and Rama are the most popular avatars

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Monism

the doctrine that reality is ultimately made up of only one essence

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Sati

the traditional practice of burning a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre; outlawed in 1829, though it still occurs rarely

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Rig Veda, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita

The Hindu Books

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Moksha, Dharma, Kama, Artha

The Goals of Life

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Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra

The Castes

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Vedanta, Sankhya, and Yoga

Hindu Philosophies

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