Part 1 - Religion 1002 - Hinduism

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Aryans

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1

Aryans

An Indo-European people who are thought to have migrated from central Asia via Afghanistan around 1500 BCE.

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Aryan language

Aryans developed Vedic Sanskrit.

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What was the core ritual focus of the early Vedic religion?

Veda- "knowledge"

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What was the oral/textual tradition of the early Vedic religion?

It was passed down in oral tradition

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5

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sruti and smrti texts

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What are the Four main Vedic texts?

Vedas

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Brahmanas

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Aranyakas

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Upanishads

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What are the Four vedas?

Rig

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12

Atharva

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Yajur

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Sama

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15

Agni

God of fire. Believed to serve as a messenger, carrying to the deities the offerings that humans placed in the sacrificial fire.

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Atman

the individual self, held by Upanishadic and Vedantic thought to be idenical with Brahman, the world-soul

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Avatara

a "descent" of incarnation of a deity in earthly form

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Bhagavad Gita

A section of the Mashabharata epic recounting a conversation between Krishna and the warrior Arjuna, in which Krishna explains the nature of God and the human soul.

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bhakti

Loving devotion to a deity, who is seen as a gracious being who enters the world for the benefit of humans

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Brahman

the world-soul, sometimes understood in impersonal terms

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21

brahmin

a member of the priestly class

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22

name the castes

  1. Brahmin (priestly)

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23
  1. Kshatriya (governing)

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  1. Vaisya(mercantile)

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  1. Sudra(labors/servants)

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  1. Dalit/untouhables (had the "dirty" jobs)

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darshan

seeing and being seen by the deity in the temple or by a holy teacher; the experience of beholding the faith

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dharma

religious and social duty, including both religiousness and faith

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scope of dharma

(1) laws governing the spiritual-physical universe

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(2) laws and rules for society

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(3) rules for the individual (according to caste, gender, age and stage of life)

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32

guru

a spiritual leader

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Indus Valley Civilization

Main centers (Harappa & Mohenjo Daro) flourished along the Indus River.

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Agricultural based economy.

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Complex city planning.

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Stratified society with job specialization.

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Archeological evidence (no significant weapons found; no signs of horses and chariots evident).

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Written script (still undeciphered).

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What was the peak and decline of the Indus Valley civilization?

peak: 1900 BCE

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decline: 1500 BCE

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What are some of the artifacts from the Indus Valley Civilization?

Bronze dancing girl; Mother Goddess;Great bath;

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What is the theoretical debate concerning the Indus Valley Civilization? What is the evidence to back up these theories

Aryan Migration thesis - Relations to Indo-European Language family

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Cultural Diffusion hypothesis - relations to Brahui language in the region

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kama

sensual (not merely sexual) pleasure; one of the three classical aims of life

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karma

action, good or bad, as it is believed to determine the quality of rebirth in future lives

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Krishna

He is primarily a king, hero, friend and ally of the Pandavas, brother-in-law.

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Appears in the Bhagavad Gita - convinces Arjuna to fight in a war; he tells him he is a god of gods and grants Arjuna the eye of a god to prove his story.

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Also said to be the 8th son of King Kamsa, destined to overthrow him and save the world from Kamsa's demons.

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moksha

Liberation from the cycle of birth and death; one of the three classical aims of life

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puja

ritual household worship of the deity, commonly involving oil lamps, incense, prayers, and food offerings

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Rig Veda

the word came into being through the sacrifice of a 'cosmic person'

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shruti

"What is heard"; the sacred literature of the Vedic and Upanishadic periods, recited orally by the brahmin priests for many centuries before being written down

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smirti

"What is remembered", a body of ancient Hindu literature, including the epics, Puranas, and law codes, formed after the shruti and passed down in written tradition

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Upanishads

Philosophical texts in the form of reported conversations on the theory of the Vedic ritual and the nature of knowledge, composed around the 6th century BCE

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Search for the one behind the many

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samsara

the continuing cycle of rebirth

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Shakti or Devi

She is responsible for creation and the agent of all change

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Manifests herself as Parvati

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sometimes called the Divine Mother Goddess

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Shiva

a great god in the post-Upanishadic era

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appears in paraoxical roles: destroyer and creator, dancer and yogi.

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married to Parvati

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tat tvam asi

"thou art that"

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Found in the Upanishads

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~How we fit into the universe

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Veda[s]

The four collections of hymns and ritual texts that constitute the oldest and most highly respected Hindu sacred literature

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Vishnu

male deity of Vainsnavism

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preserver and protector of creation; the restorer of moral order (dharma)

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Vrata

religious vow

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yoga

A practice and discipline that may involve a philosophical system and mental concentration as well as physical postures and exercises

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Developmental transition and time period for the Indus Valley Civilization

2500-1500 BCE

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Elements of Hinduism can be traced to this period; peak c. 1900 BCE

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Developmental transition and time period for the Vedic Period

1500-500 BCE

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Veda was formulated and texts of Dharma and ritual composed.

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Developmental transition and time period for the Epic and Purāõic Period

500 BCE - 500 CE

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Composition of the Rāmāyaõa and the Mahābhārata & the bulk of the PurÀõas.

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Developmental transition and time period for the Medieval Period

500 - 1500 CE

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Development of the Bhakti movement and devotional/poetic literature

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Composition of tantric literature.

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Developmental transition and time period for the Modern Period

1500 CE - present

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~ Rise/fall of the Mughal, British empires; The independence movement, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and the rise of the Indian nation state.

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What occurred in the 19th century for Hinduism

~ Hindu Renaissance/religious reform movements

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~ Indentured workers to British colonies

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~ Hindu diaspora

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What occurred in the 20th century for Hinduism

~ Development of Hinduism as a major world religion

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~Hindu emigration from India to various parts of the globe increases.

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What is the cycle of time in Hinduism?

  1. Satya =Golden age; longest yuga

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  1. Treta

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  1. Dvapara

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  1. Kali = present yuga; shortest yuga

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100

What are the major groups of texts? (5)

Vedas

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