Hinduism Historical Philosophical Foundations by alicejenny


									Sanatana Dharma

The Eternal Religion
(aka: Hinduism)
             Et   ics
      Natural L   w
Transcendental    ealization
          Cos      ic Order
          Soci    l Welfare
The roots of Hinduism

 Harappan Civilization:
  Indus river valley archeological ruins
  At least 4500 years old
  The Great Pool
Ancient Images still a part
of Hinduism today
(from the Harappan civilization)
  Prefiguring Shiva          Lingams
The roots of Hinduism

 The Aryan Invasion Theory:
  Outside invaders
   enter India from
   the northwest
  Beginning 4000
   years ago
  Bringing their
   culture & religion
   with them
  A hotly debated theory!
The Vedic Tradition

 Elements presumed to be of Aryan
   influence that continue to be a part of
   Hinduism today:
  Sanskrit language
  Vedic texts (composed in Sanskrit)
  Patriarchal rule
  Social class distinctions (caste) & the role of
   the priests (Brahmins)
  Rituals & the Fire Sacrifice
The Vedas
  First written around 1500 BCE
   but composed and transmitted
   orally long before then
  “Heard” (shruti) by ancient sages
  Four parts, developed over time:
    Samhitas: hymns of praise in worship of deities
     (Rig Veda is oldest)
    Brahmanas: directions for priestly performance of
    Aranyakas: “forest books” written by hermits
    Upanishads: metaphysical teachings of spiritual
     masters (Vedanta: the end of the Vedas)
     (composed 600-400 BCE)
The Fire Sacrifice

  Burnt offerings made to the gods through
   Agni (ignite), the god of fire
  performed by the brahmin (priest),
  Maintaining the cosmic order
  through recreation of the original sacrifice
   made by the gods to create this universe
  Purusha: the primal being dismembered
   by the gods out of which all was created
                               (Rig Veda 10.90)
Philosophy of the
  Spiritual instruction, focused on inner
   experience, as a path to realization and
  Brahman: The transcendent, all pervading,
   infinite and everlasting Ultimate Reality
  Atman: that Reality as it is found within
   ourselves – our soul is one with the “soul” of
   the universe

            Samsara: continual cycle
             of birth-life-death-rebirth
            Into any life form – human
             or animal
            Only human rebirth
             affords the soul the
             opportunity to advance
             toward the goal of
             liberation from this cycle =

 Consequences of our actions
 In this life and beyond – carried over to
  our future lives
 The law of cause and effect:
   Past actions affect our present life
   Present actions affect our future life
      Good deeds  good karma  good experiences
      Bad deeds  bad karma  bad experiences
 Karma keeps samsara going
Yoga - The Paths to Moksha
  Moksha: ultimate goal is to eliminate karma so
   as to be liberated from Samsara – the
   limitations of space, time and matter
  Yoga: The path to Union with the divine
  Four options:
      Raja Yoga – the path of meditation
      Jnana Yoga – the path of knowledge
      Karma Yoga – the path of selfless action
      Bhakti Yoga – the path of loving devotion to god
Review Activities

The Vedic Tradition
Upanishadic Metaphysics

Access these and other review activities at:
IDENTIFY these terms
 1. The people who invaded India           a. Aryans
    bringing their Vedic sacrificial
    religion with them                     b. Atman
 2. The cycle of birth, life, death and
    rebirth as well as the realm of        c. Brahman
    space and time wherein this takes
    place                                  d. Moksha
 3. Release (liberation) from this cycle
 4. The true essence of the human          e. Samsara
    self, identified with Brahman
 5. The impersonal Ultimate Reality in
    Hindu philosophy
The oldest of Indian
sacred texts is:
 a.   Upanishads
 b.   Rig Veda
 c.   Adi Granth
 d.   Bhagavad Gita
Do you know the
difference between...
 1. Brahma     a. The creator god of the
                  Hindu pantheon
 2. Brahman    b. The priestly caste of Hindu
 3. Brahmin    c. Collection of early sacred
 4. Brahmana   d. The impersonal ultimate
                  reality of Hindu
                  metaphysical philosophy
MATCH the yogas:

 1.   Karma    a)   The path of knowledge
 2.   Jnana    b)   The path of devotion
 3.   Raja     c)   The path of meditation
 4.   Bhakti   d)   The path of selfless action

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