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Hinduism & Jainism

by: Robyn Dixon

Hinduism & Jainism HSS 1120

Robyn Dixon

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Basic details about the Hindu and Jain cultures and religions
Introduction to Diversity
Dr. Kholoud Al-Qubbaj
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Robyn Dixon on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HSS 1120 at Southern Utah University taught by Dr. Kholoud Al-Qubbaj in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 75 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Diversity in Arts and Humanities at Southern Utah University.


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Date Created: 02/07/16
Hinduism and Jainsim Hinduism 1. 3 largest religion and culture in the world a. Only Christianity and Islam have more followers 2. “Om” means God 3. Majority from India and Nepal 4. 1 billion followers in India a. 23 million in Nepal b. 14 million in Bangladesh c. 3 million in Bali d. 3 million in United States 5. No Origin a. No founder, date of origin, or charismatic leaders b. Developed over 4,000 years c. Origins and Authors of sacred texts are unknown 6. Aryans a. Nomadic, “Fair-skinned Indo European people” b. Invaded Indus Valley and Iran 2000-1500 BCE c. Brought the religion of the Vedas i. Current Hindu practices 7. Beliefs a. Samsara i. Life cycle (Birth and rebirth, reincarnation) b. Dharma-Belief c. Karma i. Good/bad consequences of actions 1. Good (Moksa: Heaven) a. NOT reincarnated 2. Bad a. Reincarnated (Misery) d. 300 million Gods i. Brahma 1. Ultimate God 2. All other Gods are “avatars” or copies of Brahma ii. 3 main deities 1. Trimurti (Hindu Trinity) 2. Brahma: Creator 3. Vishnu: Preserver 4. Shiva: Destroyer e. Worship (Puja) i. Considered connecting one to the domain and actions of the divine ii. Not compulsory (required) to visit temples 1. Can worship at home with “altar” iii. Pilgrimage NOT mandatory 1. Ganges River a. Baptism i. Cleanse self of sins 8. Elements of Art a. Lotus i. Beauty and purity Hinduism and Jainsim ii. Brahma born from a lotus 1. Symbol of creation b. 4 arms i. 4 corners of the world ii. All depictions of the gods have 4 arms c. Vishnu i. Avatars of Vishnu 1. Krishna a. Real human form of the god 2. Buddha a. The Enlightened One 3. Rama 4. Hunuman 5. Saraswati a. Learning and Wisdom 6. Durga a. Mother goddess 7. Kali 8. Kalki 9. Literature a. Vedas i. Rig ii. Yajur iii. Sama iv. Atharva b. Brahmanas i. Commentary on 4 Vedas c. Upanishads i. Deep inner meaning of the Vedas d. Sutras i. Collection of short pithy sayings 10.Symbols a. Aum/Om b. Svastika i. Symbol of wellbeing ii. Decorates holy places and things iii. Connected with gods iv. 4 corners of the world c. Bindi rd i. 3 eye 1. Wisdom and knowledge ii. Symbolizes female energy 1. Protect from evil 11.Festivals a. Holi (March) i. Festival of colors b. Diwali (November) i. Festival of lights 12.Temples a. 1 primary Deity Hinduism and Jainsim b. Hilltops, near rivers and springs c. Inner chamber i. Image of deity placed 13.Dance a. Indian Folk dance b. Classical Indian c. Represents Gods and their stories 14.Marriages a. Arranged i. Based on: 1. Age 2. Height 3. Personal values and taste 4. Family wealth and social status 5. Caste 6. Astrological compatibility 15.Caste System a. Inherited b. When intermarriage occurs, offspring take father’s caste c. Brahman i. Priest d. Kshatryia i. Warriors e. Viasya i. Commoners f. Untouchables i. Outside caste system Hinduism and Jainsim Jainism 1. Ahimsa Hand a. The palm i. Jain vow of Ahimsa (Non-Violence) b. The wheel i. Represents end cycle of reincarnation through the search of truth c. The word i. Ahimsa (Non-violence) 2. Mahavira th a. 6 century BCE i. Protest Hinduism ii. Reject Vedic Literature, Caste System, and sacrifices iii. Earlier than Buddhism iv. Tirthankaras i. 24 founders of Jainism ii. “Crossing Builders” a. Forge ideal bridges between this life and Nirvana b. “Great Hero” 3. Gods a. Atheism b. No belief in gods c. The released soul (from reincarnation) to nirvana will be a god 4. Teachings a. Mahavira was born into wealth i. Dissatisfied with wealth and joins ascetics b. Ascetism c. Ahimsa (Non-violence) 5. Moksa (Heaven) a. Release soul from life i. Avoid killing anything, even insects i. Life is everywhere ii. Detach through extreme privations/self-denial 6. Undesirable Karma minimized by avoiding: i. Work in Business, education, merchant, etc. to avoid harming life b. Agriculture c. Butchering 7. 3 Jewels a. Right Belief: faith in Jina b. Right Knowledge: life ends; escape reincarnation c. Right Conduct: ascetism 8. Way of the Wheel a. Free self of ALL Karma i. Self-denial ii. Fasting to death i. Vow of sallekenah iii. Ahimsa iv. Meditation 9. Dualism Hinduism and Jainsim a. Universe composed of matter and soul b. Souls trapped in evil matter c. Liberation of soul comes through tormenting flesh d. Only individual can release soul i. Gods might exist but not helpful ii. Prayer, worship, rituals, etc. are worthless e. Only some individuals have ability to undertake severe ascetism 10.Vows a. Monks take 5 vows i. Ahimsa ii. Truthfulness iii. Only take what is given iv. Celibacy v. Abandon all attachments b. Normal Jains only follows first 3 vows 11.Stages of Life a. Student seeking truth b. Family life and marriage c. Family and social service for others i. Especially monks d. Life as a monk i. Period of ascetism ii. Few reach this stage 12.Universe a. Exists in layers with no beginning or end i. Supreme World: Top of universe ii. Upper World: 30 Heavens iii. Universe Space: clouds surround Upper World iv. Middle World: Earth and rest of Universe v. Nether World: 7 Hells with levels of despair and punishment for bad karma 13.Scriptures a. Agamas i. Sermons of Mahavira 14.Sects of Jainism a. Svetambara (Northern India) i. Most popular sect ii. Liberal interpretation of scripture iii. White Clad i. Monks wear White (ropes and masks) a. Reject necessity of nudity iv. Allow woman in religion, monasteries, and teaching b. Digambara (Southern India) i. Sky Clad ii. Conservative interpretation of scripture iii. Require near nudity for monks iv. Women considered too fleshy with no chance of receiving release 15.Jain Festivals a. Paijusana Hinduism and Jainsim i. Most popular i. End of Jain year (Aug-Sept) ii. 8 day festival i. Encouraged to live like monks for at least 24 hours iii. Ends with processions and almsgiving to poor b. Divali i. Light lamps to remember Mahavira’s release


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