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Chapter 4: Hinduism continued

by: Jessica Crump

Chapter 4: Hinduism continued REL 101

Marketplace > University of Mississippi > Religion > REL 101 > Chapter 4 Hinduism continued
Jessica Crump
GPA 3.87

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About this Document

These notes are from the class on 09/13/16. They mostly cover the deities and texts of Hinduism.
Intro to Religion
Kristy Slominski
Class Notes
Religious Studies
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Crump on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to REL 101 at University of Mississippi taught by Kristy Slominski in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Intro to Religion in Religion at University of Mississippi.

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Date Created: 09/13/16
9/13/16 Chapter 4: Hinduism p.106 – 125 Naked holy men may smear cremation ashes on themselves to symbolize their death to society. Deities 1. Brahma – creator, isn’t worshipped as highly as Vishnu and Shiva 2. Vishnu- preserver, maintaining balance between good and evil 3. Shiva – destroyer, not viewed as bad They are constantly maintaining the cycle of life/reincarnation The second names on these are the female counterparts of these deities, to represent the balance of males and females in nature: 1. Vishnu and Lakshmi 2. Krishna and Radha 3. Rama and Sita  The deities are often holding things that they represent; this is why they often have several arms – just to have enough hands to hold all of things they represent/symbolize Shiva  wife Parvati, son Ganesha  Yogi – someone who practices yoga “lord of the yogis”  Lingam – phallic symbol  Ganesha has an elephant head, story has it that his father cut his head off but parvati argues to save him and Shiva finds him a new head i.e. the elephant which is seen as strong; thus, Ganesha is often turned to as an “obstacle remover” Devi (Goddesses)  Kali – an extreme form of the fierceness of goddeses  Durga – a warrior Worshippers  Vaishnavas – devotion to Vishnu  Shaivas – devotion to Shivas  Shaktas – devote themselves to the goddesses 9/13/16 Hindu Texts  Shruti – texts that are divinely revealed o Vedas and Upanishads  Shmriti – human authors with sacred knowledge o Epics and puranas Vedas (~1500 BCE)  Many vedas  Generally described as sacred hymns  Written for the priests, to provide instructions for rituals Vedic Gods (a few)  Agni – god of fire, personified as fire; fire is important because it was believed that by burning offerings, the smoke brought the offerings up to them  Indra – god of thunder  Soma – the immortal drink; the drink of the gods that allows them to maintain their immortality; some of the Vedas include how to make it Upanishads (~600 BCE)  Translates as “sitting at the foot of” (a teacher)  Philosophical concepts o Brahman o Atman o Samsara o Maya – an illusion; what is behind ultimate reality, get past the distractions/illusions of the world to discover the divine reality o Moksha – liberation from humanity; being united with the gods  Vedanta school of Hindu Philosophy o “end of the Vedas” = Upanishads as culmination o Relationships between Brahman and Atman – the relationship between self and divine  Some view Brahman and atman as the same - monism  Others view them as distinct, however they have a relationship – dualistic Hindu Epics – often used to popularize the values of Hinduism  Ramayana – one of the more famous epics o “Rama’s Journey” – Rama trying to rescue his kidnapped wife  Ideal Characters 9/13/16  Mahabharata – probably the longest epic ever; battle between two clans, brother vs. brother, also teaches about the many ages; written by a poet, Ganesha writes it down  Popularized Vedic ideas  Kali yuga – the fourth and last stage of the world; the world’s most degraded form  Bhagavad Gita – translates to “song of the Lord”; one chapter of the Mahabharata o Krishna – divine incarnation of Vishnu, giving advice to the main character o Bhakti – devotion to the divine Puranas (~500-1500 CE)  18 major puranas  Some dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, Devi, and Brahma Earliest History (3000-1300 BCE)  Indus Valley Civilization – very loosely connected to Hinduism; there’s not much evidence of exactly what religion was practiced in this area Vedic Period (1500 BCE – 500 BCE)  Aryans – the dominant group; considered themselves “civilized”  Vedas - caste system was getting into place; the first 3 (highest) castes were already pretty in place  Sacrifice Hindu-Buddhist Encounters (500 BCE-300CE)  Buddhist starts and the religions kind of collide  Buddhism starts to critique atman and the caste system  Royal patronage  Hindu renewal – epics; response to Buddhism; started to reinforce their religion, epics were used almost as propaganda because they are good stories Age of the Guptas (320 -540 CE)  “golden age” – cultural innovation in arts and sciences  Temples became a more essential part of society; people were encouraged to go interact with the gods whereas prior, it was the priests alone who visited and tended to the gods  Bhakti – devotion to the gods was renewed


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