Week 3 Notes: Hinduism
Week 3 Notes: Hinduism RELSTDS 102
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Bronge on Thursday October 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to RELSTDS 102 at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh taught by Dr. Jeffrey Kaplan in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 194 views. For similar materials see World Religions in Religious Studies at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.
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Date Created: 10/01/15
Rel Studies Notes In class and Book 92915 Shamanism Died out for the most part in the 192039s Good metaphor for a Shaman would be like a Nurse Practitioner A shaman has to take care of everybody helps he does everything he can to make people39s lives better A ritualist specialist who sends his spirit out of his body in a quest of knowledge If the spirit does not return the body dies He has his own spirit helper as well The Journey can be to Gods to spirits or move with other Shamans Most important thing a shaman can discover The true name of the animal or person The shamanic performance may be done privately Qualgi or as a part of a public performance May be the oldest continuous religion tradition among huntergatherer societies Locations 0 North American Arctic Siberia Australia Shamans mediate with nature for survival of the tribe With the shaman39s gone the environments are changing and becoming dangerous The way of life and artifacts connected to shamanism are slowly starting to disappear and that is a genuine concern They are starting to believe the Shaman39s were keeping nature intact and helping our culture survive Without them the future the world will belost The dance the music the sounds are very speci c Each having an effective meaning The gift of the whale is deeply religious and the meat is a gift for a religious holiday Taboo Something you don39t talk about or is forbidden If a Taboo is broken the punishment can be very dreadful no more whales so no one even chances of breaking them Women cut the whale they are not allowed to touch the water or the sea ice The animals must give themselves voluntarily to the people They believe the animal is parched for fresh water they have been searching for it their entire life Shaman demands what it wants and you have to follow him no matter what Matches and the re How does one become a Shaman Hereditary 1 Inherit Power from family 2 Identi ed as successor from childhood 3 Removed from Peers 4 Trained and Initiated by the old Shaman and jt will take over when ready Can39t have two at the same time Only one will be allowed to survive too much ghting power Spontaneous 1 Much more powerful chosen by a god or spirit 2 Experience begins with a sudden illness or feeling of separation Near death experience 3 Are always unwilling and often ght against shamanic caII Three Fold drama of suffering The shamanic experience is similar enough to Christianity to have facilitate the conversion It begins with death followed by dismemberment This is accompanied by intense pain physical psychological and spiritual While all of this is going on the body is dormant while spirits ght for possession of his soul The shaman39s body is then almost put back together Not fully human again when he returns he has powers no one else has Moral rules no longer apply to him he can cure kill and anything he wants The Shaman and the Spirits Spirits help him they are his companions They have many different intentions though Initiation Process is a crazy harsh signal of strength and power If convinced he is the one there will be great feast and celebration Female Shamans only work with women mostly seek more for curing and seen in positive ways Male Shaman is seen as negatively but after shamanism disappeared Female Shaman39s were seen as equally evil Shaman39s disappearanceWhy Technology and Medicine Women converted rst many men were glad to get rid of them Shamans somewhat still exist but only underground Shamanism in Appleton Video Notes from Chapter 3 Reading Origins of Hinduism fascinating Since so isolated this has created this culture that is rare and Ganges River has created a sense of comfort and protection Hinduism unites the worship of many Gods with a belief in a single divine reality quotFamily of beliefsquot Earliest Stage of Indian Religion Archeological Workers uncovered a culture known as quotHarappa Culturequot before 2000 BCE Because many of the symbols they found in old villages stiII appear in contemporary Indian culture we assume some current religious practices have survived the distant past The Religion of Vedic Period Vedas Ancient sculptures of India They give a great deal of information about the gods and worship during what is called the Vedic Period The religion described by the Vedas seems to have consisted of the worship of mostly male gods who were believed to control the forces of nature The God Indra received lots of attention Worship of Gods took place at outdoor re alters The Vedas quotEarliest Sacred Books of Hinduismquot 4 Basic sacred text collections that constitutes the Vedas The Four Vedas end with even alter works called the Upanishads which express philosophical and religious ideas that arose in introspective and meditative traditions The Upanishads and the Axis Age 500 BCE turn of changes period Axis Age meaning everything turned into a new direction at the time All new sorts of techniques for altering consciousness The Origin of the Upanishads quotSitting Nearquot Primary to the Upanishads is the notion that with spiritual discipline amp mediation both priests and nonpriests can experience the spiritual reality that underlies all seemingly separate realities Hundreds of Written Works Important Concept of the Upanishads Most important notions in the Upanishads are Brahman Atman Maya karma samsara and moksha heart of things Brahman amp Atman Maya Brahman was expanded to mean a divine reality at the The Upanishads insist Brahman is something that can be known Not simply believed in quotAll things are in some way holy because they came from the same sacred sourcequot Ultimately One Also referred to by 3 words that help describe its nature as perceived by the knower Reality itself pure consciousness amp Bliss Notion of Atman is related to Brahman too quotDeepest selfquot Refers to the sacred time of onesself quotIllusionquot magic and matter The world is real but not quite in the way we assume Some assume the world is permanent but in reality it shifts and changes like dreams Individuals are all manifestations at the divine spirit Reincarnation Karma Rebirth Human beings are capable of reaching a higher position in life superhuman beings and demi gods Or people can reach to an even higher level to complete freedom lmplies notion of moral consequences Good Karma brings higher rebirth and bad Karma brings rebirth in smaller and more painful forms Karma is like gravity it works like a force of nature Samsara Refers to the wheel of life circle of constant rebirth quotYoloquot is not a shared belief with Hindu39s Moksha quotFreedom or Liberation to be releasedquot Ultimate Human goal is to achieve this in Hinduism As one becomes freer one looks at life in a much less sel sh and egotistical point of view When insight amp kindness are perfect the pain of rebirth ends the limitations of individuality are gone only Brahman remains Living Spiritually in the Everyday World Mixture of elements old practices and others that develop later Hinduism practice usually involves devotion to at least one Deity Hindu practice may also include the study of religious texts meditation and other speci cally religious disciplines The Bhagavad Gita Part of very long epic poem called quotMahabharataquot quotThe Wise see knowledge and action as onequot Huge Story Gandhi held that call to arms is not about real war but rather a call to ght against dangerous moral and psychological forces such as ignorance sel shness and anger The interpretation though it seems to go against the literal intent of the text The Caste System When Krishna urges Arjuna from Huge Story Pg 87 to do what his position as a warrior demands he is reinforcing the caste system Was based on more than one s type of work and in modern times it does not always indicate the type of work a person does More of social classes Varna which are divided into hundreds of sub castes Brahmin The Priest Kshatriya WarriorNoble Vaishya Merchant Shudra The Peasant Dalit The Untouchable Does dirtiest work PWF E The Stages of Life Their stages of life are much more religious than ours 1 Student Brahmacharin 1st Stage between 820 Foundation of Life 2 Householder Gerihastha Marriage Age 20 raises children 3 Retiree Vanaprasstha When Grandchildren arrive they may retire 4 Renunciate Sannyasin An option not expected Permitted to leave home and now the world becomes their home Goals of Life Pleasure Kama Economic Power and Security Artha Social and Religious Duty Dharma Highest Goals are still Moksha Complete Freedom The Yogas quotUnionquot helps people live spiritually and lead to perfection jnana Yoga Knowedge Yoga Appropriate for priests amp lntellectuals brings insight into ones divine nature From School of Vedanta The greatest teacher was Shankara Argues that everything is ultimately one Also emphasized monism the oneness of everything Karma Yoga Action Yoga Proposes that all useful work if done unsel shly can be a way to perfection Deeds performed without a desire of reward are the heart of this yoga Bhakti Yoga Devotion Yoga Relatable to love Can involve various expressions of devotion most commonly chants songs food offerings and anointing statues Guru Spiritual Teacher can devote to Raja Yoga Royal Yoga Not referred to in Bhagavad Gita introduced ater Promotes meditation also a manta word or short phrase can be recited Hatha Yoga Force Yoga Stretching amp balancing addition Large Variety of Postures and breathing exercises Kundaini Yoga quotSeven Psychic Centersquot Emphasis in Spinal Column Devotional Hinduism Many Follow the Path of God Most worship daily Puja Devotional ritual commonly performed at an altar involves the offering of owers food re and Incense to images of god or gods as well as occasional singing or hymns Earliest layer of devotional Hinduism would be Harappa Culture seems to have involved anointing of phallic stones devotion to female divinities of fertility and worship of nature spirits Even though it is believed Hindu39s believe in many gods each person actuay normay just focuses on one The Trimurti Brahma Vishnu and Shiva Brahma Creative Force that made the universe Four faces eight arms Worship of Brahma as a separate deity has declined in the past 200 years Vishnu Force of Preservation in the Universe most important object of devotion in India Since associated with love and Kindness it is said he appears on Earth in disguise in times of need Shiva Linked with destruction and recreation most complicated God Destruction to Hindu39s is seen differently than how we perceive Worship of the Divine Feminine Devi The three gods are usually portrayed as masculine Worship of Female Divinities too through quotThe Great Motherquot Devi Harsh Loving Divine Feminine Appears as several goddesses Durga Eight arms to destroy evil Kali More fearsome dangerous The Divine Feminine is important because they allow Gods to be effective in the human world Guru as Object of Devotion quotOne who removes darknessquot Because Hinduism is not organized in a hierarchal fashion devotion to a guru is a large amp ancient component of Hindu spirituality Female Gurus are not uncommon Seen as both a saint and a living embodiment of the divine Devotion to the animals Does not kill or eat animals Belief in reincarnation has played a role they believe humans once were them or they will be in the future The cow is a powerful symbol in India of all motherliness Hinduism and the Arts Multiplicity frequently leading to an overarching sense of unity Symbolism is quite important for their culture as well Dance is common it is meant to produce delicate states of feeling some of which are thought to assist contact with particular gods Hinduism Modern Challenges Very Isolated of a country Monotheistic Islam and Polytheistic Hinduism could not be more different but are so close in proximity which has caused intense con ict Contemporary Issues Conservative social teachings of traditional Hinduism Centuries old con ict with Islam Challenges of Contemporary World Women39s Rights too much male domination happening in the country today Women39s educational opportunities are limited as well Hindi In uence beyond India Dominant in Nepal 80 Used to be in Indonesia until Muslim invasion slowly stopped spreading