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RELS 1000 Note on Hinduism, created by sara.ketchmark on 11/14/2013.

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1. advaita  non-dualism 2. Agni god of fire. transports sacrificial offerings to other gods. (Vedic deitites are mainly male and are personified powers of nature.3. ahimsanon-violence4. anandabliss5. aratiflame6. ArjunaThe greatest Pandava warrior is Arjuna, without whose prowess they would lose. Arjuna has an existential crisis on the eve of the war, and will not fight. (he realized that he would be fighting his cousins and other family members.) Krishna, his friend and charioteer, counsels him. this conversation is known as the Bhagavad- Gita (Song of the Lord) Krishna teaches Arjuna three yogas (pathways to moksha) Arjuna fights, and the Pandavas defeat the Kauravas.  7. artha skill/know-how/money; develop one's professional abilities. during the stage of householder, husband and wife pursue this goal. 8. Aryans noble ones nomadic Aryans enterned the Indian subcontinent during the Aryan Migration (1200 BCE) had the war chariot and hard metal weapons. brought with them The Vedas, their religious texts (originally oral). language was sanksrit (cultured/perfected) intermingled with the Dravidians, and a class/caste system emerged. 9. Atman the self beyond all illusory ego formulations.  our true self 10. avataraperiodical incarnates 11. Bhakti Yoga liberation through loving devotion (bhakti) bhakti is first developed in the Bhagavad-Gita bhakti launches devotionalism (most common Hindu religious practice) requires one to offer thought, word, and deed to a personal god (theism) there is a huge range of personal deities found in the Hindu tradition. 12. Brahma Vedic creator god; depicted with four heads; the Creator (not supreme) often seated on a lotus which grows out of Vishnu's navel. 13. Brahman Absolute Reality the way things really are Brahman (absolute reality) cannot be described/explained. it is the source of explanations. but when conceptualized, Brahman is: Sat (being/existence itself); Cit (awareness); and Anada (Bliss). 14. Brahmanas  the sacrificial ritual texts describe Vedic sacrifice known as yajña 15. brahmin the priestly class were skilled in Vedic hymn and ritual 16. cit consciousness itself awareness Brahman (absolute reality) cannot be described/explained. it is the source of explanations. but when conceptualized, Brahman is: Sat (being/existence itself); Cit (awareness); and Anada (Bliss). 17. darshana going to a temple for an audience (to see or be seen by) with a deity. some Hindu temples are small shrines, while others are enormous institutions. the inner sanctum of a temple often holds an image of the deity. temples are regarded as abodes, home, or palaces of deities. 18. Devi/goddessDurga the Great Goddess in Hinduism is sometimes called Devi (Goddess) or Ma (Mother)19. Dharmaduty, righteousness, behavior alligned with cosmic order. 20. Dharma Shastras large treaties on what is dharmic behavior there are many such texts; they belong to the smriti (traditional/remembered) category a famous one is The Laws of Manu generally describe orthodox dharmic principles for the four classes. include descriptions of : cosmogony (creation of the cosmos); the duties of the classes; the four stages/goals of life; daily rituals, rights of passages, purity and pollution; and rules concerning the lives of women only followed rigorously by the most orthodox of Hindus. 21. dhyanameditation22. Divali/Diwalifestival of lights Lakshmi (Lady Luck) is celebrated during this festival23. Dravidiansoutherner/southern civilization24. Durga/Devi the Great Goddess in Hinduism sometimes just called Devi (goddess), or Ma (mother) depicted with many arms each wielding a weapon of the gods. multiple arms symbolically represents a deity's many powers/attributes in a renowned myth, she destroys a buffalo demon. she is also Shakti, the power that animates the entire cosmos all goddesses are considered to be merely aspects of Devi (Durga) 25. Dyaus-pitri sky god. pitri means father 26. forest-dweller third Stage of Life retirement from work and householder's life prescribed for grandparents; wealth is transferred to children one begins to read scripture and think about the meaning of life most Hindus do not retire to the forest. 27. Ganesha chubby, elephant-headed son of Shiva (a Great God) presides over obstacles; propitiated (worshiped) before and undertakings 28. Ganga/Ganges the river goddess depicted flowing down the hair of Shiva 29. Guruteaches students30. Hanuman monkey that helps Rama worshiped as a deity a model of the ideal devotee, serving Rama loyally 31. Harappamajor city centre of Hinduism in the Indus Valley Civilization32. henotheism each god when worshiped is elevated to the highest position. no clearly defined hierarchy among the deities. 33. Hindu individuals who practice Hinduism practice generally reflects their family tradition majority of Hindus live on the Indian subcontinent (c. 800 million)  tolerant of diversity in ideas about the nature of God/the Absolute also tolerant of diverse practices and pathways to the Divine dissolved tensions among theism, bhakti, renunciation, and liberation Hindus worship a huge assortment of deities in various ways and for various ends they may worship these deities regularly, henotheistically - especially during the deity's festival period.  34. Hinduism is the name for an assortment of beliefs and practices doesn't have a founder an umbrella term for a wide range of religious beliefs and practices. influences may cause an individual's beliefs and practices to change. 35. householder second stage of life marked by the marriage ceremony and beginning of work marriage is the most important rite of passage for men and women for women, it functions like their sacred thread ceremony marriages are generally arranged; should be within one's class/caste group (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, or Untouchable) during this stage, husband and wife pursue the next two goals (Kama [love/pleasure] and Artha [skill/know-how]) 36. Indra god of thunder and lightning similar to Zeus and Thor 37. Indus Valley Civilization Early Beginnings 2500-1500 BCE widespread culture, major city centres at Mohenjo-darm and Harappa archaeological evidence of "Hindu-like" practice. IVC probably trasnformed into Dravidian (southerner) civilization 38. jnaña yoga realization/liberation through transcendental knowledge regarded as a difficult path (suited to the intellectual temperament) some Vedanta philosophies promote this type of yoga (eg. Shankara's Non-dualism) 39. Kali black, naked goddess, with matted hair often regarded as a female counterpart of Shiva (in his destructive aspect) has a lolling tongue dripping blood wields a sword and severed human head often depicted standing atop Shiva (below her like a lifeless corpse) Kali is the dark side of things - not a negative darkness however symbolic of the power (eg. Time) which destroys all, even the cosmos 40. kalki tenth avatar of Vishnu still to come 41. kama second goal of life love/pleasure (erotic, sensual); spouse, in-laws; children love in many dimensions 42. karma a moral principle of "cause and effect" it is not presided over by a deity, but exists independently karma determines our present and future circumstances class, appearance, dispositions, and experiences are all caused by karma each thought, word, deed plants a seed for future karma each thought word, deed is the fruit of a karmic seed planted earlier good seeds lead to good karmic effects; bad seeds lead to bad karma karmic seeds may be dormant for long periods, fruiting after many lifetimes ignorance of the nature of ourselves and reality leads us to karmic error we are stuck in samsaric (constant rebirths), ruled by karma, prone to suffering 43. karma yoga liberation through action (karma) traditionally karmic action meant doing one's caste duties, doing rituals, etc. original objective of action was a good rebirth on earth or heaven (not moksha) the Bhagavad-Gita shifted emphasis and outcome to moksha (self-realization) it teaches that moksha is possible through ritual dharmic action this supported priestly orthodoxy  but karmic action could also mean, doing any of life's regular activities the key is "non-attachment to the fruits (or outcomes) of action" renunciation was an attitude to action, not necessarily the rejection of life one could be a student, house-holder, or forest-dweller and be a renouncer 44. Kauravas the evil cousins to the Pandava princes denied the Pandava princes their 1/2 of the kingdom after a 13 yr. exile this leads to a terrible war between the two  the Pandava's win the war, thanks to Arjuna 45. Krishna Arjuna's friend and charioteer counsels Arjuna when he has his existential crisis most widely worshiped of Vishnu's avataras well-known as the teacher of Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita but also known for myths of his earlier life-story an irresistible flute-playing cowherd, who charms the village milkmaids (gopi) the gopis are symbols of the soul's yearning for the Divine worshiped on Holi, a spring festival of color; class distinctions are erased. 46. kshatriyakings, nobility, landlords47. Kumbha Melaworld's largest pilgrimage48. Lakshmi beautiful goddess clad in a red sari; consort of Vishnu (Great God) known as Lady Luck depicted atop a lotus flower; often with gold coins streaming from her hands symbold of fortune, luck, wealth, fertility ancient goddess worshiped during Divali (festival of lights) lamps invite Lakshmi into homes; firecrackers frighten away demons worshiped by all, especially the business community 49. lingaan erect phallus50. Mahatma Gandhi modern Indian leader exemplified a powerful interpretation inspired by the Gita, to fight (like Arjuna) against oppression Gandhi fought for India's independence from British colonial rule his approach was active, but non-violent (ahisma) resistance against oppression "do the right thing, without a psychological fixation on the outcome" this kind of action (karma) liberates you from bondage to all egotistical illusions Karma Yoga is also understood as "selfless action" includes charity, social work, voluntary service, etc. (eg. Mother Theresa) 51. mantrasacred sound or phrase used during concentration  during yoga52. marriage rite most important rite of passage for men and women during the second stage of life (householder) 53. maya a power of illusion (dependent on Brahman (absolute reality)) which keeps us deluded because of Maya, we don't know Brahman nor our true natures our ideas about the world are illusions (heavens, gods, etc.) our ego shapes our ideas about our selves (also illusion) our true self is the Atman (the self beyond all illusory ego formulation) to discover Atman is to attain moksha (liberation) 54. Mohenjo-daromajor city centre of Hinduism during the Indus Valley Civilization (2500-1500 BCE)55. moksha spiritual liberation or self-realization only discovering our true nature will grant us freedom/liberation (from karma and samsara [which gow tiresome and painful]; this freedom, which comes from self-realization, is known as moksha) self-realization (moksha) doesn't come from faith, dharma (righteous behavior), or even good karma (it is the result of freedom from all illusions about the selfand reality; such illusions may include beliefs in gods, rituals, rebirth, heaven, hell, etc.) different ideas about the nature of the true self, and Absolute Reality (Brahman) developed so did prescriptions about how to free oneself from illusion and gain liberation 56. non-dualism/monismBrahman proposed by Hindu philosopher Shakara/Sankara57. Pandavasfive brothers who are princes. fight with their cousins, the Kauravas (denied the Pandavas their 1/2 of the kingdom after 13 years of exile)Pandavas defeated the Kauravas in battle. Their tale is told in The Mahabharata58. polytheismbelief in a divine world of many gods and spiritual forces59. PrithiviEarth goddess60. puja Hindu devotional worship of deities at home or in a temple offerings of flowers, incense, a flame (arati), food, a prayer food offerings are regarded as bless while the outcome of yajña rituals is assured, puja is based on hope bhakti suggests a certain helplessness; it encourages selflessness deities are not obliged to respond 61. raja yoga Royal Yoga: an influential ancietn example of the path of knowledge.  objective is to silence utterly the mind and attain self-realization (moksha) 62. Rama The (Epic) Ramayana is about the tale of Rama, a prince, sent into exile with his wife Sita Sita is kidnapped by the demon Ravana who tries for a year to seduce her Rama is helped by the monkey Hanuman, and eventually kills Ravana Rama (incarnation of Vishnu) is worshiped as a deity. 63. Ravana demon who kidnaps Sita and tries to seduce her for a year is killed by Rama 64. rishi seers; semi divine sages Vedic scripture is composed by rishi 65. sacred-thread ceremonymarks the beginning of the four stages of life for a Hindu66. samadhi highest states of meditative absorption in the highest samadhi one is said to attain oneness with the true Self there is renunciation of attachment to any movement of thought 67. samnyasin/sannyasin fourth stage of life renouncer - prescribed, but not a common stage in this stage, one has one's death rituals performed. puts on a saffron coloured robe, takes a staff and begging bowl becomes a wandering seeker, renouncing all social ties and obligations seeks to attain the final and highest goal: moksha (release/liberation) 68. samsara worldy existence and the almost ceaseless rebirths within the cosmos the circumstances of worldly life and rebirth are controlled by karma 69. Sanksritcultured/perfected" Aryans language was Sanskrit 70. Sarasvati Brahma's (Vedic creator god) wife/consort/female counterpart goddess of creativity (the arts and learning) depicted with four arms, holding prayer beads, the Vedas, and lute particularly worships by students and educators 71. sat being/existence itself when conceptualized, Brahman (Absolute Reality) is: Sat (being/existence itself); City (Counsciousnesss itself/awareness); and Anada (bliss). 72. Shakti the power that animates the entire cosmos Durga/Devi - the Great Goddess 73. Shankara influential Hindu philosopher of radical non-dualism (advaita) also developed a formal monastic system or samnyasins (renouncers) renouncers belonging to formal systems are called swamis To Shankara, meditation ripens transcendental knowledge (jñana)74. Shiva one of the two Great Gods in Hinduism often depicted as a renouncer or a great yogi also associated with the destruction of social order possesses a third eye (wisdom eye) in the middle of his forehead the river goddess, Ganga (the Ganges), flows down his hair worshiped in the form of an erect phallus (linga) destroys the cosmos at the end of each cosmic cycle; the Destroyer has a bull as his mount/vehicle (vahana) 75. shruti divinely heard; revealed Vedic scripture is regarded as shruti 76. shudra the fourth class of Hindu Society servants, menial workers 77. Sita Rama's wife kidnapped by Ravana, who tries for a year to seduce her remained chaste and faithful is a model of the ideal Hindu wife worshiped as a deity 78. smriti traditional, remembered all other Hindu scripture (other than Vedic scripture) is regarded as smriti 79. Somasacred (hallucinogenic) plant80. student first stage of life formal "boarding school" education [12-24 yrs] with a guru the student begins to purse the first goal of life (Dharma [righteousness]) expected to refrain from sex girls traditionally learned at home from their mothers nowadays, most boys and girls go to public school 81. Surya the Sun chariot is pulled by 7 horses (one for each day of the week) 82. Swami Vivekanandra significant in introducing Hinduism to the West was a disciple of the eccentric Hindu saint, Sri Ramakrishna the Vedanta Society that Vivekananda started was very influential 83. the Bhagavad-Gita Song of the Lord conversation Krishna had with Arjuna  84. The Laws of Manu a famous Dharma Shastras belongs in the smriti 85. The Hahabharatathe tale of five brothers, the Pandava princes86. The RamayanaThe tale of prince Rama, sent into exile with his wife Sita87. The Rig Vita the oldest collection (has over 1000 hymns) the Vedas - four collections of eloquent hymns addressed to Vedic detities 88. twice-born upper three classes are known as twice-born (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas) 89. untouchables fifth class of Hindu Society barbarians/foreginers, offspring of mixed classes performed the most "ritually polluting" jobs (eg. cremating the dead) ritual poolution is believed to pass from impure to pure thus it made them "untouchable" to the purest Brahmins (first class of society - priestly, educated) "untouchable" = Dalits --> down trodden --> what they prefer to be called 90. Upanishads the philosophical text in Vedic scriputre are the Upanishads the Upanishads form the last portion (anta) of Vedic scripture philosophical speculations on Absolute Reality (Dharma) and the individual schools of philosophy based on the Upanishads are known as Vedanta 91. vahanamount/vehicle92. vaishya third class of Hindu society commoners, merchants, artisans 93. Vedantalatter part of the Vedas. 94. Vedasreligious texts95. Vishnu the other Gread god, besides Shiva; often depicted blue like the sky periodically incarnates (avatara) to preserve the cosmic balance; the Preserver has incarnated as a fish, a turtle, a boar, etc. the seventh avatara was Rama; the eighth was Krishna; the tenth is Kalki, still to come 96. yajñavedic sacrifice97. yoga pathway to moksha (self-realization) union, to yoke liberation philosophies, often with body-mind practices it describes various "limbs"  or aspects which need to be delvelped first, there is a moral basis (do's and don'ts). includes non-violence (ahimsa), non-stealing, truthfulness, self-study then, there are practices of posture and breath control. posture work is often highlighted in Western yoga studios. here in the spiritual objective, it is mostly ignored in favor of the physical ends finally, one moves to practices of concentration and meditation (dhyana). concentration may be on a sacred sound or phrase (mantra). the highest states of meditative absorption are known as samadhi. in the highest samadhi, one is said to attain oneness with the true Self. there is renunciation of attachment to any movement of thought both the path and the goal are sometimes known as Yoga.

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