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Hinduism : Unity and diversity
-Has no single founder, and no single sacred text
-Religion started when the Aryans blended with the Indus valley people
-Hinduism is one of the world's most complex religions
-many Gods, and many forms of worship
Many gods-or one?
by the late Vedic age, Hindu thinkers came to believe that everything in the universe was
part of a unchanging, all powerful spiritual force called Brahman
-Most important Hindu Gods:
-Brahman- the creator
-Vishnu- the preserver
-Shiva- the destroyer
*each represents aspects of the Brahman*
The Goal of life:
Every Hindu has an essential self called atman (really just another name for Brahman)
-The ultimate goal of existence is to achieve Moksha (union) with Brahman
In order to accomplish this:
-Individuals must free themselves from selfless desires
-reincarnation-rebirth of the soul in another bodily form
-allows people to work towards Moksha through several lifetimes
Karma and Dharma
Come closer to achieving Moksha by obeying the law of Karma
-refers to all the actions in a person's life that will affect his/her fate in the next life
To Hindus, all existence is ranked:
-Humans are the closest to Brahman then comes animals, plants, and objects like rocks
and water
Live a good life, earn good Karma=rebirth into a higher level of existence
Live a bad life= reborn into suffering
Dharma- the religious and moral duties of an individual
Duties depend upon a person's class, occupation, gender, or age
Ahimsa (non-violence)
-To Hindus all people and things are aspects of Brahman and should therefore be
Chapter 4 section 1 (Buddhism)
Gautama Buddha
-Born in 566 B.C. into a high ranking family from the Kshatriya caste
-Guatama left his palace to discover "A realm of life where there is neither suffering
nor death"
-Wandered for many years seeking answers from Hindu scholars and holy men
-Tried fasting, but only made himself ill
-One day he meditated under a tree, to understand the mystery of life
-Sat there for 48 days, evil spirits tempted him to stop his meditation
-Arose from his meditation knowing the truth of life, called himself the Buddha
(enlightened one)
Four Noble Truths
Stand at the heart of Buddhism
1. All life is full of suffering, pain, and sorrow
2. The cause of suffering is the desire for things that are really illusions, such as riches,
power and long life
3. The only cure for suffering, is to overcome desire
4. The way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path
Eightfold Path- Right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right
livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right contemplation
Nirvana- union with the universe and release from the cycle of rebirth
-Buddha emphasized morals and ethics such as honesty, charity, and kindness to all
living creatures
Shared Traditions
-Buddhism like Hinduism grew out of Vedic religious traditions
-Both shared the laws of Karma and Dharma, and Moksha
-Both believed in the cycle of rebirth
-Non-violence was also central to Buddhist tradition
How Buddhism differed from Hinduism
The Buddha rejected the priests, Formal rituals, and the existence of the many gods of
-Instead he urged every individual to seek enlightenment through meditation
-Also rejected the Caste system, offering Nirvana to all regardless of birth
Spread of Buddhism
After the Buddha's death, some of his disciples collected his teachings into a sacred text
called the Tripitaka or "Three baskets of Wisdom"