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Hindu Morality
Hinduism #4
Paths to Liberation: 3 Yogas
 Bhagavad
Gita helps Hindus learn how to
achieve the ultimate goal of moksha
 In
the BG, Krishna describes 3 yogas (paths
or disciplines) that lead to liberation:
 Knowledge
 Devotion
 Action
The Path of Knowledge
 Stresses
search for spiritual knowledge & truth
 One
goal: to understanding that atman & Brahman
are one
 Since
the illusion of the world is powerful, there is
a need to train one’s mind using meditation
Concentrating & focusing the mind to control one’s
Helps go beyond the conscious self, be detached from
the world of illusions to see the nature of atman
Two techniques
 Mantra:
repeating a word, phrase or sound
 Mandala:
symbolic circle diagram representing the
universe or the self
Om or Aum
 The
most sacred & basic sound
way of saying the name of Brahman
 As
AUM, represents Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva
Path of Devotion
of a particular deity
One’s identity is tied to the
preferred deity, but doesn’t
exclude worshipping others
Path of Good Works
 AKA,
karma yoga
 Involves doing one’s dharma to the best of
one’s ability
 Dharma follows from one’s caste
 Are not to act in hope of earning good karma
 Stress on discipline, ritual action, moral
 Principle
of “doing no harm,” i.e., non-
 Everything
is a manifestation of Brahman,
to do harm to a living thing is to attack
Brahman, and therefore the self.
 Most
 Cows
Hindus are vegetarian.
are sacred in India in that they
symbolize “mother”
Laws of Manu
Hindu scripture governing one’s actions &
 Contains
instructions for living according to
one’s caste and following one’s dharma
 Themes:
importance of patience,
discipline, truthfulness, knowledge, living
according to the 4 stages of life
Family Life
 Men
& women have separate roles
 In
urban areas & Western countries, gender roles
less structured
 One
traditional aspect:
 Dowry,
money / valuables brought into marriage
by the bride
 (many
Hindu families pay or demand dowries,
even though it is illegal
Arranged marriages (friends, neighbours, matchmakers)
 Couple does not date, not left alone
 According to tradition, those who arrange marriages:
 Have greater wisdom about what it takes for a successful
 Know their children well
 Consider: character, education, caste, tradition, background
 Give the couple a say in what happens
 Love develops after marriage, not before
Traditional Roles in Hindu Society
Men’s Roles
Eldest male head of
Property passed down
from father to son
Only men may be
Brahman priests &
lead public worship
Women’s Roles
 Make
all decisions
about running the
 Take
charge of
participation in