July 14, 2010
HUM400- Religion and Philosophy
Chapter 3- Hinduism
Review Questions (Pg. 118)
1. Describe major philosophical themes of Hinduism: Brahman, atman, reincarnation, karma, samsara, mokshia, Samkkhya, Advaita Vedanta, and Yoga. In Hinduism, Brahman is an unseen, all pervading reality also known as the Unknowable to the villagers in which they cannot see him, nor the tongue express, nor the mind can grasp. When the invisible or inner self, atman, merges with Brahman, they experience unspeakable peace and bliss. The rishis taught that the soul leaves the body and enters a new one called reincarnation, in which one takes birth again, either animal or of some other form, but self remains the same. Our actions and the consequences of our actions that can determine our future experiences in life is a related concept called karma that can follow us after physical death, affecting our next incarnation. The ultimate goal in Hinduism, not the creation of good lives by good deeds is a continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth called samsara to escape from the karma. To escape the continuous cycle of samsara, one was to achieve moska, a liberation from the limitations of space, time and matter through realization of immortal Absolute. The Samkhya system is a major Hindu philosophical system in which human suffering is characterized as stemming from the false confusion of Prakriti with Purusha, the eternal Self. In Samkhaya Hindunphilosophy, Prakriti was the cosmic substance and Purusha was the eternal Self. While Samkhya was a dualistic system, Advaita Vedanta was a non-dualistic system that is monistic, positing a single reality, based on the Upanishads, which is the philosophical part of the Vedas in Hinduism, intended only for the serious seekers. The people of the Indian subcontinent practiced spiritual disciplines designed to clear the mind and increase the sattvic qualities that refers to the union with the true Self called yoga. 2. Describe major Hindu ritual practices: Brahmins, Vishnu, Siva, the Mother Goddess, Tantras, women’s roles, lingams, Rama, Krisha, puju, darsan, Prasad. Rituals worships are called puja are performed by the Brahmin priests who are trained in Vedic practices and in proper recitation of Sanskirt texts that conducts worship ceremonies in which the sacred presence is made tangible through devotions employing al the senses. People that are spiritually devoted to their rituals receives the blessings of visual contact with the divine called darsan through the eyes of the images. The food that has been sanctified by being offered to the deities and one’s guru is Prasad which is passed around to be eaten by those devoted spiritually, who experience it as sacred and spiritually charged. Siva is the Lord of the dance, trampling on the demon he has killed, reconciling darkness and light, good and evil, creation and destruction, rest and activity in the eternal dance of life. Siva is also the god of yogis, for he symbolizes asceticism. Vishnu is beloved as the merciful Supreme deity that has appeared in many earthly incarnations, some of them in animal forms. One of Vishnu earthly incarnation was Rama, a Hindu prince of the epic play of good and evil called Ramayana. Krishma can take on many forms as a god. If Krishma is the transcendant Supreme Lord, the wotshiper lower himself or herself, Krishma, the master, devotee, the servant, Krishma, loved as a child, devotee takes the role of the parent, Krishma, the beloved, devotee is his liver. Tantras are sacred texts that instructs worshipers how to honor the feminine divine, and lingams are the cylindrical stones in sculptured form that represents the unmanifestation of Siva. The Mother Goddess is worshipped by Sakta- a Hindu worshiper of the female aspect of the deity. Women plays a big role in Hinduism as well as being major contributors to good earthly life which includes order of society called dharma,...
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