Hinduism - White Plains Public Schools

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After cremation the ashes are collected and usually scattered in water; the River Ganges is considered the most sacred place to scatter ashes ... (4) Judaism.
Hinduism World History/Napp “Hinduism is a collection of religious beliefs that developed slowly over a long period of time. Some aspects of the religion can be traced back to ancient times. In a Hindu marriage today, for example, the bride and groom marry in the presence of the sacred fire as they did centuries ago. The faithful recite daily verses from the Vedas. But Hinduism unlike religions cannot be traced back to one founder with a single set of ideas.

Of course, Hindus share a common worldview. They see religion as a way of liberating the soul from the illusions, disappointments, and mistakes of everyday existence. Sometime between 750 and 550 B.C., Hindu teachers tried to interpret and explain the hidden meaning of the Vedic hymns. The teachers’ comments were later written down and became known as the Upanishads. The Upanishads are written as dialogues, or discussions, between a student and a teacher. In the course of the dialogues, the two explore how a person can achieve liberation from desires and suffering. This is described as moksha, a state of perfect understanding of all things. The teacher distinguishes between atman, the individual soul of a living being, and Brahman, the world soul that contains and unites all atmans. When a person understands the relationship between atman and Brahman, that person achieves perfect understanding (moksha) and a release from life in this world. This understanding does not usually come in one lifetime. By the process of reincarnation (rebirth), an individual soul or spirit is born again and again until moksha is achieved. A soul’s karma – good or bad deeds – follows from one reincarnation to another. Karma influences specific life circumstances, such as the caste one is born into, one’s state of health, wealth or poverty, and so on.

Hindus today are free to choose the deity they worship or to choose none at all. Most, however, follow a family tradition that may go back centuries. They are also free to choose among three different paths for achieving moksha. These are the path of right thinking, the path of right action, or the path of religious devotion.” ~ World History

Identify and explain the following terms: Vedas Upanishads Moksha Brahman Reincarnation Karma Deity Caste

- How might the lack of a single founder result in Hinduism changing more over time than other religions?

- How has Hinduism influenced social structure in India?

- How are the Vedas and the Upanishads similar?

- How does the Hindu caste system differ from the American class system?

- What is the goal of life according to Hinduism?

P R I M A RY S O U R C E Thou art woman, Thou art man, Thou art the lad and the maiden too. Thou art the old man tottering on his staff: Once born thou comest to be, thy face turned every way! A dark-blue moth art Thou, green [parrot] with red eyes. Pregnant with lightning – seasons, seas: Thyself beginningless, all things dost Thou pervade. From Thee all worlds were born. ~ Svetasvatara Upanishad. IV. 3–4

- Explain the meaning of the passage.

|Caste |Moksha |Dharma | |- - Hindu ideas about|- With some exceptions, |- Together, the beliefs | |karma and |only men of the top |of Hinduism and its caste| |reincarnation |three varnas or castes |structure dominated every| |strengthened the |could hope to achieve |aspect of a person’s life| |caste system |moksha in their present | | | |life |- These beliefs | |- If a person was | |determined | |born as an |- The laws of karma |what one could eat and | |upper-caste male – a |worked with the same |the way in which one ate | |Brahmin, warrior, |certainty as the world’s|it, personal cleanliness,| |or merchant – his |other natural laws |the people one could | |good fortune was said| |associate with, how one | |to come from good |- Good karma brought |dressed, and so on | |karma earned in a |good fortune and bad | | |former life |karma resulted in bad |- Today, even in the most| | |fortune |ordinary activities of | |- However, a person | |daily life, Hindus turn | |who was born as a |- Moksha or liberation |to their religion for | |female, a laborer, or|was based on achieving |guidance | |an untouchable might |only good karma | | |be getting the | |- Dharma refers to the | |results of bad deeds |- Moksha is the end of |rules of each caste; a | |in a former life |death and of |Hindu must follow the | | |reincarnation |rules of his caste – a | |- Karma or deeds | |Hindu must follow his | |determined |- Hindus cremate the |dharma | |reincarnation |dead and burn the corpse| | | |on a funeral pyre to |- Dharma together with | |- An untouchable was |liberate the soul for |Karma determine | |an outcaste, |either reincarnation or |reincarnation | |belonging to no caste|moksha | | | | |- Hinduism is a religion | |- Untouchables |- After cremation the |and a way of life in that| |performed the lowest |ashes are collected and |it dictates what every | |jobs in society |usually scattered in |member in society can or | | |water; the River Ganges |cannot do | |- Today, |is considered the most | | |untouchability is |sacred place to scatter | | |illegal in India |ashes | |

For each term or name, write a sentence explaining its significance. • Dharma • Ganges River • Untouchability • Brahmin • Varna

Jainism “The same period of speculation reflected in the Upanishads also led to the rise of two other religions: Jainism and Buddhism. Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was born about 599 B.C. and died in 527 B.C. Mahavira believed that everything in the universe has a soul and so should not be harmed. Jain monks carry the doctrine of nonviolence (ahimsa) to its logical conclusion. They sweep ants off their path and wear gauze masks over their mouths to avoid breathing in an insect accidentally. In keeping with this nonviolence, followers of Jainism looked for occupations that would not harm any creature. So they have a tradition of working in trade and commerce. Because of their business activities, Jains today make up one of the wealthiest communities in India. Jains have traditionally preached tolerance of all religions. As a result, they have made few efforts to convert followers of other faiths. Because of this tolerance, Jains have not sent out missionaries. Almost all of the nearly five million Jains in the world today live in India.” ~ World History

For each term or name, write a sentence explaining its significance. • Jainism • Mahavira • Ahimsa • Actions of Jain Monks • Occupations that Would Do No Harm • Jain Views on Other Religions

- How far does the Jain respect for life extend?


|Perhaps the most distinctive marker |The word karma refers to | |of Hinduism as a religious |(1) Bad things that happen | |civilization is the ______system. |(2) Reincarnation | |(1) Varna |(3) The result of previous mistakes | |(2) Caste |(4) Action | |(3) Jati | | |(4) Shakti |The earliest sacred texts of | | |Hinduism are the | |The founding principle of Jain |(1) Upanishads. | |doctrine includes the universal |(2) Brahmanas. | |belief that all things possess a |(3) Aranyakas. | |jiva, a kind of______ that yearns to|(4) Vedas. | |be free from the prison of the | | |material world. |The second-ranking caste consisted | |(1) aura |of | |(2) love |(1) Priests. | |(3) soul |(2) Merchants. | |(4) being |(3) Nobles and warriors. | | |(4) Artisans. | |Reincarnation, karma, and moksha are| | |elements of the belief system of |“When I go to the office, I put on | |(1) Jainism |my shirt and I take off my Caste; | |(2) Hinduism |when I come home, I take off my | |(3) Buddhism |shirt and I put on my Caste.” | |(4) Judaism | | | |What is the main idea of this | |In India, the Caste system |quotation? | |determined a person’s occupation, |(1) the Caste system continues to | |personal associations, and marriage |influence Indian society | |partner. This situation shows that |(2) the Caste system has been | |the Caste system |reflected by most Indians | |(1) has helped eliminate ethnic and |(3) successful urban workers in | |religious rivalries |India belong the same Caste | |(2) has promoted social mobility |(4) the Indian government officially| |within Indian society |supports the Caste system | |(3) has been stronger in urban areas| | |that in rural areas |The caste system in India was | |(4) has been a way of life as well |characterized by: | |as an element of religion |(1) toleration for various religious| | |beliefs | |Karma is |(2) equality between men and women | |(1) a person’s deeds |(3) a lack of social mobility | |(2) a person’s past lives |(4) the right of people to choose | |(3) a person’s liberation |their occupations | |(4) a person’s deities | | | | |

----------------------- - Vishnu grew to become a major Hindu god. He is seen here as the whole Universe in all its variety. He is blue, the color of infinity.

- Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu triumvirate (or Trimurti). The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Brahma and Shiva. Brahma is the creator of the universe and Shiva is the destroyer. Vishnu is the preserver and protector of the universe.