World Religions Hinduism.txt

  1. Aryans
    Nomadic people who conqured the Dravidians
  2. Atman
    The eternal self or soul which is part of Brahman
  3. Avatars
    • The incarnation of a Hindu
    • deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form. There have been nine (an unfixed number
    • depending on the source) avatars of Vishnu with one yet to come
  4. Bhagavad Gita
    –Part of Smriti scripture

    –epic poem about Krishna appearing to the warrior Arjuna.

    –Part of the Mahabharata
  5. Brahman
    • –The Universe, of which everything is an
    • indistinct part. Our goal is to dissolve into Brahman (nirvana).
  6. Brahmanas
    • –Brahmin
    • Books

    • –Part
    • of Vedic/Shruti
    • scripture

    • –Several
    • ancient Hindu religious prose texts that express the philosophy of sacrifice
    • and comment on the Yajur Veda.
  7. Brahmins

    • –the
    • highest caste

    • One can only be released from the wheel by
    • becoming a successful Brahmin
  8. Darshan:
    • •Seeing
    • the deity.

    Experienced while worshiping images or idols
  9. Dharma
    –“the way”

    • individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law,
    • and sacred law. Determined by your karma
  10. Dravidians
    • –prehistoric
    • inhabitants of India who initially lived in Indus Valley and were later
    • conquered by Indo-Aryans. We don’t have their writings.

    • –Worshipped
    • gods of fertility
  11. Harijan
    • –children
    • of God”

    • –A
    • term that Gandhi used with reference to the untouchables. He was establishing a more charitable
    • attitude.
  12. •Jats:
    • Vocational sub-castes to
    • the major castes. Part of modern day culture
  13. Kalki:
    • –the
    • tenth and last avatar of Vishnu, messianic.
  14. •Kshatriyas:
    • –Warriors
    • and Nobles

    • –The
    • second highest of the four castes.
  15. •Law of
    • –law
    • of harvest, one will reap precisely as one sows, like a cosmic computer
  16. •Manusmriti:
    • –“laws
    • of Manu” (Manu being the first man) including caste laws, roles of men vs.
    • women, rights of passage
  17. •Mahabharata:
    • –a
    • sacred epic Sanskrit poem of India dealing in many episodes with the struggle
    • between the Pandava and the Kaurava families. Includes the Bhagavad-Gita.
  18. •Maya:
    • –Illusion
    • of reality apart from Brahman.
  19. •Moksha:
    • –Release. (the event itself, at death, which leads
    • to nirvana)
  20. •Nirvana:
    • –the oneness with Brahman-Atman which extinguishes
    • any sense of individuality and is attained after one is released from the cycle
    • of reincarnation.
  21. •Puranas:
    • –Legends. (i.e. stories of early avatars of
    • Vishnu) divided into 18 books

    • –smriti
    • scripture
  22. •Ramayana:
    • –story
    • of Rama, an avatar of the God Vishnu. He saves his wife from the demon Ravana
  23. •Reincarnation:
    • –Rebirth,
    • species and circumstance determined by Karma from previous lives.
  24. •Sadhu:
    • –an
    • ascetic holy man (monk).
  25. •Samadhi:

    • –the
    • experience of oneness with Brahman-Atman attainable in this life, which leads
    • to moksha
  26. •Samsara:
    • – the endless series of
    • births, deaths, and rebirths to which all beings are subject. AKA Reincarnation
    • or Wheel
  27. •Shruti:
    • –“what
    • is heard” Scripture containing primary revelation, or vedic
    • scripture, basically fixed for 2000 yrs.

    • –Vedas,
    • Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads
  28. Smriti
    –Post-vedic scripture

    • –Puranas,
    • Mahabharata, Ramayana, Manusmriti, Vishnusmriti, Tantras
  29. •Sudras:
    • –Servant caste: member of the lowest of the four
    • major castes of traditional Indian society.
  30. •Upanishads:
    –Sittings near a teacher” or “to sit down near”


    • –Ideas of reincarnation, identity between the soul
    • and Brahman, etc.
  31. •Vaisyas:
    • –Working
    • class. Third caste
  32. •Vedas:
    • –The
    • foundation of the Shruti. Derived
    • from Aryan scripture.
  33. •Wheel:
    • –Rounds
    • of rebirth. AKA reincarnation or samsara
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World Religions Hinduism.txt