Hinduism - Day #2

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Lead me from the unreal to the real.

Lead me from darkness to light.

Lead me from death to immortality.


- Upanishads






DAY #2- HINDU SOCIETY, SYMBOLS AND WORSHIP

These are the Hinduism packet articles for discussion today.

  • "With Each Warm Embrace, A Guru Shares Her Message"
  • "In India, the Deity to Know"
  • "Discarded Hindu God Does Not Bless India's Water"
  • "When Hindus Brave a Big Crush for a Little Dip"
  • "India: Hindu Holy Men Say Ganges is Too Dirty for Sin"


The Hindu yoga- "Assignment" from last class: You were asked to look at two Hindu yoga. You'll be asked to discuss a specific type of Hindu yoga and ways it might be be applied to your life in pursuit of your goals.

Four Basic Hindu Yoga:

  • jnana - the way of knowledge
  • bhakti - the way of love and devotion
  • kama - the way of work/effort
  • raja - the way of meditation


The Four Stages of Hindu Life:

Defining terms: guru, sannyasin

Remember that the "Four Goals" we discussed were as follows:

  • dharma: duty

  • artha: participation

  • kama: pleasure

  • moksha: release

Consider how these goals are emphasized in the different life stages.

  • brahmacharya: student stage

  • grihasthya: householder stage

  • vanaprasthya: retired stage

  • sannyasin: spiritual pilgrim- ascetic


Caste System:

Defining terms: jatis, Vedas, Purusha

For a graphic and textual introduction to the caste system, check out this site. It also has useful information on the life stages.

You should be able to identify each caste and some of its prominent attributes.

  • Brahmins- "mouth," intellectual-priestly class

  • Kshatriyas- "arms," nobility-warrior class

  • Vaishyas- "legs," merchant-administrator class

  • Shudras- "feet," servant-laborer class

* Panchamas- "Untouchables"

How prevalent is caste in Hindu society today? How prevalent should it be?


The Hindu Pantheon:

Defining terms: Trimurti, avatars

The Hindu Trimurti:

  • Brahma
  • Vishnu
  • Shiva

The Hindu Pantheon has extensive written descriptions of the symbolism and roles of many influential deities. In addition, there are a series of links at the bottom to actual images.

Hinduism: Pantheon of Deities

Indian Heritage - Hindu Gods and Goddesses

DO THIS: Browse the on-line collections of the images described above. In addition to examining images of the three aspects of the Trimurti, select at least two other deities and attempt to understand their role and symbolism. Be sure that you can quickly refer to these and explain them if you are called upon.


HOMEWORK for Hinduism - Day #3

You should already have read through page 50 by this point. Please read pages 50 through 63 before Friday's class.

Complete the exercise above where you find images of Hindu deities. Be sure to have at least two of them bookmarked and ready to share.

Reminders: Both the Hinduism Blog Entry and Independent Assignment #2 are due on Thursday, September 25th. The Hinduism Essay Questions are due on Monday, October 6th. 

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Vergin published on September 17, 2008 8:00 AM.

Hinduism - Day #1 was the previous entry in this blog.

Hinduism - Day #3 is the next entry in this blog.

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