We will have two ten-minute breaks: at 7:30 - 7:40; and, at 9:00 pm - 9:10 pm. I will take roll at the beginning of class, Discussion, 10:00 pm, before you are dismissed at 10:15 pm.
PreBuilt Course Content
- Chapter 3: Hinduism
- Chapter 4: Jainism
- View the Other Preparation Materials
- View the lectures contained in the course shell
- Participate in the Discussion titled "Hindu Way of Life"
- Complete and submit the World View Chart Assignment
Week 2 Other Preparation
Week 2 Lecture 1
Pre-Built Course Content
REL212: The Origin of All Things, 3:37
Join Strayer professor Dr. Meg Rinck as she discusses the first column of the World View Chart: How a religion defines their view on the origin of the universe.
Week 2 Lecture 2
Please watch this video describing the Hindu Creation Story. This is a good example of the "Origin of All Things" column in your World View Chart.
Pre-Built Course Content
Please watch this video describing the Hindu Creation Story. This is a good example of the "Origin of All Things" column in your World View Chart.
C. Bring to class some of the music you listen to that reflects various perceptions of the sacred, or ultimacy. I can play a few examples and discuss how they reflect religion. You may also bring a few of your favorite songs that are not so obviously religious, but which raise religious issues.
D. "Beyond the Sound Bites:"
Each of you may find it instructive to identify a video, a news story, or bring an one article from a recent newspaper, magazine, or Internet story that reflects the roles of religion in modern society. A few students may present their articles to the class. The task will also serve as the basis for a preliminary discussion of the coverage of religion by the popular media.
Report: Christians were the most persecuted group of people in 2016 http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/12/31/report-christians-were-the-most-persecuted-group-of-people-in-2016/
Franklin Graham: Trump’s win was the result of God answering prayers http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01/08/franklin-graham-trumps-win-was-the-result-of-god-answering-prayers/
“First Time United States has appeared on List of Countries that Persecute Christians,” by Tim Brown, Freedom Outpost, January 5, 2017 http://freedomoutpost.com/first-time-united-states-has-appeared-on-list-of-countries-that-persecute-christians/
Fort Lauderdale Jihadi Esteban Santiago aka “AASHIQ HAMMAD”: “La ilaha illAllah”,“There is no God but Allah” http://pamelageller.com/2017/01/fort-lauderdale-jihadi-esteban-santiago-aka-aashiq-hammad-la-ilaha-illallahthere-no-god-allah.html/
De facto Religious Requirement for Immigration
12,587 Syrian Refugees Admitted in FY 2016: 12,486 Muslims, 68 Christians, 24 Yazidis
11 Christian Missionaries Crucified and Beheaded
Abortion Issue in VP Debate (hand-out)
Spencer: Mayor Undermines Police in Philadelphia Islamist Shooting
Spencer on Philly and Germany
As a follow-up to last week's religion news:
The Islamic State Boasts Of Its Bloody Ramadan
From Orlando to Bangladesh, the group is claiming that 5,200 people were killed or wounded in 'military operations' in one month
1. Illinois to Establish Islam as a Government Council
2. High Risk Detainee Released
Obama releases “HIGH RISK” Gitmo detainee Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman, “poses threat to USA”
3. Muslims Harass Women in Minneapolis
4. Muslim Refugee Held in Indecent Assault on 13 Year Old Girl in Massachusetts
5. Military Leader Fired for Calling Enemies "Radical Jihadis"
6. Two Muslims Plead Guilty
Two Muslims Plead Guilty of Plot to Kill Non- Muslims
7. Ohio Islamist Indicted
8. VA Muslim Charged Marking Targets to Attack for Islamic State
When discussing attack operations, JALLOH stated he knows such operations are “100 percent the right thing.” JALLOH then asked if CHS1 ever thought about targeted operations (targeted killings). JALLOH then identified a person by name who had organized multiple Draw the Prophet Mohammad contests in the United States. JALLOH provided the general location for this individual and described this individual as “evil.” JALLOH insinuated that this individual would be an ideal focus of a targeted attack because of his/her actions against the Prophet Mohammad.
A privileged young man, and the son of Caribbean immigrants who attended Boston's best high schools was picked to be on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, one of the most popular TV shows of the era. Ted Mack was similar to Simon Cowell who opened doors for talented amateur musicians as a gateway for a professional career. Mack's show was something like the X Factor of the day. At this time young Louis and his mother attended an Episcopal Church.
However, in 1955 he converted to Islam and is today the head of the Nation of Islam organization.
5:00 pm Post by Islamist 8:45 Cops Killed in Dallas
Nation of Islam leader
In Dallas, police officers were killed by a 25-year-old black man, who had showed interest in groups affiliated with the black separatist movement. He had “liked” Facebook pages for the founder of Nation of Islam and for the Black Riders Liberation Party.
Dallas Shooter's Islamic Alias micah-johnsons-alias-was-fahed-hassen
The Society of the Muslim Brothers (Arabic: جماعة الإخوان المسلمينJami'ah al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn), shortened to the Muslim Brotherhood (الإخوان المسلمون al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn), is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928. The organisation gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups such as Hamas with its "model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work", and in 2012 sponsored the elected political party in Egypt after the January Revolution in 2011. However, it suffered from periodic government crackdowns for alleged terrorist activities, and as of 2015 is considered a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
The Brotherhood's "most frequently used slogan" (according to the BBC) is "Islam is the Solution" (الإسلام هو الحل). Another well known slogan is
"God is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of God is our highest hope. God is greater!"
On the Brotherhood's green logo is emblazoned وَأَعِدُّواْ ("And prepare") - taken from sūrat l-anfāl ("spoils of war", the 8th "chapter" of the Quran). According to academic Khalil Yusuf its motto "was traditionally" "Believers are but Brothers".
According to The Washington Post, U.S. Muslim Brotherhood supporters "make up the U.S. Islamic community's most organized force" by running hundreds of mosques and business ventures, promoting civic activities, and setting up American Islamic organizations to defend and promote Islam. In 1963, the U.S. chapter of Muslim Brotherhood was started by activists involved with the Muslim Students Association (MSA). U.S. supporters of the Brotherhood also started other organizations including: Council on American–Islamic Relations North American Islamic Trust in 1971, the Islamic Society of North America in 1981, the American Muslim Council in 1990, the Muslim American Society in 1992 and the International Institute of Islamic Thought in the 1980s. In addition, according to 'An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,' the "Understanding of the Role of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America," and the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America is identified as the following:
"Establishing an effective and a stable Islamic movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims' causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims' efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic state wherever it is."During the Holy Land Foundation trial (which led to a conviction for sending funds to Hamas in 2008), several documents surfaced incriminating the Brotherhood in subversive activities. One (dated 1991) outlined a strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States that involved “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
In another, "Ikhwan in America" (Brotherhood in America), the author alleges that the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US include going to camps to do weapons training (referred to as Special work by the Muslim Brotherhood), as well as engaging in counter-espionage against US government agencies such as the FBI and CIA (referred to as Securing the Group). The documents have been widely publicized in American circles.
There are six identified members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration; in addition, Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's chief advisor, is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood as well.
Abedin "has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations."
Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At the age of two, Abedin moved with her family to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she was raised and lived until returning to the United States for college.
1. Arif Alikhan – Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
2. Mohammed Elibiary
– Homeland Security Adviser
3. Rashad Hussain – Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
4. Salam al-Marayati
– Obama Adviser and founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and is its current executive director
5. Imam Mohamed Magid
– Obama’s Advisor from the Islamic Society of North America
6. Eboo Patel
– Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships
Should Muslim Brotherhood operatives advise American leaders at the highest levels of the government?
"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
"Those who resist contemporary influences and affirm what they perceive as the historical core of their religion could be called absolutists. . . . They may encourage antipathy or even violence against people of other religious traditions (p. 18)."
Key Works in Religion
A Brief History of Religion (same as Geography of Religion below)
A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945, 14:24
Chapter 2: Indigenous Sacred Ways
Animism (from Latin animus, -i "soul, life") is the worldview that non-human entities (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or phenomena) possess a spiritual essence.
Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of some indigenous tribal peoples, especially prior to the development of organized religion. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The Animistic perspective is so fundamental, mundane, everyday and taken-for-granted that most animistic indigenous people do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" (or even "religion"); the term is an anthropological construct rather than one designated by the people themselves.
Sir Edward Tylor was responsible for forming the definition of Animism currently accepted in anthropology.
Largely due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether Animism refers to a broad religious belief or to a full-fledged religion in its own right. The currently accepted definition of Animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first".
Animism encompasses the belief that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in some other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows. Animism thus rejects Cartesian dualism. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology. Examples of Animism can be found in forms of Shinto, Serer, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology, Jainism, Paganism, and Neopaganism. Some members of the non-tribal world also consider themselves animists (such as author Daniel Quinn, sculptor Lawson Oyekan, and many Neopagans).
The term Animism appears to have been first developed as Animismus by German scientist Georg Ernst Stahl, circa 1720, to refer to the "doctrine that animal life is produced by an immaterial soul." The actual English language form of Animism, however, can only be attested to 1819. The term was taken and redefined by the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor in his 1871 book Primitive Culture, in which he defined it as "the general doctrine of souls and other spiritual beings in general." According to Tylor, Animism often includes "an idea of pervading life and will in nature"; i.e., a belief that natural objects other than humans have souls. This formulation was little different from that proposed by Auguste Comte as fetishism.
As a self-described "confirmed scientific rationalist", Tylor believed that animistic beliefs were "childish" and typical of "cognitive underdevelopment", and that it was therefore common in "primitive" peoples such as those living in hunter gatherer societies. In fact, Tylor based his theory of Animism on his experience of modern seances thereby constructing a model of 'primitive thought' (of which he had no first hand experience) from his first-hand knowledge of spiritualism. Stringer (1999) notes that his reading of Primitive Culture led him to believe that Tylor was far more sympathetic in regard to “primitive” populations than many of his contemporaries, and that Tylor expressed no belief that there was any difference between the intellectual capabilities of “savage” people and westerners. To Tylor, the fundamental distinction between western and “primitive” cultures was education; and education was a social-cultural evolutionary process that produced differing levels of sophistication, or “progress,” in different places.
A tableau presenting figures of various cultures filling in mediator-like roles, often being termed as "shaman" in the literature.
There is ongoing disagreement (and no general consensus) as to whether Animism is merely a singular, broadly encompassing religious belief or a worldview in and of itself, comprising many diverse mythologies found worldwide in many diverse cultures. This also raises a controversy regarding the ethical claims Animism may or may not make: whether Animism ignores questions of ethics altogether or, by endowing various non-human elements of nature with spirituality or personhood, in fact promotes a complex ecological ethics. In modern usage, the term is sometimes used improperly as a catch-all classification of "other world religions" alongside major organized religions.
CharacteristicsTylor argued that Animism consisted of two unformulated propositions; all parts of nature had a soul, and these souls are capable of moving without requiring a physical form. This gives rise to fetishism, the worship of visible objects as powerful, spiritual beings. The second proposition was that souls are independent of their physical forms. It gives rise to 'spiritism', the worship of the souls of the dead and the unseen spirits of the heavens. Others such as Nurit Bird-David, associate Animism with various aspects of shamanism.
Fetishism/totemismIn many animistic world views, the human being is often regarded as on a roughly equal footing with other animals, plants, and natural forces. Therefore, it is morally imperative to treat these agents with respect. In this world view, humans are considered a part of nature, rather than superior to, or separate from it.
Totemism (or fetishism) includes one or more of several features, such as the mystic association of animal and plant species, natural phenomena, or created objects with unilineally related groups (lineages, clans, tribes, moieties, phratries) or with local groups and families; the hereditary transmission of the totems (patrilineal or matrilineal); group and personal names that are based either directly or indirectly on the totem; the use of totemistic emblems and symbols; taboos and prohibitions that may apply to the species itself or can be limited to parts of animals and plants (partial taboos instead of partial totems); and a connection with a large number of animals and natural objects (multiplex totems) within which a distinction can be made between principal totems and subsidiary ones (linked totems).
Ancestor reverenceMany animistic cultures observe some form of ancestor reverence. Whether they see the ancestors as living in an other world, or embodied in the natural features of this world, animists often believe that offerings and prayers to and for the dead are an important facet of maintaining harmony with the world of the spirits.
ShamanismA shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing. Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment.
Distinction from pantheismAnimism is not the same as pantheism, although the two are sometimes confused. Some religions are both pantheistic and animistic. One of the main differences is that while animists believe everything to be spiritual in nature, they do not necessarily see the spiritual nature of everything in existence as being united (monism), the way pantheists do. As a result, Animism puts more emphasis on the uniqueness of each individual soul. In pantheism, everything shares the same spiritual essence, rather than having distinct spirits and/or souls. Additionally, Pantheism posits a source of this "monism". This source may or may not have agency. In contrast, in Animism, the soul or essence or spirit of objects and living things are novel and separate from the whole, while still seen as irrevocably intertwined with one another in a community.
Examples of animist traditions
- Shinto, the traditional religion of Japan, is highly animistic. In Shinto, spirits of nature, or kami, are believed to exist everywhere, from the major (such as the goddess of the sun), which can be considered polytheistic, to the minor, which are more likely to be seen as a form of Animism.
- Many traditional beliefs in the Philippines still practised to an extent today are animist and spiritist in origin in that there are rituals aimed at pacifying malevolent spirits or are apotropaic in nature.
- There are some Hindu groups which may be considered animist. The coastal Karnataka has a different tradition of praying to spirits (see also Folk Hinduism). Likewise a popular Hindu ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, India is the Tabuh Rah blood offering to Theyyam gods, despite being forbidden in the Vedic philosophy of sattvic Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, Theyyam deities are propitiated through the cock sacrifice where the religious cockfight is a religious exercise of offering blood to the Theyyam gods.
- Mun, (also called Munism or Bongthingism) is the traditional polytheistic, animist, shamanistic, and syncretic religion of the Lepcha people.
- Many traditional Native American religions are fundamentally animistic. See, for example, the Lakota Sioux prayer Mitakuye Oyasin. The Haudenausaunee Thanksgiving Address, which can take an hour to recite, directs thanks towards every being - plant, animal and other.
- The New Age movement commonly demonstrates animistic traits in asserting the existence of nature spirits.
- Some Neopagan groups, including Eco-Pagans, describe themselves as animists, meaning that they respect the diverse community of living beings and spirits with whom humans share the world/cosmos.
Chapter 3 Hinduism
Please watch this video describing the Hindu Creation Story. This is a good example of the "Origin of All Things" column in your World View Chart.
It appears to be earth goddesses and figures of a man seated cross-legged, who has been interpreted as predecessor of the god Shiva.
What is Hinduism? 4:16
Short video created using powtoon, that explains the basics of the religion Hinduism, its founder and origin, the gods of Hinduism, and basic definitions for beliefs like karma.
Hinduism is the dominant religion, or way of life, of the Indian subcontinent, and consists of many diverse traditions. It includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism among numerous other traditions, and a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a categorisation of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.
Ganesha (origin story), 2:56
Mangal Mahadev, 108-foot statue of Shiva at Ganga Talao, Mauritius
Shaivism or Saivism is one of the four most widely followed sects of Hinduism, which reveres the God Shiva as the Supreme Being.
What is Shaivism? 4:21
Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath explains in simple words about Shaivism to his USA based students.
The so-called Shiva Pashupati seal, Indus Valley civilization.
Learn how to identify the Hindu deity Shiva and hear a story related to a depiction of Shiva in the Asian Art Museum's collection. Learn more about Shiva on education.asianart.org.
Vaishnavism is focused on the veneration of Vishnu. Vaishnavites, or the followers of the Vishnu, lead a way of life promoting monotheism, which gives importance to Vishnu and his ten incarnations.
UNVEILING VAISHNAVISM, 5:01
Unveiling Vaishnavism is the story of a faith propagated by 15th century saint Shankardeva. His ideals are being followed by a huge section of people the world over. This film written, produced and directed by Manjit Kr. Sarma for Assam Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. in 2008 is an effort to highlight vaishnavism in Assam. C&P ATDC Ltd. & A&M Associates, Guwahati Phone: +91-0-9957098415 E-mail: email@example.com
Shaktism or Shaktidharma (Sanskrit: Śāktaṃ, शाक्तं; lit., 'doctrine of power' or 'doctrine of the Goddess') is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead.
Western scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no single founder. This "Hindu synthesis" emerged around the beginning of the Common Era, and co-existed for several centuries with Buddhism, to finally gain the upper hand in most royal circles during the 8th century CE.
Ritualized worship, or puja, can be done at home or at a temple under the leadership of a brahmin. One may adore one’s chosen deity as parent or child, friend or lover.
Hindu practices include daily rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Select group of ascetics leave the common world and engage in lifelong ascetic practices to achieve moksha.
Growing tolerance for difference broadened the number of methods permitted for pursuit of the highest goal, mukti. When meditation and study proved too complex for some people, bhakti, the devotional yoga, was launched.
Valmiki, a contemporary of Rama, composes the Ramayana.
Hindu texts are classified into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna and agamic rituals and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas, Upanishads (both Śruti), Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Manusmṛti, and Agamas (all smriti).
The four original Vedas are attributed to brahmins (priests) and consist mainly of creation myths, prayers, hymns, and spells directed to the Aryan pantheon.
The Mahabharata (Great Story of Bharat/India), world’s longest known poem, centers around a struggle for temporal power between a good family and its evil cousins. Embedded within one chapter is the Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord), the most beloved and frequently translated Hindu scripture in the world.
The Hindu deities Vishnu and Krishna, 3:28
Learn about the Hindu deity Vishnu and his avatar Krishna, and hear a story about Krishna defeating the serpent Kaliya. Learn more about Hindu deities on education.asianart.org.
Is religion characterized by violence?
Krishna Battlefield Advice to Arjuna
Krishna and Arjuna
Thou seest Me as Time who kills, Time who brings all to doom, The Slayer Time, Ancient of Days, come hither to consume; Excepting thee, of all these hosts of hostile chiefs arrayed, There stands not one shall leave alive the battlefield! Dismayed No longer be! Arise! obtain renown! destroy thy foes! Fight for the kingdom waiting thee when thou hast vanquished those. By Me they fall--not thee! the stroke of death is dealt them now, Even as they show thus gallantly; My instrument art thou! Strike, strong-armed Prince, at Drona! at Bhishma strike! deal death On Karna, Jyadratha; stay all their warlike breath! 'Tis I who bid them perish! Thou wilt but slay the slain; Fight! they must fall, and thou must live. Bhagavad Gita 11:32
Krishna displays his Vishvarupa (Universal Form) to Arjuna on the battlefield.
In Bhagavad Gita, for example, God is the sole repository of Gunas (attributes) also as:
His hands and feet are everywhere, He looks everywhere and all around,Is religion characterized by violence?
His eyes, ears and face point to all directions, and all the three worlds are surrounded by these.
Though militant Islam came to Indian subcontinent in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders and the military conquest of Sindh, it started to become a major religion during the later Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent as Muslims killed more Hindus.
During this period Buddhism declined rapidly and large number of Hindus converted to Islam.
Numerous Muslim rulers or their army generals such as Aurangzeb and Malik Kafur destroyed Hindu temples and persecuted non-Muslims.
In many ways, the British settled the religious violence between Muslims and Hindus on the divided sub-continent.
With the onset of the British Raj, the colonization of India by the British, there also started a Hindu renaissance in the 19th century, which profoundly changed the understanding of Hinduism in both India and the west. Indology as an academic discipline of studying Indian culture from a European perspective was established in the 19th century, led by scholars such as Max Müller and John Woodroffe.
They brought Vedic, Puranic and Tantric literature and philosophy to Europe and the United States. Western orientalist searched for the "essence" of the Indian religions, discerning this in the Vedas, and meanwhile creating the notion of "Hinduism" as a unified body of religious praxis and the popular picture of 'mystical India'. This idea of a Vedic essence was taken over by Hindu reform movements as the Brahmo Samaj, which was supported for a while by the Unitarian Church, together with the ideas of Universalism and Perennialism, the idea that all religions share a common mystic ground. This "Hindu modernism", with proponents like Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan, became central in the popular understanding of Hinduism.
Swami Vivekananda was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and USA, raising interfaith awareness and making Hinduism a world religion.
"Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) is a figure of great importance in the development of a modern Hindu self-understanding and in formulating the West's view of Hinduism." Central to his philosophy is the idea that the divine exists in all beings, that all human beings can achieve union with this "innate divinity", and that seeing this divine as the essence of others will further love and social harmony. According to Vivekananda, there is an essential unity to Hinduism, which underlies the diversity of its many forms. According to Flood, Vivekananda's vision of Hinduism "is one generally accepted by most English-speaking middle-class Hindus today."
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was "one of India's most erudite scholars to engage with western and Indian philosophy". He sought to reconcile western rationalism with Hinduism, "presenting Hinduism as an essentially rationalistic and humanistic religious experience." According to Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan,
Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that cannot be defined, but is only to be experienced.
Influential 20th-century Hindus were Ramana Maharshi, B.K.S. Iyengar, Paramahansa Yogananda, Prabhupada (founder of ISKCON), Sri Chinmoy, Swami Rama and others who translated, reformulated and presented Hinduism's foundational texts for contemporary audiences in new iterations, raising the profiles of Yoga and Vedanta in the West and attracting followers and attention in India and abroad.
In the 20th century, Hinduism also gained prominence as a political force and a source for national identity in India. With origins traced back to the establishment of the Hindu Mahasabha in the 1910s, the movement grew with the formulation and development of the Hindutva ideology in the following decades; the establishment of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925; and the entry, and later success, of RSS offshoots Jana Sangha and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in electoral politics in post-independence India. Hindu religiosity plays an important role in the nationalist movement.
Vedic Hinduism: World's Most Ancient Religion of the world - TIMELINEConcept of God
Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others; and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.
The Nasadiya Sukta (Creation Hymn) of the Rig Veda is one of the earliest texts which "demonstrates a sense of metaphysical speculation". It says:
Who really knows?The same hymn also speaks of "The One":
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Then there was neither death nor immortalityMost Hindus believe that the spirit or soul – the true "self" of every person, called the ātman — is eternal. According to the monistic/pantheistic theologies of Hinduism (such as Advaita Vedanta school), this Atman is ultimately indistinct from Brahman, the supreme spirit. Hence, these schools are called non-dualist. The goal of life, according to the Advaita school, is to realise that one's ātman is identical to Brahman, the supreme soul. The Upanishads state that whoever becomes fully aware of the ātman as the innermost core of one's own self realises an identity with Brahman and thereby reaches moksha (liberation or freedom).
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.
At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.
The schools of Vedanta and Nyaya states that karma itself proves the existence of God. Nyaya being the school of logic, makes the "logical" inference that the universe is an effect and it ought to have a creator.
Krishna, the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu or Svayam bhagavan, worshiped across a number of traditions.
Dualistic schools (see Dvaita and Bhakti) understand Brahman as a Supreme Being who possesses personality, and they worship him or her thus, as Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, or Shakti, depending upon the sect. The ātman is dependent on God, while moksha depends on love towards God and on God's grace. When God is viewed as the supreme personal being (rather than as the infinite principle), God is called Ishvara ("The Lord"), Bhagavan ("The Auspicious One") or Parameshwara ("The Supreme Lord"). However interpretations of Ishvara vary, ranging from non-belief in Ishvara by followers of Mimamsakas, to identifying Brahman and Ishvara as one, as in Advaita. In the majority of traditions of Vaishnavism he is Vishnu, God, and the text of Vaishnava scriptures identify this Being as Krishna, sometimes referred to as svayam bhagavan. However, under Shaktism, Devi or Adi parashakti is considered as the Supreme Being and in Shaivism Shiva is considered Supreme.
The multitude of devas are viewed as avatars of the Brahman. In discussing the Trimurti, Sir William Jones states that Hindus "worship the Supreme Being under three forms — Vishnu, Siva, Brahma...The fundamental idea of the Hindu religion, that of metamorphoses, or transformations, is exemplified in the Avatars.
Atheistic doctrines dominate Hindu schools like Samkhya and Mimamsa. The Samkhyapravachana Sutra of Samkhya argues that the existence of God (Ishvara) cannot be proved and hence cannot be admitted to exist. Samkhya argue that an unchanging God cannot be the source of an ever changing world. It says God was a necessary metaphysical assumption demanded by circumstances. Proponents of the school of Mimamsa, which is based on rituals and orthopraxy states that the evidence allegedly proving the existence of God was insufficient. They argue that there is no need to postulate a maker for the world, just as there is no need for an author to compose the Vedas or a God to validate the rituals. Mimamsa considers the Gods named in the Vedas have no existence apart from the mantras that speak their names. To that regard, the power of the mantras is what is seen as the power of Gods.
Concept of God in Hinduism, 3:08
Hindu Students Association and Hinduism Today, brings you series of videos to educate Hindus, and non-Hindus on basics of Hinduism. It is our intentions to make this videos brief, and easy to digest.
The goal is to assist young Hindu's learn about Hinduism, and to dis-spell common misconception about Hinduism
This first video addresses the question, "Why does Hinduism have so many Gods?" A quick answer to this question is very simple, it goes, "Hindus all believe in one Supreme God who created the universe. She (or He, OR whatever your experience makes you see the supreme reality as) is all-pervasive. She created many Gods, highly advanced spiritual beings, to be Her helpers." From What is Hinduism? by Editors of Hinduism Today
Swami Bodhinatha Veylanswami :
The narrator of the video is Swami Bodhinatha Veylanswami. Swami Bodhinatha Veylanswami is a 163rd preceptor of the Nandinatha Sampradaya's, Kailasa Parampara.
Most of the year finds him on the island of Kauai, where he oversees the varied publications of Himalayan Academy and serves as publisher of the international magazine, Hinduism Today. At the 458-acre monastery-temple complex, he trains the younger monks in both their service duties and their spiritual practices, and guides the lives of hundreds of families around the globe. Bodhinatha is actively immersed in a series of educational projects and international seminars that focus on bringing spiritual instruction to Hindu youth.
Hindu Students Association :
Hindu Students Association is a independent organization for the education and awareness of the Hindu religion for university/college students, graduate students and young professionals.
If you would like to have any of your question answered by us, please leave a comment, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information, views and commentary herein is provided by Hinduism Today and does not necessarily represent the gamut of opinions within Hinduism or those of the Hindu Students Association.
View of Human Nature
View of Good and Evil
Hinduism's Take on Evil and Suffering, 5:46
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami of Kauai's Hindu Monastery answers the first of five questions posed to a panel of diverse religious leaders at the Permian Basin's first interfaith gathering held at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Midland, Texas, on April 7, 2011.
This question: How does your faith help you understand evil and suffering?
View of "Salvation"
Are monks seeking salvation selfish? 3:17
View of After Life
The Hinduism Afterlife in Under One Minute, :53
Practices and Rituals
Hindu Temples, 5:02
Offerings to Agni during Vivah-homa in a Hindu wedding
The vast majority of Hindus engage in religious rituals on a daily basis. Most Hindus observe religious rituals at home. but this varies greatly among regions, villages, and individuals. Devout Hindus perform daily rituals such as worshiping at dawn after bathing (usually at a family shrine, and typically includes lighting a lamp and offering foodstuffs before the images of deities), recitation from religious scripts, singing devotional hymns, meditation, chanting mantras, reciting scriptures etc. A notable feature in religious ritual is the division between purity and pollution.
Religious acts presuppose some degree of impurity or defilement for the practitioner, which must be overcome or neutralised before or during ritual procedures. Purification, usually with water, is thus a typical feature of most religious action. Other characteristics include a belief in the efficacy of sacrifice and concept of merit, gained through the performance of charity or good works, that will accumulate over time and reduce sufferings in the next world. Vedic rites of fire-oblation (yajna) are now only occasional practices, although they are highly revered in theory. In Hindu wedding and burial ceremonies, however, the yajña and chanting of Vedic mantras are still the norm. The rituals, upacharas, change with time.
For instance, in the past few hundred years some rituals, such as sacred dance and music offerings in the standard Sodasa Upacharas set prescribed by the Agama Shastra, were replaced by the offerings of rice and sweets.
Occasions like birth, marriage, and death involve what are often elaborate sets of religious customs. In Hinduism, life-cycle rituals include Annaprashan (a baby's first intake of solid food), Upanayanam ("sacred thread ceremony" undergone by upper-caste children at their initiation into formal education) and Śrāddha (ritual of treating people to a meal in return for prayers to 'God' to give peace to the soul of the deceased). For most people in India, the betrothal of the young couple and the exact date and time of the wedding are matters decided by the parents in consultation with astrologers. On death, cremation is considered obligatory for all except sanyasis, hijra, and children under five. Cremation is typically performed by wrapping the corpse in cloth and burning it on a pyre.
Hindu Religious Practice 1/3, 9:36
The first part of a lecture by Dr Nick Sutton. Part of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Continuing Education Department's online initiative. www.ochs.org.uk/ced
Celebrations and Festivals
Hindu festivals can be like extended devotional services, although some are extremely playful and carefree. These vary tremendously according to occasion and regin, and the best advice for first-time participants is to observe the Hindus.
Festival of Durga, 4:04
Hindu festivals (Sanskrit: Utsava; literally: "to lift higher") are considered as symbolic rituals that beautifully weave individual and social life to dharma. Hinduism has many festivals throughout the year. The Hindu calendar usually prescribe their dates.
The festivals typically celebrate events from Hindu mythology, often coinciding with seasonal changes. There are festivals which are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Some widely observed Hindu festivals include:
In India, one of the most significant festivals is Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It's a fiveday celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps.
The festival of lights- Diwali, is celebrated by Hindus all over the world.
Sacred City of Varanasi, 3:21
Consider, in particular, the article for Week 2 about "secular" India.
Through this magisterial volume which she calls "the book of my books" Wendy Doniger, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest and most original scholars of Hinduism, enlarges our understanding of an ancient and complex religion. Comprising a series of connected essays, 'On Hinduism' examines many of the most crucial and contested issues in Hinduism, from the time of the Vedas to the present day: Are Hindus monotheists or polytheists? Is it possible to reconcile images of god with qualities (saguna) and without qualities (nirguna)? How can atheists be Hindu, and how can unrepentant Hindu sinners obtain salvation? Why have Hindus devoted so much attention to addictions, and why have they always been ambivalent about non-injury (ahimsa)? How have Hindu ideas about death, rebirth and karma changed in the course of history, and what do dogs and cows tell us about Hinduism? How and under what conditions does a pluralistic religion remarkable for its intellectual tolerance foster intolerance?
The book closes with short autobiographical essays in which Doniger looks back upon her academic career complete with its Orientalist heritage, self-critiques and controversies and talks eloquently and movingly about the influence of Hinduism on her own philosophy of life.
Drawing upon Doniger's writing over forty years, 'On Hinduism' is scholarship of the highest order, and a compelling analysis of one of the worlds great faiths.
Question 1 What does the word religion, probably derived from Latin, most likely mean?
the reality of souls a greater reality to tie back or tie again spiritual practice a collective consciousness
End of Question 1
Question 2. What common goal do all religions share?
A belief in a greater reality. A similar organized structure. An unaltered origin. A view of the world that can be perceived through the five senses. A sense of shared purpose.
End of Question 2
Question 3. Who are the believers that claim they worship the only true deity?
atheists agnostics exclusivists numinists universalists End of Question 3
Question 4. What is the intuitive ability to perceive spiritual truths directly beyond the senses typically called?
materialism intellectualism rationalism symbolism mysticism End of Question 4
Question 5. What is the discipline which seeks to understand and compare religious patterns from around the world known as?
transcendent religion non-theistic religion comparative religion universalism exclusivist authority End of Question 5
Question 6. Personal, non-institutionalized patterns of prayer, meditation, or direct experience of an inexplicable presence may be referred to as what?
spirituality ritual extrasensory perception religion subconscious connection End of Question 6
Question 7. What are religions that worship the deity in a singular form known as?
monistic polytheistic exclusivist monotheistic theistic End of Question 7
Question 8. Like religion, what other discipline searches for universal principles that explain the facts of nature?
agriculture literature science psychology history End of Question 8
Question 9. What theory proposes that scientific discoveries of the complexities of life are proof of the existence of a creator?
superstring Gaia metaphysics intelligent design nature End of Question 9
Question 10. What is another name for the symbolic stories that communities use to explain the universe and their place within it?
myths satires allegories proverbs models End of Question 10
Question 11. What is another name for the rare quality of personal magnetism often ascribed to founders of religion?
dogma animism reverence charisma phenomenology End of Question 11
Question 12. Which of the following is NOT an encounter with ultimate reality?
awakening oppression enlightenment self-knowledge gnosis End of Question 12
Question 13. What is the belief that sacred reality is one underlying substance known as?
monism universalism monotheism incarnism exclusivism End of Question 13
Question 14. Which of the following is true of scientific materialism?
Science and religion complement one another. Only the supernatural is real. Deities are supreme beings that exist outside of human beings. Mysticism is an important tool in gaining knowledge of the material world. Only the material world exists. End of Question 14
Question 15. How does the psychologist Carl Jung explain similarities among symbols in different cultures?
Geographic associations of the sacred are universal among cultures. Different cultures came into contact with one another through trade. Societies share the universal need to create order from chaos. Humanity has a collective unconscious from which it draws symbols. Symbols are logical associations with the natural world. End of Question 15
Question 16. What did the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believe about religion?
It is a universal obsessional neurosis. It is a surrender of the ego. It empowers women. It is a source of human guilt. It is a way of avoiding an unsatisfactory life. End of Question 16
Question 17. Which of these terms is the closest opposite to the term transcendent?
sacred immanent polytheistic incarnate monotheistic End of Question 17
Question 18. What is the appearance of sacred reality in human form known as? luminosity indivisibility monism incarnation invisibility End of Question 18
Question 19. Which of these terms is the closest opposite to the term monotheistic?
polytheistic theistic sacred agnostic monistic End of Question 19
Question 20. What is dogma?
A means to ultimate transformation. A system of doctrine proclaimed as absolutely true. An organized system that serves to bring people together for their common survival. A tool of religious oppression. A system of deep questioning.
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iH-121. Ravishankar and Beatles part of blast of Indian philosophy in American History, 3:40
The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (2001 Stereo Remaster), 2:17. this version highlights the Eastern musical influence.
The Beatles - "Love You To" and "Within You and Without You" are also Eastern influenced.
The basic tracks for "Within You Without You" featured only Harrison and a group of uncredited Indian musicians based in London. Producer George Martin then arranged a string section, and Harrison and assistant Neil Aspinall overdubbed the tambura. According to Prema Music, dilruba player Amrit Gajjar played on the track. Hunter Davies wrote that Harrison "trained himself to write down his song in Indian script so that the Indian musicians can play them." With "Within You Without You", Harrison became the second Beatle to record a song credited to The Beatles but featuring no other members of the group (Paul McCartney had previously done so with "Yesterday").
"Within You Without You" is the second of Harrison's songs to be explicitly influenced by Indian classical music (the first being "Love You To", released on Revolver the previous year). Harrison said "I was continually playing Indian [sitar exercises] called Sargam, which are the bases of the different Ragas. That's why around this time I couldn't help writing tunes like this which were based on unusual scales." The song is Harrison's only composition on Sgt. Pepper after "Only a Northern Song" was omitted from the album. Harrison wrote "Within You Without You" on a harmonium at the house of long-time Beatles' associate Klaus Voormann ("We were talking about the space between us all, And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion— never glimpse the truth").
"Within You Without You" was heavily influenced by George Harrison's interest in Indian music and Vedanta philosophy.
The song is mostly in Mixolydian mode or rather Khamaj thaat, its equivalent in Indian music.
The song, in the tonic (I) key of C (sped up to C# on the finished recording), is structured around an exotic Mixolydian melody over a constant C-G 'root-fifth' drone that is neither obviously major nor minor. It opens with a very short alap played by the tambouras (0:00-0:04), then dilruba (from 0:04) while a swarmandal is gently stroked to announce the pentatonic portion of the scale. A tabla then begins (at 0:23) playing a 16-beat tintal in a Madhya laya (medium tempo) and the dilruba plaintively backs the opening line of the verse (Bandish) or gat: "We were talking about the space between us all." The opening words "We were talking" are sung to an E-F-G-B♭ melody tritone interval (E to B♭) that enhances the spiritual dissonance sought to be evoked. Soon an 11-piece string section plays a series of unusual slides to match the Indian music idiom where the melody is often "played legato rounded in microtones, rather than staccato as in Western music." The instrumental after the second verse and chorus involves the tabla switching from the 16 beat tintal to a 10 beat jhaptal cycle.
As a pointed counterpoint to the verse echoes of ancient Vedantic philosophy ("wall of illusion" "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there") a sawal-jawab (musical dialogue) begins in 5/4 time between first the dilruba and Harrison's sitar, then between the full Western string section and Harrison's sitar, this tellingly resolving into a melody in unison and together stating the tihai that closes the middle segment. Gould describes Martin's strings as here making "their way through the bustle and drone of the Indian instruments with the slightly shaky dignity of a procession of sahibs in sedan chairs." After this, the drone is again prominent and the swarmandal plays an ascending scale, followed by a lone cello in descending scale that leads to the final verse in 16-beat tintal ("And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you") ending with the notes of the dilruba left hanging, until the tonal and spiritual tension is relieved by a muted use of canned laughter.
Pollack considers that there two likely interpretations of the use of canned laughter. The first is that the presumably xenophobic Victorian/Edwardian-era audience implicit in the Sgt. Pepper band and concert concept "is letting off a little tension of this perceived confrontation with pagan elements." The second holds that the composer is engaging in "an endearingly sincere nanosecond of acknowledgement of the apparent existential absurdity of the son-of-a-Liverpudlian bus driver espousing such other-worldly beliefs and sentiments".Two slightly different laugh tracks were used for the mono and stereo mixes. The laughter is slightly quieter than the instrumental track in the stereo version. However, it comes in more sudden and louder in the mono version.
Later in their career, the Beatles also recorded, "Across the Universe," which features Indian lyrics and musical influence.
At the Concert for Bangladesh the audience was so unaccustomed to hearing Indian music they totally misunderstood the beginning of Ravi Shankar's set.
Ravi Shankar Warm Up Concert for Bangladesh, :29
The Concert For Bangladesh - Bangla Dhun, 14:40
George Harrison - My Sweet Lord - Lyrics, 4:49
Kashmir, Led Zeppelin
The song is named after Kashmir, a region in the Indian subcontinent, disputed by Muslims but controlled by India.
Video: Caste, 1:37
Video: Union with God, 1:34
View the Other Preparation Materials
View the lectures contained in the course shell
Participate in the Discussion titled "Hindu Way of Life"
Complete and submit the World View Chart Assignment
The Two Minute Warning: Jainism and the Practice of Ahimsa, 3:53
Professor Andrea Diem-Lane narrates this film, partially based on an excerpt from Michael Tobias' moving book, Life Force, which provides a glimpse into Jainism and its ancient practice of ahimsa or non-violence.
Jainism arose in India in the 6th century BCE, an era of religious and cultural ferment that many scholars have labeled the axial age.
Jainism (//), traditionally known as Jain Shasan or Jain dharma (Sanskrit: जैन धर्म), is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of ahimsa—nonviolence—towards all living beings, and emphasises spiritual interdependence and equality between all forms of life. Practitioners believe that nonviolence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain liberation. Asceticism is thus a major focus of the Jain faith. The three main principles of Jainism are Ahimsa (Nonviolence), Anekantavada (Non-Absolutism) and Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness).
Jains accept the premise that all sentient creatures are subject to karmic forces and, thus, are capable of incurring both superior and inferior rebirths.
The five ethical principles are:
- Ahimsa: The radical vow of non-violence. All sentient beings have jiva and are thus capable of suffering. Those who intentionally perpetuate suffering subject themselves to negative karmic consequences.
- Satya: Truthfulness. More of than not, truth-telling mitigates the capacity for suffering.
- Asteya: Non-stealing. To steal indicates that one has given over to base desires; desire arises from ajiva, non-matter.
- Brahmacharya: Abstinences. Jains should resist desire and indulging in sensual pleasures. Laypeople should seek sexual relations with only their spouses, while monastics should abstain completely from sex.
- Aparigraha: Non-possession. Aparigraha is best described as non-attachment to physical things. One can own physical objects (though certain forms of monastic Jainism promote complete poverty) but must not become so attached as to allow the object to take possession of the owner. Accordingly, charity is a virtue too.
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