wh chapter 4 section 1 notes

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  • 1.Section 1 Notes

2. Upanishads---collection of sacred texts Hinduism and Buddhism---both major world religions emerged in ancient India Unlike most major religions, Hinduism has no single founder and no single sacred text Grew out of overlapping beliefs of the diverse groups who settled India Hinduism has countless gods and goddesses and many forms of worship existing side by side All Hindus share basic beliefs 3. Brahman---all-powerful spiritual force of the universe Important Hindu gods--- Brama---the creator Vishnu---the preserver Shiva---the destroyer Each of these gods represent different aspects of brahman 4. Sacred Hindu texts---the Vedas and Upanishads Bhagavad-Gita---sacred poem that spells out many ethical ideas central to Hinduism 5. Atman---the essential self in every person Moksha---the ultimate goal of Hindu existence; union with brahman Reincarnation---rebirth of the soul in another bodily form Reincarnation allows people to continue working toward moksha through several lifetimes Karma---all the actions of a persons life that affect his or her fate in the next life People who live virtuously earn good karma and are reborn at a higher level of existence; those who do evil acquire bad karma and are reborn into suffering 6. Dharma---the religious and moral duties of an individual These duties vary according to class, occupation, gender, or age By obeying ones dharma, a person acquires merit for the next life The concepts of karma and dharma helped ensure social order by supporting the caste system 7. Ahimsa---belief in nonviolence To Hindus, all people and things are aspects of brahman and should therefore be respected Many holy people have tried to follow the path of nonviolence 8. Founded by Mahavira around 500 BC Jain teachings emphasized meditation, self- denial, and an extreme form of ahimsa To avoid accidentally killing a living thing, even an insect, Jains carried brooms to sweep the ground in front of their feet 9. Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha)---founder of Buddhism Buddha---means enlightened one 10. Four Noble Truths of Buddhism--- All life is full of suffering, pain, and sorrow The cause of suffering is the desire for things that are really illusions, such as riches, power, and long life The only cure for suffering is to overcome desire The way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path Eightfold Path---right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right contemplation 11. The first two steps of Buddhism involved understanding the Four Noble Truths and committing oneself to the Eightfold Path Next, a person had to live a moral life, avoiding evil words and actions Through meditation, a person might at last achieve enlightenment The final goal of Buddhism is NIRVANA--- union with the universe and release from the cycle of rebirth 12. Buddhism grew from the same traditions as Hinduism Both Hindus and Buddhists stressed nonviolence and believed in karma, dharma, moksha, and a cycle of rebirth The Buddha rejected the priests, formal rituals, and many gods of Hinduism He instead urged each person to seek enlightenment through meditation Buddhists also rejected the caste system, offering the hope of nirvana to all regardless of birth 13. Many men and women who accepted the Buddhas teachings set up monasteries and convents for meditation and study After the Buddhas death, some of his followers collected his teachings into a sacred text called the Tripitaka or Three Baskets of Wisdom 14. Gradually, Buddhism spread into two sects: Theravada Buddhism---closely followed the Buddhas original teachings. It required a life devoted to hard spiritual work. Only the most dedicated seekers, such as monks and nuns, could hope to reach nirvana. The Theravada sect spread to Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia Mahayana Buddhism---followed by ordinary people who worshiped Buddha as a god, and believed in an afterlife with heaven and hell. Mahayana Buddhism spread to China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan.