post 3 question about Hinduism


Sanatana Dharma

The Eternal Religion
(aka: Hinduism)



Et ics

Natural L w

Transcendental ealization

Cos ic Order

Soci l Welfare

The roots of Hinduism

Harappan Civilization:

  • Indus river valley archeological ruins
  • At least 4500 years old
  • The Great Pool

Ancient Images still a part of Hinduism today


Prefiguring Shiva

(from the Harappan civilization)

The roots of Hinduism

The Aryan Invasion Theory:

  • Outside invaders
    enter India from
    the northwest
  • Beginning 4000
    years ago
  • Bringing their
    culture & religion
    with them
  • A hotly debated theory!

The Vedic Tradition

Elements presumed to be of Aryan influence that continue to be a part of Hinduism today:

  • Sanskrit language
  • Vedic texts (composed in Sanskrit)
  • Patriarchal rule
  • Social class distinctions (caste) & the role of the priests (Brahmins)
  • Polytheism
  • Rituals & the Fire Sacrifice

The Vedas

  • First written around 1500 BCE
    but composed and transmitted
    orally long before then
  • “Heard” (shruti) by ancient sages
  • Four parts, developed over time:
  • Samhitas: hymns of praise in worship of deities (Rig Veda is oldest)
  • Brahmanas: directions for priestly performance of rituals
  • Aranyakas: “forest books” written by hermits
  • Upanishads: metaphysical teachings of spiritual masters (Vedanta: the end of the Vedas) (composed 600-400 BCE)

The Fire Sacrifice

  • Burnt offerings made to the gods through Agni (ignite), the god of fire
  • performed by the brahmin (priest),
  • Maintaining the cosmic order
  • through recreation of the original sacrifice made by the gods to create this universe
  • Purusha: the primal being dismembered by the gods out of which all was created

(Rig Veda 10.90)

Philosophy of the Upanishads

  • Spiritual instruction, focused on inner experience, as a path to realization and immortality
  • Brahman: The transcendent, all pervading, infinite and everlasting Ultimate Reality
  • Atman: that …