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18 Cards in this Set

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Define and explain the Puja
Worship, freq. to Ganesha (to overcome obstacles) or Saraswati (goddess of learning). A form of extending hospitality. Includes the invocation, bathing of deity, addressing, offering, and bidding goodbye. Food=prasad; ingested by humans after being blessed by deity.
what? to whom? reason? food?
Define and explain Arati
Offering of lights to the gods. Light as a symbol of knowledge, bliss, closeness to gods.
Rough definition of Hindu?
Originally only a term for those living beyond the Indus River. Encompasses many different belief systems with some similar traits.
Info on Vishnu
Called Lord or Bhagavan, takes the forms of Ram and Krishna when appearing to mortals. Worshipped by Vaishnavas.
Info on Shiva
Called Mahadeva or Great God, worshipped by Shaivas.
Info on The Goddess
Called Devi or Ma, ("goddess" or "mother") worshipped by Shaktas.
Hindu concept of time
Cyclical and linear; cyclical dominates the seasons, rebirth, samsara, etc.
The cycle of the cosmos
Every 4,320,000,000 years, the universe is destroyed and recreated by the trimurti (three forms): Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer, Shiva the destroyer.
Specifics on the cycle of the cosmos
After Brahma creates the universe, it goes through 4 ages as Vishnu "maintains" the world or saves it when necessary. These ages grow progressively worse and progressively shorter until Shiva does a dance of destruction to end the universe.
The Ages of the cycle of the cosmos
First, Sat: a golden age. Next, three ages growing worse and shorter. Then, Shiva destroys the world which dissolves into an ocean. Vishnu sleeps upon that ocean until the universe is recreated.
The cycle of human life and rebirth
Called samsara and looked at as a place where one is trapped until they are liberated (Moksha). Humans can be reborn as animals, plants, other humans, and minor deities. The final goal is to escape samsara.
Karma?
The law that all actions have specific, appropriate effects. It is debated whether good behaviour can cancel one's bad karma.
Dharma?
Ordering one's life based on ethics, ritual, and law. Concerns the belief in the moral order of creation. Dharma instructs on how one should live, and assures good karma.
Moksha?
Liberation from samsara. Moksha is the final goal of human life and can only be achieved by Spiritual discipline known as yoga. Involves unending bliss and knowlede, freedom from desire.
Yoga?
Spiritual discipline, including chanting of deities' names, physical yoga, helping those in need, etc. The only way to achieve Moksha or liberation.
Veda?
"Body of knowledge." Hindus recognise the authority of the Veda along with other scriptures. In sanskrit (sacred language).
Info on Hindu India
Secular democracy threatened by right-wing Hindus. Largest democracy in the world (with nearly 1 billion people). Divided into states by religion during the Partition of 1947: muslim vs hindu. Language: Hindi (in N. India)
Define and explain Brahman.
Divine power and those mortals who wield it. Transcendent and immanent, constant, eternal, and found in everything. Takes the form of many gods for the benefit of humans because its usual state is beyond our comprehension.