Indian Religion Essay

1224 WordsNov 7, 20135 Pages
Indus Valley Civilization * ancient civilization in India along the west coast during 3500-1700 BCE * sites range from small to large villages, featuring sewer systems and running water * Some Hindus consider the IVC to be the origin of the Vedic religions Vedas * the root scriptures of Hinduism, originally composed as oral texts and transmitted for millennia * eternal according to Hindu tradition * revealed by ancient seers Rishi and compiled by the sage Vyasa * classified as revealed texts, shruti, “that which is heard” * composed in Sanskrit; cosmos very similar to that found in Greek mythology and ritual * can be translated as knowledge * four Vedas: * Rig : Hymns * Sama : Songs and Chants * Yajur: Sacrificial formulae * Atharva : Collections of miscellaneous prayers, spells, medicinal formulae * Four bodies/genre of literature: * Samhita : compilations of Hymns, songs * Brahmana : ritual commentaries * Aranyaka: “Forest Treaties” * Upanishads: “esoteric teachings * gods (devas) * Indra : chief of the gods, sky god * Agni : god of fire * Soma : the plant god * (Asuras : demons, anti-gods) Brahmin * refers to priests that were the highest class of the ancient Indian society * central to Vedic society, they memorized the Vedas and conducted rituals The four social classes - Ancient Indian society was organized into four social classes: 1. Brahmin (priests) 2. Warriors 3. Commoners 4. Servants Karma * A system of rewards and punishments attached to various actions, depending on the ethical impact of the action Samsara * the cycle of life through which the eternal soul wanders, bound and afflicted by karma Eternal soul (atman or jiva) * (atman) Hindus believe that all people have an eternal

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