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world religion test 1
Religious Studies
Undergraduate 2

Additional Religious Studies Flashcards




What is Atman?
- when one achieves Moksha. When you come to the realization that Atman is Brahman you as a person literally dissolve.
What are the four primary castes in Hinduism? What is the significance of being one of the twice-born castes? Be able to describe a story from sacred literature that supposedly is the basis for the caste system.
Four castes
- Brahmin: relijus eleat, respomibal for teaching the vedas
- Ksh: maintaining order and maintaining a serein area
- Vais: merchants and business people
- Shudra: commoners, worker bees
*The top three were the only ones who were allowed to learn the vedas, they were twice born.

twice born is most likely a "camel throughthe eye of needle" story
What are the four stages of life (ashrama) for the twice born castes
• Student – Vedic learning from 8 – 12
• Householder – Marriage at 25
• Forest Dweller – when grandchildren are born
• Renouncer (seeking Samadhi)
. What are the four acceptable goals worth pursuing in Hinduism?
• Kama: pursuing material pleasures
• Artha: politics and economics (pursue power)
• Dharma: doing ones duty (people who want to follow their cast obligations)
• Moksha: liberated from the cycle of death and rebirth. Which is ultimate bliss
What are the four paths to liberation (salvation, moksha) within Hinduism? You will need to be able to give a brief description of each.
o Jnana Yoga- the path of knowledge: coming to the realization that your true self needs to be aligned with
o Bhakti Yoga- the path of love:
o Karma Yoga- the path or work: doing ones duty, obtain the ability to do duty's for duty's sake. Not because they want to be recognized as good.
o Raja Yoga- the path of physical discipline:
• Common thread is that it takes your mind and focus away from your finite self. To focus on the infinite self
What is the significance of the scorpion story when thinking about Karma Yoga?
He did his duty of saving the scorpion from drowning even though he had nothing to gain from it and even had something to lose because he kept getting stung but he did it anyways because that was his job
What are the six “Orthodox” Hindu schools of philosophy? You will need to be able to give a brief description of each.
•Sankhya,•Vedanta,•Raja Yoga, •Nyaya,• Vaishesheshika, •Purva- Mimamsa
• Sankhya
o Dualistic and atheistic system.
o Focuses on prakriti (matter) and purusha (soul or spirit)
o The main problem is ignorance (avidya).
o This system is attributed to Kapila, who is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana.
• Vedanta
o 3 different branches: Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita Vedanta, Dvaita Vedanta
o There are several forms of Vedanta, which differ on the relationship between Atman and Brahman.
o No dualistic: only one reality and that reality is brahamn
o We are all diluted by Maya: a force that causes us to think there are things others then Brahman
o Nirguna Brahman: god without attributes: very abstract, no attributes, simply ultimate reality,
• Raja Yoga
close to Sankhya
o Must separate mind form body
• This form of Yoga is closely allied to the Sankhya school of philosophy primarily because it is dualistic and focuses on liberating the mind from the body.
• Commonly attributed to Patanjali, who flourished in the 2nd century CE.
• Nyaya
o Knowledge and logic
o One of the lest followed schools
• This school is attributed to Gautama, writing in the 2nd century CE.
• It emphasizes logic and correct knowledge in obtaining liberation.
• Vaishesheshika
o Things are constantly coming and going
o Has hug differences between other beliefs in Hinduism
o You cannot achieve liberation
o You will never escape
o You can only be born into a higher form (god like powers)
o Darma
• This school is traced back to Kanada, who is said to have been active in the 2nd century BCE.
• The world is made up of atoms, which are eternal as the soul is eternal. Our individual selves are the result of a combination of our eternal selves with eternal atoms, endlessly recombined by the power of Advishta.
• Purva- Mimamsa
o Focuses on darms
o x-ajessus: understand and interpret the vedas correctly
o Trying to find the hidden meanings of the vedas
o You will come to freedom
• This school focuses on a correct exegesis of the Vedas, which are said to be uncreated, eternal and the foundation of the world.
• The primary purpose of this exegesis is to come to a correct knowledge of dharma.
• This school is said to be the oldest, being founded by Jaimini, who was active somewhere in the 3rd century BCE.
What is the Trimurti?
o Brahma (the creator), o Vishnu (the preserver), o Shiva (the destroyer)
o Brahma (the creator)
• Often times depicted with 4 heads
• The agent of creation
• The 4 heads are supposed to correspond to the 4 vedas
• Minor deity
• Always seen by being created by either Vishnu or Shiva
o Vishnu (the preserver)
• Vaishnavism
• Maintains darma (doing ones duty)
 Makes sure people are doing their duty
• Vishnu has many carnations (forms)
 Rama: constantly dose his duty
 Krishna: plays important role in the bai-vad-geta
• Vanquish evil
o Shiva (the destroyer)
• More or less the idea of deconstructing in order to reconstruct.
• Also serves as a symbol of Hindus needing to shatter there individuals in order to find Atmen and brahman
• Depicted as the most powerful god.
What is the Tridevi? (goddesses don’t have an independent existence, important because of the help they give gods)
• Saraswati (goddess of knowledge) (consort of Brhama)
 She provides Brhama with the knowledge to create the universes
• Lakshim (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) (companion of Vishnu)
 She provides the needs in which to perserv
• Parvati (goddess of power) (companion of Shiva)
 Shakti
 She gives power to Shiva to destroy the universe
 Other forms of Parvati
(god of success and lord of obstacles)
o The paitrined god of removing obsitical
Which two gods are two of the most important avatars of Vishnu?
 Rama: constantly dose his duty
 Krishna: plays important role in the bai-vad-geta
Which two goddesses are sometimes understood as different forms of Parvati?
• Durga: helps destroy evil
• Kali: most fierce, known as goddess of time and death, seen as helping to destroy evil
You will need to be able to briefly describe some of the biography (historical and embellished) of Siddhartha Gautama, including when he was born, to whom (not names, but other important info.), historical details of his life including early upbringing and religious awakening.
 Born into a noble family, most likely of the Kshatriya caste.
 Married around the age of 16 and left home at age 29, shortly after the birth of his son.
 Said to have attained enlightenment at around age 35, at least this is when he began teaching.
 Died at age 80.
religious awakening of Siddhartha Gautama
 Queen Maya and white elephant
 was Siddhatta Gotama mother.
 A white elephant entered the queen and gave her Siddhtte Gotama life.
 There was a prophecy:
 if the child decided to follow in the footsteps of his father that he would forge many kingdoms together under his rule.
 Or if the child didn’t follow in his father's footsteps and followed religion he would become a great religious symbol
 Father wanted son to follow in his footsteps so the father went extremes to show his son the benefits of kingdom.
You will need to be able to list and describe all of the four noble truths.
o Dukkha- suffering: life is suffering:
• physical,
• mental,
o Samudaya- arising
• Associated with tanha: grasping or craving trying to make thing impermanent Permanente
• Trying to make something last that is destined to end at some point that it can only end in suffering
o Nirodha- cessation
• Suffering can end
o Magga- the eightfold path
• Not a one step at a time thing
• All steps should be taken simultaneously
 Wisome
 Morality
 Mediation
You will need to be able to list and describe each step of the eight-fold path
 Wisome
• 1st: right view; must have a true understanding of how the world works, the nature of reality; life is suffering because things are impermenate
• 2nd: right resolve; one must constantly resolve themselves to develop the right attitude
 Morality
• 3rd: right speech; there is an intimate connection between how you speak about things and how you think about things and what your mental states are. Linguistic conviction's can actually influenc how you see the world.
• 4th: right action; you never do anything that compromises the Buddhism rules. (never hurt another)
• 5th: right livelihood: you don’t anything that compromises Buddhists principals. (no killing)
 Mediation
• 6th: right effort
• 8th: right mindfulness: constantly aware of your thoughts, any thoughts that’s go agents to Buddhism you need to eradicate it
9th: right meditation: deeper concentration on mindfulness
What is the primary difference between Buddhism and Hinduism on the subject of Atman?
There are 5 factors that make us up. Called
5 factors of samudaya
The physical body
Sensations and feeling
Character traits and dispositions
What is nirvana
ultimate reality
. What are two primary divisions within Buddhism?
Theravada and Mahayana
What does Theravada mean? You will need to able to describe some of the main features of Theravada Buddhism.
• Focus on the Buddha’s personal experience
• More individualistic
• Strong emphasis on the monastic life
• Much less speculative / primarily limited to the four noble truths
• The Theravadins claim to be following the explicit teachings of the Buddha, and the Pali Canon seems to support their views in this regard.
• Pali Canon – earliest known complete text of the Buddha’s teachings. It consists of three “baskets” (pitakas).
What does Mahayana mean? You will need to able to describe some of the main features of Mahayana Buddhism.
o Much more willing to look for the hidden or implicit meanings that can be found in the texts.
o Use the Pali Canon but they are more willing got try to fill in the blanks
o Boddisafa: one who has achieved enlightenment but choices not to move onto final nirvana because he wants to help others get there
o Higher willingness to innovate in their religion
o Less focused on Monastic life
o Boddisafa;s gain merit by helping others, and then it can be passed on to others
. What is the Pali canon?
o oldest book for Buddhism
• Consist of 3 baskets
 vinaya pitaka: rules for monks and nuns
 Suttanta pitaka: discourses or sermon from adarti guhtama
 Abbidhamma: phycology ( interested in how we think about different things), philosophy and metaphysics (speculative knowledge that is beyond the realm of the senses. Ex. Recreation and destruction of different universes)
What are some of the significant features of Zen Buddhism?
o it’s infusio on intuition or non-rationalized knowledge
• Focuses on ko-ans: non sinsical retells
 The truth to achieve enlightenment cannot be conceptualized
• Focusses heavily on mind and body discipline
. What are some of the significant features of Pure Land Buddhism?
o highly innovative because of its focuses on thing called a pure land (almost like a heaven)
• Connected to Amitabha (boddhisattva)
Who is Amitabha, and what is his significance in Pure Land Buddhism?
- if you put all your trust in to Amitabha you would enter into this pure land. All of the help you need to enter into nirvana is in the pure land.
. What does Bodhisattva literally mean? What is the significance of the ideal of the Bodhisattva within Mahayana Buddhism?
o Bodhi: wisdom, sattva: being or essence
o Quality most known for compaction
helps others
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