Religions In India : RAS Art And Culture
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Religions In India : RAS Art And Culture
Table of Contents
- Biggest religion in the country and has various sects within it.
- The word is originated from ‘Hindu’ which is a term about the people living in the area around Indus river.
- The principles of Hinduism are borrowed from philosophies of pre-vedic and vedic religions.
- Hinduism is closely related to four vedas- Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
- The religious sacrifices and offerings are said in these vedas and are primarily done in air.
- Later, the form of worship was changed to ‘puja’ and then temples were originated.
- With the assimilation of various ideas in holy books, Hinduism became a proper religion with some areas of worship and priests who act as mediators to God.
- Hindu traditions say that Kama, Artha and Moksha are the goals to achieve in one’s life.
- Other literature related to this religion are Upanishads and Aryankas.
- Stages of life as per Upanishads:
- Brahmachari (Celibacy)
- Grihasta (Householder)
- Vanaprastha (Hermit)
- Sanyasi (Ascetic)
- A person has to achieve for moksha after becoming ascetic.
- Bhakti movement originated from this religion in North India.
- Saints of this movement translated Hindu holy books into various local languages to take Bhakti message to the people.
- Vaishnavite movement in South India in 13th century led to the emergence of ‘Alwar saints’ who are devotees of Vishnu.
- Similar group called ‘Shaivites’ emerged in south and the saints are called ‘Nayanars’.
Dark side of Hinduism: Sati, domination of brahmins, child marriage, caste discrimination.
- Later, British ideals of equality made several thinkers to change these situations with some movements-Brahmo movement, Ramakrishna Mission and Arya Samaj movement.
The Brahmo Movement:
- Started by Raja Rammohan Roy to question some problems in Hinduism.
- He started Brahmo Samaj in 1828 to solve these issues.
- He rejected worship of idols and stood against sati practice.
- He established two schools to promote education among masses.
- Devendranath Tagore took over this mission after the death of Raja Rammohan Roy in 1843.
- Another member of this movement, Keshab chandra Sen advocated against polygamy, child marriage and caste system.
- He was very radical which led to the division of Brahmo samaj into ‘Adi Brahmo Samaj’ and ‘Sadharan Brahmo Samaj’.
- Started by Swami Vivekananda or Narendranath Dutta in 1897 to change the philosophies of Hinduism.
- He preached that the purpose of man is to find God which is called ‘Neo-Hinduism’.
- Three fold philosophy:
- Spread vedantic spirituality
- Harmonious existence of all religions in the world
- Service to mankind as service to God
- Founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati to revive Hinduism from within.
- He propounded the concept of ‘Go back to vedas’.
- The main policy was to work for the mankind and their welfare.
- Established many schools and opposed idolatry.
- Started ‘Suddhi movement’ to reconvert non-Hindus into Hinduism.
Split in Arya Samaj:
- Arya Samaj was splitted into two groups after the death of Dayanand Saraswati.
- ‘Gurukul’ (conservative ideas) which was led by Swami Shraddananda.
- ‘College’ (radical ideas) which was led by Lala hansraj.
- The main reason for the split is ideological differences.
- Swami Shraddananda founded Gurukul at Haridwar.
- Lala Hansraj founded DAV college at Lahore.
- The word ‘Jain’ is originated from ‘Jina’ which means conqueror.
- The followers believe that they have ability to conquer their desires.
- ‘Mahavira’ is not the founder of Jainism as thought by everyone because Jainism is not founded by one person.
- He was the last Tirthankar out of 24 ‘Tirthankars’.
- As per Jains, Tirthankars show the way of truth in times of need.
- Tirthankars teach the followers to get liberation or moksha.
- They usually get moksha through penance and meditation.
- He was born to Queen Trishala and King Siddhartha in 6th century BCE and belongs to Ikshvaku Dynasty.
- Left his home at the age of 30 to live ascetic life.
- He found the truth of life on 10th day of Vaishaka in Pava near Patna.
- In his journey to find truth, he achieved ‘kaivalya/Kevalnyam’ or enlightenment and got the title ‘Mahavira’.
- Some other titles given to him are ‘Jitendriya’ or ‘Jaina’ who conquers all the senses and ‘nigrantha’, who frees from all relations.
Mahavira’s teachings to Jains:
- Right path or dharma
- Strict asceticism
- Moral cultivation
- Renunciation of the world
- Jains do not harm any living creature.
- Believe in three-jewel path:
- Right knowledge (samyak jnana)
- Right belief (samyak darshana)
- Right conduct (samyak charita)
- Jains want to get themselves out from cycle of rebirth to attain salvation.
- Five principles of Jains:
- Satya (truthfulness)
- Ahimsa (Non-violence)
- Aparigraha (non-acquisition)
- Brahmacharya (chaste living)
- Asteya (not stealing)
- Eight auspicious symbols of Jainism are:
- Nandyavarta: Large swastika with nine endpoints.
- Swastika: peace of human beings.
- Darpana: mirror that reflects oneself.
- Bhadrasana: A throne that is sanctified by the feet of Jaina.
- Minayugala: A pair of fish that depicts the control over sexual urge.
- Kalasha: A pot with water is considered auspicious.
- Shrivasta: A mark on Jain’s chest to signify pure soul.
- Vardhamanaka: A dish used as lamp that indicates increase in due, health and merit.
- Jainism divided into two groups due to ideological differences- Svetambara and Digambara.
Believe that women are unfit to become Tirthankaras.
Both men or women can be Tirthankaras.
Doesn’t wear any clothes
Wear white cloth with a begging bowl and a brush to remove miniature creatures from their path.
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