REL 340-02

  • Hindu/Hinduism = colonial term, not indigenous
  • ~1700 – British East India enters India early
  • 1858 BEI company disbanded, British govt takes control
  • no core creed of Hindu religion, no single scriptural source

General features

  • cyclical time (rebirth, samsara)
    • individual
    • cosmic
    • 3 deities associated with this
      • Brahma – creator
      • Vishnu – maintainer
      • Shiva – destroyer
  • moksha – liberation – annihilation
    • asceticism
    • devotionalism
    • karma – action
  • dharma
    • sacred order to existence
    • linked to social order, individual duties & caste system (first reference to caste ~1000BCE)
  • henotheism
    • all gods are features of one divinity
  • monism
  • dualism

Great Tradition v. Little Traditions

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