Essay - Eastern Religion Part One Summary of the History of Hinduism...

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Eastern Religion

Part One

Summary of the History of Hinduism and Buddhism


The history of Hinduism, according to Kinsley (45), dates back to the Indus Valley in India, with the Indo-Aryan people, or Vedas, around 1500 B.C.E. (bef*****e the Christian era). This period was known as "The Formative Period" - and ***** Vedas created four key volumes of lit*****ture (Sambitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads) which is believed to contain the moral roots of what is today known as Hinduism. Interestingly, in one of the early Sambitas texts, a "heroic visionary figure and poet" (***** 45) named "rishi" experienced "directly" the "gods and powers" of the Vedic world, including the Vedic god Agni (representing fire and heat). ***** ***** also reportedly drank "soma" - probably a hallucinogenic mushroom ***** and thus were "transported" to the "realm of the *****."

In the Speculative Period (800 - 400 B.C.E.), the Upanishads writings dominated Vedic literature. The Upanishads ***** the first call in H*****duism for a "quest for liberation" (Kinsley 46) from the world, and also the ***** form of Yoga emerged from those writings.

In the Epic ***** Classical Periods (400 B.C.E. - 600 C.E.) the two great Hindu epics (***** Mahabharata and the Ramayana) were written. The ***** reflected ***** "tension" between the desire to "uphold" world order on *****e hand, and on the other hand, the desire ***** isolate a pers***** ***** society to "*****chieve individual liberation," ***** to Kinsley. During this *****, the *****s settled into communities, abandoning their nomadic ways.

In the Medieval Period (***** - 1800 C.E.) there ***** a number of temples built, in conjunction with the rise of the devotional movement. Deities were part of ***** temples, and they represented Puranas, or "stories ***** old" (***** 48). And ***** the Modern Period of Hinduism (1800 to present), Islam moved into India, as did the Europeans (Britain), and the original purity of Hinduism was somewhat under attack ***** watered down. So, as a result ***** that, there ***** a ***** to revive some of the ancient customs. *****n, some years later, Gandhi interpreted the Gita teachings ***** a nonviolent p*****thway to the expression ***** truth. Also, Transcendental Meditation and Krishna Consciousness became important tools for the Hindus to return to *****ir ***** traditions, and to interest the Western world in the H*****du spiritual search for truth ***** personal identity.


The Indian prince who was to become known as a Buddh***** was originally called Siddhartha Gautama. He lived 2500 years ago (roughly 566 ***** 486 B.C.E.), although scholars differ on exactly when he *****, and they don't agree on many of the his*****rical data of his life and times. But, according to Lopez (101), the original Buddha achieved "enlightenment" in an instant - or, at least in a single night of medit*****tion - ***** afterward began putting forth ***** "***** noble truths" (Lopez 102). Buddha reportedly died at the age of 80, passing in***** nirvana. When he passed away, he left relics ***** his followers, *****


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