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


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Eastern Religion

Part One

Summary of the History ***** Hinduism and Buddhism

Hinduism

***** 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 the Vedas created four key volumes ***** lit*****ture (Sambitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads) which is believed to conta***** the moral roots of what is today known as Hindu*****m. Interestingly, in one of the early Sambitas texts, a "heroic visionary figure and poet" (***** 45) named "rishi" experienced "directly" the "gods and powers" ***** the Vedic world, *****cluding the Vedic god Agni (representing fire and heat). ***** rishi also reportedly drank "soma" - probably a hallucinogenic mushroom ***** and thus were "transported" to ***** "realm of the gods."

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

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

In the Medieval Period (600 - 1800 C.E.) there were a number of temples built, in conjunction ***** 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 ***** Hinduism was somewhat under attack ***** watered down. So, as a result of that, there ***** a movement to revive some of the ancient customs. Then, some years later, Gandhi interpreted the Gita teachings ***** a nonviolent p*****thway to the expression of truth. Also, Transcendental Meditation and Krishna Consciousness became important tools for the Hindus to return ***** *****ir early traditions, and to interest the Western ***** in the H*****du spiritual search for truth and personal identity.

Buddhism

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

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