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


***** 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. (before the Christian era). This period was known as "The Formative Period" - and ***** Vedas created four key volumes ***** literature (Sambitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads) which is believed ***** conta***** the moral roots of what is today known as Hinduism. Interestingly, in one ***** the early Sambitas texts, a "heroic visionary figure and poet" (Kinsley 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 h*****llucinogenic mushroom ***** ***** thus were "transported" to ***** "realm of the *****s."

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

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

In the Medieval Period (600 - 1***** C.E.) *****re were a number of temples built, in conjunction ***** the rise of the devotional movement. Deities were part of ***** *****, and they represented Puranas, or "stories of old" (***** 48). And in the Modern ***** of H*****duism (1800 to present), Islam moved into India, as did the Europeans (Britain), and the original purity of Hinduism was somewhat under attack and 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 as a nonviolent p*****thway to ***** expression of truth. Also, Transcendental Meditation and Krishna Consciousness became important tools for the Hindus to return to *****ir early traditions, and ***** interest the Western world in the Hindu spiritual search for truth ***** personal identity.


The ********** prince who was to become known as a Buddha was originally called Siddhartha Gautama. He lived 2500 years ago (roughly 566 ***** *****6 B.C.E.), although scholars differ on exactly when he lived, and ***** don't agree on many of the historical 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 forth ***** "four noble truths" (Lopez 102). Buddha reportedly died at the age of 80, passing in***** nirvana. When he passed away, he left relics with his followers, *****


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