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

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 the 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 of the early Sambitas texts, a "heroic visionary figure ***** poet" (Kinsley 45) named "rishi" experienced "directly" the "gods and powers" ***** the Vedic world, including the Vedic god Agni (representing fire and heat). ***** rishi also reportedly drank "soma" - probably a hallucinogenic mushroom ***** ***** thus were "transported" to the "realm of the gods."

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

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

In the Medieval Period (600 - 1***** C.E.) there ***** a number of temples built, in conjunction with the rise of the devotional movement. Deities were part of ***** *****, and they represented Puranas, or "stories of old" (Kinsley 48). And in the Modern Period of H*****duism (1800 to present), Islam moved into India, as did the Europeans (Britain), and the original purity ***** Hinduism was somewhat under attack and watered down. So, as a result of that, there w***** a ***** to revive some of the ancient customs. **********, some years later, G*****hi interpreted the Gita teachings as a nonviolent path*****ay to ***** expression of truth. Also, Transcendental Meditation and Krishna Consciousness became important tools for the Hindus to return to their early traditions, and to interest the Western ***** in the H*****du spiritual search for truth and personal identity.

*****

The Indian prince who was to become ***** as a Buddha was originally called Siddhartha Gautama. He lived 2500 ***** ago (roughly 566 ***** 486 B.C.E.), although scholars differ on exactly when he lived, and they don't agree on many of the historical 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 ***** "four noble **********" (Lopez 102). Buddha reportedly died at the age of 80, passing in***** nirvana. When he passed away, he left relics ***** his followers, called

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