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 ***** lit*****ture (Sambitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas ***** Upanishads) which is believed ***** conta***** the moral roots of what is today ***** as Hinduism. Interestingly, in one ***** the early Sambitas texts, a "heroic visionary figure and poet" (K*****sley 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 the "realm of the gods."

In ***** Speculative Period (800 - 400 B.C.E.), the Upanishads writings dominated Vedic literature. The Upanishads ***** ***** first call in ***** for a "quest for liberation" (K*****sley 46) from the *****, and also ***** ***** 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 ***** "tension" between the desire to "uphold" world order on one hand, and on ***** other *****, the desire ***** isolate a pers***** from society to "*****chieve individual liberation," ***** ***** Kinsley. During this period, ***** Indo-Aryans settled into communities, abandoning their nomadic ways.

In the Medieval Period (***** - 1***** C.E.) there ***** a number of temples built, in conjunction ***** the rise of the devotional movement. Deities were part of the *****, and they represented Puranas, or "stories ***** old" (Kinsley 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 was a ***** to revive some of the ancient customs. **********, some years later, G*****hi interpreted the Gita teachings as a nonviolent p*****thway to ***** expression ***** truth. Also, Transcendental Meditation and Krishna Consciousness became important tools for the Hindus to return to *****ir early traditions, and to interest the Western world in the Hindu spiritual search for truth and personal identity.


The ********** prince who was to become known as a Buddh***** was *****ly 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 his*****rical data of his life and times. But, according to Lopez (101), ***** original Buddha achieved "enlightenment" in an instant - or, at least in a single night of meditation - ***** 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, called


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