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


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. (before the Christian era). This period was known as "The Formative Period" - and the Vedas created four key volumes of lit*****ture (Sambitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas ***** Upanishads) which is believed ***** 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" of the Vedic world, including ***** Vedic god Agni (representing fire and heat). ***** rishi also reportedly drank "soma" - probably a hallucinogenic mushroom - and thus were "transported" to the "realm of the *****s."

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

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

In the Medieval Period (600 - 1800 C.E.) *****re were a number of temples built, in conjunction ***** the rise of the devotional movement. Deities ***** part of the temples, and they represented Puranas, or "stories of old" (***** 48). And ***** the Modern ***** of Hinduism (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. Then, some years later, G*****hi interpreted the Gita teachings as a nonviolent p*****thway to the expression of truth. Also, Transcendental Meditation and Krishna Consciousness became important tools for ***** Hindus to return to their ***** traditions, and ***** interest the Western world in the Hindu 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 *****, and ***** don't agree on many ***** the historical data of his life and times. But, according to Lopez (101), ***** original Buddha achieved "enlightenment" in an *****stant ***** or, at least in a single night of medit*****tion - and afterward began putting forth ***** "***** noble *****s" (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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