Big Vehicle--allows everyone to reach enlightenment, not just monks, also added ritual back in to the religion
A person who contacts and attempts to manipulate the power of the spirits for the tribe or the group
Key Characteristics of Religion
Characteristic emotional experiences
Several beliefs fit together into a fairly complete and systematic interpretation of the universe and the human being's place in it
Rules about human behavior are established. These are often viewed as having been revealed from a supernatural realm, but they can also be viewed as socially generated guidelines
Characteristic emotional experiences
Among the emotional experiences typically associated with religions are dread, guilt, awe, mystery, devotion, conversion, "rebirth," liberation, ecstasy, bliss, and inner peace
Religions make use of an astonishing variety of physical elements--statues, paintings, musical compositions (including chants), musical instruments, ritual objects, flowers, incense, clothing, architecture, and specific locations
A distinction is made between the sacred and the ordinary; ceremonies often emphasize this distinction through the deliberate use of different language, clothing, and architecture. Certain objects, actions, people, and places may share in the sacredness or express it.
Why religion exists
Serves many human needs. Helps us deal with our mortality. Provides the answers for the soul, afterlife, and rebirth. Also helps us cope with death. Offers companionship and the fulfillment of belonging. The most basic function is to respond to our natural wonder about ourselves and the cosmos.
The fourth noble truth
Release from suffering is possible and can be attained by following the noble eightfold path
1. Right understanding
I recognize the impermanence of life, the mechanism of desire, and the cause of suffering
3. Right speech
I speak honestly and kindly, in positive ways, avoiding lies, exaggeration, harsh words
4. Right action
My actions do not hurt any other being that can feel hurt, including animals; I avoid stealing and sexual conduct that that would bring hurt
7. Right meditation (right mindfulness)
I use the disciplines of meditation (dhyana) and focused awareness to contemplation the nature of reality more deeply
A divine reality at the heart of things. The Upanishads insist that it is something that can be known, not simply believed in. It is everything, the way a piece of wood can become a boat or a house or fire or ash, water can turn into a cloud or a plant.
Sometimes translated as "self" or "deepest self" at the deepest level of what I am is a divine reality, a divine spirit, that everything shares, it is true to say that I am God, because, for the person who understands reality at the deepest level everything is God. Unchanging reality.
Goals of life
By living life from a less selfish and egotistic point of view and more from a perspective that embraces the whole, by accepting the unity and sacredness of everything, by practicing kindness to all, animals as well as people, you can reach Moksha
Threats to indigenous religions
Four major threats: global spread of popular culture, loss of natural environments, loss of traditional languages, and conversion to other religions
Buddhist notion of impermanence (Anichcha)
When we truly experience impermanence, we see that all of reality is in motion all the time, that the universe is in flux. Impermanence can be shown by the change of your face as you age, or the idea of a concept, such as love, as you mature.
Buddhist notion of no permanent identity (Anatta)
Buddha denied the existence of the permanent identity of anything, each person and each thing is not only changing but is made up of parts that are also constantly changing. This is in contrast with Hindu's Atman, where reality is unchanging.
Hindu Caste System
Priest (Brahmin) traditionally performs Vedic rituals and acts as a counselor
Warrior-Noble has the role of protecting society, aristocracy
Merchant includes landowners, moneylenders, and sometimes artisans.
Peasant Manual labor and is expected to serve the higher castes
Untouchable traditionally does the dirties work, cleaning toilets, sweeping streets, collecting animal carcasses