Indus Valley Civilization
A remarkably advanced culture that thrived along the basin of the Indus River and its tributaries five thousand years ago. Much guesswork to interpret their religious culture.
the largest city along the Indus River; the central city of the Indus Valley Civilization.
a large city on the Ravi River, a tributary of the Indus River; a center of the Indus Valley Civilization.
because Harappa was such a central city along the Indus Valley and so important to the development and preservation of the culture of the Indus Valley Civilization, this ancient culture is referred to as the Harappan Civilizations, and inhabitants, regardless of the place of habitation, are called _______.
refers to an ethnic group who are possibly the aboriginal inhabitants of India; now found primarily in the South and Central India.
literally, the "noble ones" or "pure ones", this term refers to the nomadic people who became known in India in the second millennium B.C. bearing an elaborate system of priestly rituals based on an oral tradition of religious literature (the Vedas).
literally, "knowledge" _____refers to the knowledge that is contained in the texts of the Vedas...the knowledge texts.
literally, "heard" or "that which is heard", ______ refers to the nature of the texts of the Vedas. These texts are considered ______ in the sense that they were in some way revealed from an extra-human or supra human source and the knowledge is transcendent to human experience.
literally, "collections" ______ refers to the earliest body of literature included in the Vedas. There are four _______ in the Early Vedas; Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva.
Rig Veda Samhita
literally, the "collection of knowledge of hymns" this is the earliest collection of texts in the Early Vedas; it includes hymns or poems composed as prayers, petitions, and addresses to the gods, as well as some philosophical speculation.
Yajur Veda Samhita
literally, the "collection of knowledge and sacrifice" this collection gives elaborately described information about the sacrifice; important source for knowledge of the rituals of the people.
Sama Veda Samhita
literally, the "collection of knowledge of melodies" this collection of texts is part of the Early Vedas and provides the melodies, tunes, or metrical accompaniment to the hymns of the Rig Veda.
Atharva Veda Samhita
The fourth book of the Samhitas, or "collections", of the Early Vedas; this book contains knowledge that is magical in nature, including incantations, mystical formulae, charms and curses.
literally, the "texts belonging to the Brahmins" this category of text is part of the Early Vedas. The _______are commentaries and prose explanations of the Samhitas (collections) of the Early Vedas.
a term coined by Friedrich Max Muller to describe the attitude towards the gods that he perceived in the Early Vedas; he considers _____ to be the tendency of the Early Vedas to worship one god, ascribing supremacy to this deity, while recognizing that other gods exist. It is probably not an accurate assessment of the Early Vedas!
literally, the "forest texts" of the Later Vedas; these texts are transitional texts, moving away from the elaborate sacrificial system of the Early Vedas and towards the philosophical and meditational approach of the Upanishads.
the last of the four Vedas, the ______form the category of texts which are self-consciously philosophical and cautiously mystical. The _______have moved beyond the performance of the sacrifices enjoined in the Early Vedas and elevate the importance of mystical and metaphysical knowledge.
literally, "quality" or "characteristic", _____came to be used as a term for the four broad social classes of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra.
literally "birth", this term refers to the rigid social class into which one is born; ____ comes to be synonymous with caste.
literally, "duty" this term refers to the social responsibility of each individual in life based on the jati, or caste, into which one is born.
literally "action" or "deed", _____ refers to the cause/effect relationship of action and reaction deed and result. Eventually the term implies the cosmic balance of actions in this life and the resulting reaction in the next life, or later in this life.
the rounds of rebirth; this is perceived as the human problem in the Upanishads.
the ultimate, absolute, impersonal universal principle of being, consciousness, and bliss taught in the Upanishads.
literally, the "self" or "soul", this term in employed by the Upanishads to refer to the phenomenal aspect of the human existence that is thought to be identical with the cosmic aspect of existence (Brahman).
literally "freedom" or "release", this refers to the goal of spiritual liberation from samsara, or rebirth, that is articulated in the Upanishads.
literally the "path to devotion" _________ refers to an approach to religion in India that involves the worship of a personal god for the goal of enjoyment of heaven with God.
in Bhakti Marga, these are the texts of traditional knowledge , lore, myth, etc. that usually relate to the exploits of god. There are specific _____ for each deity.
literally "worship", in Bhakti Marga, ____ refers to specific physical acts of worship (usually oblations of some sort) to the image of the deity.
literally, "adoration" or "worship", in the Bhakti tradition, a ______ is a public festical of songs and hymns of praise to the deity. Usually held in a temple in the early evening, _______ are corporate worship services that focus on singing songs of praise.
in Bhakti Marga, _____ is a more private service that centers around songs of praise and narratives about the exploits of the deity set to music.
in Bhakti Marga, _____ refers to the experience of divine encounter, both seeing and being seen by God, when the worshipper enters the inner sanctum of a temple and stands face to face before the image of the deity.
specifically associated with Vaishnavism, or Vishna Bhakti, _____ refers to the incarnation of god within human history for some specific purpose. Traditionally, it is said that there have been nine avataras of Vishnu, with the tenth still in the future.
literally, the "Lord of Dance", _____ is an iconic representation of Shiva as the sustainer of the universe. Depicted dacning in a circle of fire upon the body of a dwarf, holding fire (representing energy) in one hand, a drum which beats the rhythm in another and pronouncing blessings with another hand and protection with his fourth hand, Shiva's representation as _________ is very popular in India.
literally, "non-violence" or "no-harm" _____ is the cardinal ethical principal of Jainism. A devout Jain exercises _____ to the extent that measures are taken to avoid injuring even the minutest forms of life.
literally, "grasping onto Truth", _____ is the technique developed by Gandhi to combat injustice and inequality by standing firmly on Truth, or absolute principles. Some have called this technique "passive resistance" but Gandhi prefers to call it "non-violent non-cooperation" because it is an active process.
literally, the "true name" or the "name that is truth", _______ is a term used by the Sikhs in reference to God. More than simply a name for God, ______ is a way of thinking about God as Truth itself which transcends the limits of religions and religious identifications.
literally, the "foremost book", the Adi Granth is the sacred text honored by the Sikhs as the living Guru, or teacher.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib
another name for Adi Granth
litereally, the "doorway of the Guru", a _____ is the place of worship for the Sikhs. Most ______ serve as a house of worship, a place of communal gathering, and a center for social welfare.
In Theravada Buddhism, the _________ is the authoritative collection of texts ; written in Pali, the language of the common people, these texts are believed to contain the teachings of the historic Buddha.
literally, the Buddhism that follows the "way of the Elders", _________ refers to the tradition of Buddhism that is based on the teachings contained in the Pali Canon. The most conservative of the various Buddhisms, _____ is also called Southern Buddhism because it left India and became established in Sri Lanka and parts of Southeast Asia. This term is preferable to the more pejorative term Hinayana.
literally, "sorrow" or "suffering", in Theravada Buddhism the concept of _____ is the central theme of the teachings of the Buddha; all of life is ______, or "suffering", "unsatisfying" or "frustrating". _____ is the third of the three marks and the first of the four noble truths.
literally "beyond desires" in Theravada Buddhism ______ is the highest state of morality and synonymous with the goal of nirvana. _______ is that state of realization that leads to (and is) equal-mindedness, indifference, or the nondiscrimination of opposites.
literally, "the worthy one" in Theravada Buddhism an _____ is one who has attained that state of realization in this life that ends nirvana, and enjoys the enlightened state in this life that is freedom from suffering. An _____ is similar to a saint in other traditions.
literally "blown out" or "extinguished", in the Theravada tradition, ______ refers to the inexpressible state of enligtenment that is free from suffering and rebirth.
in Theravada Buddhism, the _______ is the association of monks who had withdrawn from all relations, possessions and positions and renounced all attachments, desires and distinctions. Eventually, the _____ included nuns as well as monks.