Hinduism Chap. 3

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chapter 3 vocab

artha

Material success and social prestige, one of the four goals of life

ascetic

one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion

Atman

in Hindu belief, a person's essential self

avatar

the manifestation of a Hindu deity (especially Vishnu) in human or superhuman or animal form

Bhagavad- gita

Short poem that illustrates the expectations Hinduism made for individuals and the promise of salvation that it held out to them; Self-contained Mahabharata; Dialogue between Arjuna(kshatriya warrior going into battle) and Krishna(human incarnation of Vishnu)

bhakti- marga

The most popular of the three Hindu paths to salvation. emphasizing loving devotion to one's chosen god or goddess.

Brahman

a single spiritual power that Hindus believe lives in everything

brahmin

The highest of the four classes of the caste system, made up of priests.

caste system

a social structure in which classes are determined by heredity

dharma

In Hindu belief, a person's religious and moral duties

jnana marga

One of three Hindu paths to salvation, emphasizing knowing the true nature of reality through learning and meditation.

kama

the 4 goals which are knowledge of love, sexual and sensual pleasure, joy and happiness

karma marga

Sanskirt: "the path of works." One of the three Hindu paths to salvation, emphasizing performing right actions according to dharma.

kshatriya

a member of the royal or warrior Hindu caste

maya

cosmic illusion brought about by divine creative power

moksha

The Hindu concept of the spirit's 'liberation' from the endless cycle of rebirths.

monism

the doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element

Rig Veda

A collection of 1,017 Sanskrit hymns composed about 1500 BC or earlier; Hinduism's oldest sacred text.

samadhi

A trance-like state in which self-consciousness is lost, and the mind is absorbed into the ultimate reality; the culmination of the eight steps of Yoga

samsara

the endless series of births, deaths, and rebirths to which all beings are subject

Sankhya

a system of Hindu philosophy and one approach within Jnana Marga asserting that reality comprises two distinct categories: matter and eternal selves

sannyasin

A wandering ascetic who has advanced to the fourth and highest stage of life.

sati

the traditional practice of burning a widow on her husband's funeral pyre

shudra

the lowest of the four varnas: the servants and workers of low status

Upanishads

Any of a group of philosophical treatises contributing to the theology of ancient Hinduism, elaborating on the earlier Vedas.

vaishya

The third of the four classes of the caste system, made up of producers, such as farmers, merchants, and artisans.

Vendanta

school of philosophy; everything is a cosmic illusion; all reality is brahman

Yoga

a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind

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