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World Literature. English 3, Fall Semester. India. Hinduism began in prehistoric India and is one of the oldest religions in the world. Practiced long before it was finally recorded in what are now called the sacred writings. The Writings.

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World literature

World Literature

English 3, Fall Semester


India
India

  • Hinduism began in prehistoric India and is one of the oldest religions in the world.

  • Practiced long before it was finally recorded in what are now called the sacred writings.


The writings
The Writings

  • Vedas: older than the sacred texts of any of the world’s other major religions, including the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.

  • Puranas: long stories of Hindu gods, goddesses, and heroes.

  • Bhagavad-Gita: a conversation between the god Krishna and the warrior Arjuna on the meaning of life.

  • Manu Smriti: source of basic Hindu social and religious law


Manu smriti
Manu-Smriti

  • Caste system: rigid class system

  • Caste, life stage and gender determined one’s standing, with women occupying the lower position in each caste

  • Four Main Varnas


Four main varnas

Brahmans: priests, scholars

Kshatriyas: rulers of the warrior class

Vaisyas: merchants and professionals

Sudras: laborers and servants

Untouchables: no longer to exist, but people are still discriminated against

Four Main Varnas


Beliefs in different gods

Brahma: creator of the universe

Vishnu: preserver of the universe

Shiva: is its destroyer

Shiva’s wife (Durga, Kali, Parvati, or Uma) can be worshipped and feared and is considered more important than even the higher male gods

Beliefs in different gods


Roles for women
Roles for women

  • To be virtuous, Hindu women must follow the laws based on dharma found in the Laws of Manu in order.

  • Laws dictate that women must allow men to control them

  • Modern life is helping to change these views


The duties of women

The Duties of Women

An excerpt from the Laws of Manu

Pgs. 59-60


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