sociology chapter 19 religion hinduism and buddhism
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Sociology Chapter 19- Religion Hinduism and Buddhism. The Tenets. Harijan "outside" the caste system (once known as "untouchables") . The “Untouchables” were thought to be dirty and un-pure. There jobs consisted of cleaning the sewers and digging graves

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harijan outside the caste system once known as untouchables
Harijan"outside" the caste system(once known as "untouchables")
  • The “Untouchables” were thought to be dirty and un-pure.
  • There jobs consisted of cleaning the sewers and digging graves
  • Represented about 20% of the population
  • What does the red dot represent?
  • symbolizes the mark of the supreme being and identifies you as Hindu.
roots of hinduism
Roots of Hinduism
  • Who’s the founder?
  • No original founder
  • Grew out of early Aryan beliefs in multiple Gods.
  • Is there a sacred text?
  • Beliefs come from the Vedas and other Indian epics, poems and songs
  • Each believer sees Brahman differently
polytheistic or monotheistic
Polytheistic or monotheistic ?
  • Hinduism is sometimes called a polytheistic religion, but strictly speaking, this is not entirely accurate.
  • Hinduism believes in One God (Brahman), but recognizes that the One God can appear to humans in multiple names and forms
  • Three most important gods:
    • Brahma-the Creator
    • Vishnu-the preserver
    • Shiva-the destroyer
characteristic of gods
Characteristic of gods
  • Each god represents a characteristic of Brahman.
  • How many gods exist?
  • As many as 330 million gods

Brahman the Creatorgod of knowledge & intellect

  • What’s the ultimate goal of existence?
  • to achieve moksha, orunion with Brahman.
  • What is reincarnation?
  • the soul (atman) passes through many lifetimes: before it finally achieves moksha
hindu morals
Hindu Morals
  • Non-violence
  • Dharma- duty or guidelines to follow
  • Karma- outcome of actions or deeds
    • Good Dharma creates good Karma
    • certain deeds/duty will lead to outcome of your actions
    • This determines if your move up or down in the caste system (therefore closer or further from Moksha and ending the reincarnation cycle
Hinduism Today
  • 3rd largest religion in the world
  • Estimated I billion Hindus in the world.
  • Mostly live in India and Nepal.
India’s Caste SystemStill Alive Today!
  • Though the castes system is now illegal by Indian law - its “duties” still remain a strong social influence.
  • There are very few who will ignore the “duties” but if it happens it is generally in the urban areas.
India’s Caste SystemStill Alive Today!
  • “They died for love…”
  • In 2002, two teenagers (16 & 17) killed by their father and brother for “dating” outside their caste!
  • Another young female teen in 2000 was hung in public display for her young male lover to see what happens when you venture outside your caste!
  • None of these were give a proper Hindu funeral, all of the family members and the village ignored this key Hindu teaching.
Rise of Buddhism
  • Many Hindus grew dissatisfied with religion looking for more spirituality.
siddhartha gautama
Siddhartha Gautama
  • Born around 566 BCE
  • Founder of Buddhism
  • Grew up an Indian prince surrounded by wealth and luxury
  • Saddened by amount of suffering by people.
  • Looked for a way to end people suffering
What is the fundamental cause of all suffering?


  • Therefore, extinguish the self, don’t obsess about oneself.
buddha the enlightened one
Buddha: The Enlightened One

“Four Noble Truths”:

1. All life is full of suffering

2. The cause of suffering iswrong desires like wealth and power

3. The only cure for suffering is to overcome desire

4. The way overcome is by following the “Noble Eight- fold Path.”

the teachings of the buddha
The Teachings of the Buddha
  • What is the ultimate goal?
  • reachnirvana, or union with the universe and release from the cycle of rebirth.
  • Life is no longer filled with suffering and pain!
Spread of Buddhism
  • How did Buddhism Spread?
  • Missionaries and Traders helped to spread Buddhism across India to many parts of Asia.
  • Two largest groups of Buddhists are the Mahayana and Theravada
theravada vs mahayana
Theravada Vs. Mahayana
  • Theravada “way of the elders”
  • Southeast Asia (parts of southwest China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand) and parts of Vietnam
  • Follow the original teachings of Buddhism
  • Buddha was a great teacher not a god and individuals could reach enlightenment through his teachings
  • the bodhisattva is seen as seeking enlightenment so that, once awakened, he may efficiently aid other beings with the expertise of supreme wisdom
  • Mahayana“large vehicle
  • Practiced in Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, Tibet and Nepal
  • Buddha was a god and pay homage to Buddha like deities who came in the form of men and believe they can be saved by the faith in these gods
  • Allowed for a broader interpretation of the teachings of Buddhism because Buddha had not provided for all the answers
  • Zen Buddhism
  • Believe in simplicity, harmony, and tranquility
  • Enlightenment comes from deep meditation and revelation
  • Bodhisattva is one who delays his own final and complete enlightenment in order to save all sentient beings out of his enormous compassion. He is on a mission to liberate all sentient beings, and only then will he rest and complete his own enlightenment.
  • Who is the founder?
  • Mahavira (540-468 BCE)
  • What did it emphasize?
  • the holiness of all living beings and went into extremes to not kill anything
  • Extremist
  • went naked and starved themselves to death
  • Less extreme
  • devoted themselves to commerce and banking and avoided agriculture
jainism vs buddhism
Jainism VS. Buddhism
  • Similarities
  • provided alternatives to Vedic religion and the authority of the Brahmin priests.
  • Offered an alternative path to salvation through individual inquiry into the nature of the self
  • Focused on the individual and rejected the caste system
  • Difference (Buddhist)
  • rejected Jainist asceticism (self-denying) and chose a more popular “Middle Path” of moderation.
  • rejected the emphasis on gods of other religions
  • Emphasized minimizing desire and went searching for spiritual truth
  • offered the possibility of escape from the eternal cycle of reincarnations.