UNDERSTANDING HINDUISM CHRONOLOGY The history and cultural development of Hinduism occurs through the following nine periods. Each period had its own unique contribution in changing the way Hinduism was practiced .
CHRONOLOGY 1. The Pre-Protohistoric period, The Ramayana Period 3000 B.C. The Vedas 1500 B.C. The Upanishads 1500 B.C. The Mahabharat. 1500 B.C. The Gita. 1500 B.C. 2. Protohistoric period The Indus Valley Civilization 1200 B.C. 3. The Mayura Period 300 B.C. 4. The Sunga / Satavahana period 200 B.C. 5. The Kusana period 100 A.D. to 300 A.D. Emergence of Ganapati as a deity 6. The Gupta period 400 A.D. to 600 A.D. 7. The Medieval period 700 A.D. 8. The Purana Period 300A.D. to 1300A.D. 9. The Renaissance Period 1400A.D.
VEDAS UPANISHADS GITA and PURANAS THE MAIN HINDU SCRIPTURES are the
<ul><li>RIG VEDA 10,589 VERSES deals with knowledge or JYANA </li></ul><ul><li>YAJUR VEDA 1975 VERSES deals with the concept of KARMA </li></ul><ul><li>SAMA VEDA 1875 VERSES deals with the practice of BHAKTI </li></ul><ul><li>ATHARVA VEDA 5977 VERSES deals with the various SCIENCES </li></ul>VEDAS There are four Vedas They are the main source of all Hindu knowledge and spiritual teachings.
THE VEDAS ARE FURTHER DIVIDED INTO FOUR SECTIONS. 1. SAMHITAS: MANTRAS AND HYMNS 2. BRAHMANAS: CEREMONIAL PROCEDURES. 3. ARANYAKAS: RITUALS AND INTERPRETATIONS. 4. UPANISHADS: PHILOSOPHICAL DISCOURSES
The Upanishads are the main texts for all philosophical and spiritual knowledge in Hinduism. There are 108 Upanishads but only the following ten are the most widely quoted. Each Upanishad expounds on one or two specific philosophical concepts. ISHA MANDUKYA KENA TAITTIRIYA KATHA AITAREYA PRASNA CHANDOGYA MUNDAKA SWETASVATARA
UPANISHADS One line summary of the 10 major Upanishads ISHA : Karma without attachment. KENA : God exists behind natural process. KATHA : Immortality is simply union with God. PRASNA: Discourse on Prana. AITAREYA: Creation and pure consciousness. MUNDAKA: Knowledge and Wisdom TAITTIRIYA: Thou art Brahman. MANDUKYA: Meaning of AUM CHANDOGYA: Tat Tvam Asi. SWETASVATARA: Meditation the way to God
The Puranas Most of the knowledge acquired during the Vedic period was lost after the destructive Mahabharata war. The Puranas written between 100 A.D. And 1300 A.D not only revived the knowledge from the Vedas and the Upanishads but also popularized the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Puranas are extensive mythological and philosophical texts written by anonymous authors and sages. In addition to mythology, which is its major component, the Puranas have a wealth of didactic, legal, moralistic, ritual and devotional material for poojas and “vratas”. The Puranas are also the main source for the development of poetry, art, music, rituals for worship, folk drama and classical dance forms like Kathak and Bharatnatyam.
Hinduism as practiced today is almost predominantly influenced by the teachings from the Puranas. THE 18 PURANAS ARE: The puranic texts run into innumerable volumes. However, only 18 Puranas have been thoroughly studied and translated. The Puranas are written in Sanskrit in the form of shlokas BRAHMA PURANA VISHNU PURANA SHIVA PURANA BRAHMANDA PURANA BHAGAVATA PURANA LINGA PURANA BRAHMAVAYVARTA PURANA NARADIYA PURANA SKANDA PURANA MARKANDEYA PURANA GARUDA PURANA AGNI PURANA BHAVISHYA PURANA PADMA PURANA MATSYA PURANA VAMANA PURANA VARAHA PURANA KURMA PURANA
Hindu philosophy from the Puranas revolves around the following five concepts. These have become the cornerstones of Hindu traditions and beliefs. <ul><li>KARMA LAWS OF ACTION </li></ul><ul><li>BHAKTI LAWS OF DEVOTION </li></ul><ul><li>JYANA LAWS OF KNOWLEDGE </li></ul><ul><li>DHARMA LAWS OF CONDUCT </li></ul><ul><li>MOKSHA LIBERATION / NIRVANA </li></ul>
HINDUISM - DEFINITION Hinduism defies definition. It is a word without any content. As a faith, it is vague and amorphous. In the usual sense of the word one cannot say whether it is a religion or not. It has within itself all types of religions. It contains all forms of worship and its conflicting philosophies can confound anyone. It has altered from age to age, and from community to community. The age-old value systems so deeply entrenched in the society have become subjects for debate. The wisdom of the Vedas, the dogmas from the Puranas and the Shastras, the iron laws of caste, the belief in karma and rebirth and the rule of status by birth are serious issues that preside over this complex culture. Hinduism is not congregational and is unstructured as compared to other religions. Each Hindu decides for himself which manifestation of God is most important to him, what scriptures to accept as authentic, or which holy man to follow. It is a very personal religion with complete freedom of practice.
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