Religion and Philosophy of India and China

WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Hinduism WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Buddhism WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Confucianism
  • Oldest, most complex
  • No one identifiable founder
  • 3rd millennium India
  • within Hinduism, you can find almost any style or form of religion
  • infinite views
  • no missionary imperative
  • atman is the universal soul
  • Aryan = sanskrit for "noble ones"
  • Vedas = collection of sacred hymns and prayers outlined dharma (duties)
  • Saw the world as a place of sadness and suffering
  • Reincarnation = determined by karma
  •  Brahma = single, supreme force that unifies the universe
  • Brahmans = priests; rituals opened door to salvation
  • Brahma = creator
  • Vishnu = preserver
  • Shiva = destroyer
  • Goal in life to free the soul from individual existence through atman
  • Teachings support caste system. Varnas/ Jati
  • Buddhism was a reformation of Hinduism
  • Siddhartha Guatama became Buddha = "enlightened one" after meditating
  • 6th century India
  • had no intention of founding a religion
  • active missionary imperative
  • Soul does not exist
  • Asoka did for Buddhism what Constantine did for Christianity
  • Three Baskets of Wisdom – sacred texts
  • Saw world as a place of sadness and suffering
  • Endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth
  • Four Noble Truths = misery is universal, cause of misery is desire, overcome desire to end misery and follow the Middle Way
  • Eight-Fold Path = know the truth, say nothing to hurt others, free mind of evil, practice meditation, respect life, control your thoughts, work for the good of others and resist evil.
  • Goal is to reach nirvana – the condition of wanting nothing
  • Any caste, any sex can find salvation
  • Founder of a religion? Or a philosophy?
  • Confucius (Kongzi) = scholar, minor gov’t official and teacher of noble families
  • After 479 B.C.
  • no intention of founding a religion
  • Five Basic Relationships:
  • Ruler/Subject
  • Parent/Child (filial piety)
  • Husband/Wife
  • Old/Young
  • Friend/Friend
  • Each one owes respect and obedience to those above
  • Confucius did not write books, but followers collected his sayings – called Analects
  • never spoke of an afterlife in heaven or hell or rewards or punishments for deeds on Earth.
  • "li" = propriety, rites, ceremonies and courtesy
  • live by "li" and the world would run smoothly; social harmony
  • Reciprocity = do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you.
  •  follow principles of ethics – good conduct and moral judgment
  • If each person accepted their role and performed its duties – social and political disorder would end.