Hinduism theme 2

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  • Hinduism- Theme 2
    • ISKCON
      • Bhativedanta
        • Founded ISKCON in 1966
          • Received a Western education
            • Commentated on and translated Bhagavata Purana
              • Settled in NYC & gained following among the young
      • Reasons for growth
        • Bhaktivedanta's personal charisma
        • George Harrison's support (Beatles)- recorded Hare Krishna single & converted temple
        • Aims of movement appeal to many
          • 1. To bring the members together & nearer to Krishna
            • 2. To teach a simpler & more natural way of life
          • Appeals to many fed up with Western imperialism
        • Movement offers an alternative lifestyle & provides a close community
        • Ian Jamison: 'ISKCON... is an attempt to rescue the West from spiritual poverty by offering an Indian solution in the form of bhakti marga'
      • Key practices & beliefs
        • Austere code of behaviour: REGULATION OF LIFE
          • Cannot gamble, use drugs, have illicit sex, eat meat/fish/garlic/eggs (believed to disturb mind/ impede meditation)
        • Devotees encouraged to read sacred texts (BG) regularly, associate with other devotees, listen to gurus teachings & set examples
        • Practices are deliberately time-consuming: devotee's day should revolve around Krishna
        • Practice bhakti yoga & worship in temples
          • PRASHAD: all food offered to Krishna, thus every meal may be of spiritual benefit
          • Promote KC through festivals, yoga seminars, public chanting etc.
            • Have opened hospitals, schools etc. as a practical application of devotional yoga
    • Secularisation
      • Secular state
        • No state recognised church/ religion
        • Members of all minorities have been ministers & governors
      • Not secular state
        • India's constitution defines followers of Buddhism/Jainism/ Sikhism as Hindus for temple entry
        • Numerous examples of Hindu culture conflated with Indian culture e.g ban on cow slaughter
      • Hindutva
        • 'Hinduness'
        • Want a 'Hindustan'
        • Rose as a backlash against Western imperialism
        • Ideology stems from a historical view of Hindus as victims of religious/ political oppression under Mughal/ British empires
    • Science
      • Acceptance of scientific advancements
        • Law of karma similar to Newton's action & reaction law
        • Parallel between doctrine of descent & theory of evolution
        • Hindu environmentalism: Brahman is present throughout created universe
          • No centralised ecclesiastical authority- no official stance
      • Diversity of views
        • Conservative Hindus: Vedas as direct revelation
          • Religious liberalism: Vedas spiritual but not infallible
            • Hindus who accept Vedas as divine revelation, but not free of errors (due to humans)
      • Samkhya yoga
        • Means counting/ analysis
          • Classifies matter into 8 elements; earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence, ego
      • Hindu rishis
        • Aryabhatta- famous Indian mathematician
          • Charaka- Indian 'father of medicine'
    • Poor & Oppressed
      • Purusharthas
        • Objectives of man; dharma, artha, kama, moksha
        • Man ought to seek dharma & moksha, while he is naturally inclined to seek artha & kama
      • Attitudes to wealth & poverty
        • Believed the rich have an obligation to help the poor: law of karma
        • Poverty stricken- cannot focus mind on spiritual matters. Too much money- detrimental to spiritual progress
        • Ramakrishna mission
      • Vinoba Bhave
        • Social reformer & disciple of Gandhi
      • Scripture
        • 'Let him not seek wealth through pursuits of which men cleave, nor by forbidden occupations'- Manu
        • 'The riches of the liberal never waste away, while he who will not give finds none to comfort him' -Rig Veda

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