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Cycle of Samsara

  • Hindu's believe life is like a wheel turning = Samsara
  • It is the continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth which the atman passes until it achieves moksha.
  • Samsara is beginningless and endless
  • Rebirth --- Moksha, Birth --- Death --- Rebirth --- Birth --- Death ---
  • Reincarnation = belief that when the body dies, the atman moves on to another body
  • the atman in everything is the same 
  • Hindu's believe the atman moves through steps: plants, animals, goes on to humans 
  • the soul is trapped and can't break free
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Atman and Brahman

  • the universal force is known as Brahman, it occurs within the atman
  • the soul is therefore part of Brahma and the atman is eternal
  • For some people, the two are identical: the atman is being maintained and dependent on Brahma, but when achieving Moksha, the atman doesn't fully merge with Brahman
  • when the body dies, the atman is not fully released from that life 
  • the atman is capable of attaining Moksha when near to, part of or united with Brahman
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  • karma = deed or action, implies the entire cycle of cause and its effects 
  • Karma shapes the person's destiny
  • every person leads to results, good or bad, depending on the moral quality of their actions
  • Godd action is determined by a person's duty or dharma, if people follow their dharma, their karma will be positive 
  • if they follow their dharma, they will be closer to moksha when they die 
  • the negative karma can be overcome from past lives for a human to achieve good karma 
  • if the karma is negative, it will take longer to achieve Moksha 
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Dharma or Duty

  • 4 kinds of Dharma:
  • Universal dharma - natural laws such as science
  • Human dharma - the human actions maintaining the social, individual and environmental order
  • Individual dharma - individual actions associated with individual duties and responsibilities
  • Varnashramadharma ---> varna = roles in life, ashrama = stages in life, dharma = duties in life 
  • Landmarks through life:
  • 4 ashramas = stages in life
  • 16 samskaras = specific rituals which recognise landmarks in life..eg..marriage
  • karma marga = a means of attaining Moksha - the path of Karma 
  • good karma = good outcomes
  • bad karma = bad outcomes
  • jnana yoga = pursuit of knowledge
  • bhakti yoga = love and devotion
  • karma yoga = action  
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