Posts tagged ‘india’

The Buddha died in about 483 B.C.E. He had gone from a prince to an ascetic, from a wealthy man to a nomadic beggar. For more than fifty years he wandered India, teaching others about enlightenment.

Imagine that you are a newspaper columnist. Write an obituary for the Buddha as if for a modern newspaper.

Include as much information as you can about the people who were important in his life and the events that shaped his life and beliefs.

Shankaracharya was a Hindu teacher who founded four great monasteries in India. He once explained that humans are like jars filled with air. Our souls are the air. This air is the same as the air outside the jar. When the jar breaks at death, the inside air joins the outside air.

What is your reaction to this description?

We speak of Hinduism, as one religion, which suggests that Hinduism is the same everywhere. This is not the case. India is a land of great variety. Even today, there are sixteen official languages in India and about 1,600 dialects. Geographically, rivers and mountains break the country into a number of distinct regions. The religion we call Hinduism developed over thousands of years, among hundreds of different groups of people. The religious traditions of all these different groups are included in Hinduism. Even today, Hinduism is changing. It is not one firm, fixed belief system, but a fluid system that includes many different beliefs.

How does an inclusive, ever-changing belief system compare to other major world belief systems? Choose another major world religion and compare it to Hinduism.

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