S: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Asian Religions
BC: Alex | Jessica | Nathan | Marissa | Group 6 | Period 4
FC: Asian Religions | Alex, Jessica, Marissa & Nathan
1: Asian Religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are three of the most prominent religions in Asia today. Not only are they still prevalent in modern society, they are some of the most ancient religions in the world. All founded before the common era, these religions all have deep historical roots. Hinduism was one of the first Asian religions and is the most common religion in India today. Buddhism became widely popular soon after it's creation and quickly surpassed Hinduism as the most common Asian religion. Confucianism was more about humanity and keeping peace between each other than it was about god. Taoism consisted of a more straight-forward, simple lifestyle. | Hinduism | Buddhism | Confucianism | Taoism
2: Hinduism | Origin of Hinduism Hinduism was created by the Aryans that settled in India in 5500-2600 BCE. Early Hindus believed in the existence of one single force. The term Atman is to know the ultimate reality. By knowing the ultimate reality you would merge with the Brahman after death. | Brahma Brahma is the ultimate God in Hinduism its believed if you do what you are supposed to and you live the proper life you will merge with Brahma after you die. Principal Hindu Gods There are three chief Gods and Brahman is one of them meaning the creator. Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva is the destroyer. Veds of Hinduism Veds is a collection of hyms and religious ceremonies that were passed down orally by Aryan priests then eventually written down. Meditation and Yoga One method for achieving oneness with a God is meditation or yoga. Yoga means union when doing it you are leaving behind you earthly life and joining Brahman in a kind of sleepless dream. Reincarnation Reincarnation is an idea that appeared in Hinduism in the 6th century B.C. Reincarnation is when your body is believed to be reborn in a different form after death. In India's great religious poem it says, â€œ Worn-out garments are shed by the body, worn-out bodies are shed by the soul.â€
3: Darma and Karma Along with reincarnation comes Darma and Karma. Karma is the thought that the force generated by a persons actions that determines how the person will be reborn in the next life. Darma is doing what you are supposed to in your life time. Caste system If you follow the rules of your caste you can be reborn into a higher caste but if donâ€™t do your duty then you will possibly be born in a lower caste. The Caste system is a system created by the Aryans when they invaded India. It is made up of 5 groups. Brahmins are the priests and the highest in the caste system they are followed by the Kshatriyans who are the worriers of the caste system. The Vaisyas is the group of herders, Farmers, merchants and crafts people. The last Two groups are made up of non-aryan people they are called the Sudras and the Untouchables. The Sudras are the farm workers, servants, and the laborers. The Untouchables are the worst people, if you are in a higher caste you are forbidden to look at them and talk to them. You must not be with anyone that is outside your caste. You cant marry anyone that is in a lower cast then you. Where Hinduism is practiced today Hinduism is still the religion of the majority of the Indian people and is practiced many places n India. However, using the caste system is illegal but still practiced.
4: Buddhism | The Foundation of Buddhism Buddhism was founded by Siddhrtha Gautama in 6th Century B.C. This new religion was created to rival Hinduism. Siddhrtha Gautama was known as Buddha or the "Enlightened One." Siddhrtha Gautama was from a small Kingdom in the Himalayas and founded Buddhism in Nothern India. Siddhrtha Gautama was born in 563 B.C. | After noting the mass amount of human pain and suffering in the world, Siddhrtha Gautama gave up his wealth and dedicated his life to finding a spiritual cure to human suffering. As Siddhrtha Gautama was searching for the meaning of life, he became "enlightened" during one of his meditation sessions. After experiencing this realization, Siddhrtha Gautama spent the rest of his life teaching these newly found principles to any one that would listen. These new principles became the foundation of Buddhism. It is thought that Siddhrtha Gautama never intended to create an entirely new religion, but only to reform Hinduism. Siddhrtha Gautama gained thousands of followers throughout his lifetime. The Principles Of Buddhism Siddhrtha Gautama believed that the physical attatchment humans had to their surroundings was the source of their pain and suffering. This concept leads to the idea of Nirvana - The end of your physical self and the reunion with the "Great World Soul." Nirvana is considered the "Ultimate Reality" in Buddhism and can only be achieved by truly having no physical desires. These principles are summed up by Siddhrtha Gautama's Four Noble Truths.
5: The Four Noble Truths 1. "Ordinary life is full of suffering" 2. "This suffering is caused by our desire to satisfy ourselves." 3. "The way to end suffering is to end desire for selfish goals and to see others as extensions of ourselves." 4. "The way to end desire is to follow the Middle Path." The Middle, or "Eightfold" Path includes 8 steps. The Eightfold Path 1. Divine View - We need to know the Four Noble Truths. 2. Divine Intention - We need to decide what we really want. 3. Divine Speech - We must seek to speak well of others. 4. Divine Action - Siddhrtha Gautama (Buddha) gave five precepts, or commandments: "Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not be unchaste. Do not take drugs or drink alcohol." 5. Divine Livlihood - We must do work that uplifts our being. 6. Divine Effort - The Biddha said, "Those who follow the example of an ox that arches through the deep mud carrying a heavy load. He is tired, but his steady, forward-looking gaze will not relax until he comes out of the mud." 7. Divine Mindfulness - We must keep our minds in control of our senses: "All we are is the result of what we have thought." 8. Divine Concentration - We must meditate to see the world in a new way. Buddhism and Meditation Siddhrtha Gautama believed that meditation was the only way to reach true enlightenment. Meditation is considered to be one of the most important steps on the Eightfold Path. Buddhism & Reincarnation Siddhrtha Gautama agreed with Hinduism's idea of reincarnation, but he rejected India's caste system. Unlike Hinduism, Siddhrtha Gautama believed that all humans had the equal opportunity to reach Nirvana within their own lifetime. This idea appealed greatly to lower members of India's caste system and many Vaisyas, Sudras and even the Untouchables were accepted by Siddhrtha Gautama.
6: Buddhism and God Buddhism also differed from Hinduism in that Siddhrtha Gautama didn't necessarily believe in worshipping a god or gods. Buddhism is seen mainly as a philosophy instead of a religion because of this. Siddhrtha Gautama forbade his followers to worship him after his death. Buddhism's Impact on the World Siddhrtha Gautama died at the age of 80 in 480 B.C. His followers traveled throughought India after his death, determined to spread his message throughout Asia. Buddhist temples and Monestaries were created to teach the ways of the Buddha. Monks studied at the monasteries and dedicated their entire lives to the teachings of Siddhrtha Gautama. The Branches of Buddhism There are usually Two major branches of Buddhism that are recognized today: Theravada "The School of the Elders" and Mahayana "The Great Vehicle". Theravada is found mostly in Southeast Asian and Sri Lanka. Mahayana is found mostly in East Asia and combines many different traditions. Vajrayana is sometimes recognized as a third sect of Buddhism, but most people consider it as a branch of Mahayana. Other variations of Buddhism have surfaced throughout the world. In China, Buddha has come to be resembled by a jolly fat man rather than the traditionally strong and powerful man from India. Buddhism Today Today, the two main branches of Buddhism and are found throughout Asia, India. and even in other parts of the world. Over time, many minor changes have been made to Siddhartha Gautama's teachings. Even with these changes, the teachings of Siddhrtha Gautama have survived thousands of years and Buddhism is still one of the most common religions found in the world today.
7: Confucianism | Origins Confucianism, formed by Confucius originated in the 6th century B.C. in the Spring and Autumn time period. It was all about teaching people how to act in a humane and ethical way without the use of violence of any kind. | Life of Confucius Confucius lived from 551 B.C. to 478 B.C. Early on, he wanted to be a political advisor but was never able to find a patron. Confucius looked around his enviroment and decided that he didn’t approve of violence and the morals slipping away so he decided to travel around China to try and persuade political leaders to follow his ways. Confucius’s sayings became known throughout China as the Analects. Confucius then became known as The First Teacher. Ideas The ideas of Confucianism are pretty simple. They believed that if everyone would act in harmony with the rest of the world then their own lives would benefit from that. Confucianism was not a religion in any sense. All of the beliefs were ethical and political . The two elements of this philosophy were duty and humanity. Duty was where you subordinate your own self interests so you can broader your family’s needs. Humanity was, and still is all about having compassion and empathy for other people. The Five Relationships In Confucianism there are five relationships. They are; parent and child, husband and wife, older sibling and younger sibling, older and younger friend, and ruler and subject. Confucius believed and taught that you need to work on strengthening these relationships all the time and in everything that you do.
8: Attitudes toward God Confucians believed that there was a higher spiritual power but they did not think that that power was a God. Confucius taught people to not waste their time on spiritual questions because they were not worth it. Impact on China When Confucius was alive, his ideas did not have a large affect but after his death in 479 B.C, his sayings and beliefs became a lot more popular. People in China still use The Analects today and Confucius's ideas have seemed to become more popular as the years go on.
9: Taoism | Orgins Taoism was based off ideas of Laozi. Laozi was an old master, around the same time of Confucius. No one knows if he actually existed, it was only based off legend. Taoism was formed right around 550 B.C.E. This started in china, and had over 20,0000,000 followers. | Life of Laozi Laozi wrote the text purportedly in 3rd or 4th century b.c.e.. People believe today that he was the one who started taoism. As Laozi came across the chinese border, a person in charge of border pass told him to put his thoughts into writting, this resulted with his book, Daodejing, which was over 5000 chinese characters. Principles Taoism was a straightforward simple life style, they set forth proper forms of human behavior. Taoism is a religious tradition where the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao. Tao is everything that exists the origin of everything and because the latter is also nothing.They believe that to make it into heaven is through inaction, Non-action or inaction is the idea of following natures rules, rather then overriding them. They wanted to establish harmony with everything possible. Taoism and Confucianism Taoism and Confucianism have both been in china for more then 500 years before the idea of Buddhism. In china both Taoism and Confucianism are both teachings, so they are not exclusively religious. Taoism had not only a profound influence on the Chinese culture but also neighboring countries.The three jewels of Taoism is Compassion, moderation and humility.
10: Rituals and Beliefs The Taoists thought generally focuses on the nature there is a relationship with humanity and the cosmos. Harmony with the universe is the intended result of many Taoist rules and practices. Taoisms interest in Chinese Chinese alchemy, astrology, cuisine, zen Buddhism, several Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese medicines, feng shui, and many styles of qigong have been intertwined in Taoism through out history. They wanted to have harmony with everything possible. so they did rituals of faith, they would give offerings to their deities, they would also meditate. Taoism Today Today Taoism is still alive, but not as distinct as before. Now they have what they call Toa Masters, or Black Headed Taoists, they are more religious then it used to be. There are more then 20 million still left today, and most of them are in Taiwan.
11: Impact On America | Hinduism Hinduism today is still in other countries including America. There are still people that believe in Karma, and Darma. Like Confucianism, Hinduism is also about treating people how you would like to be treated. Karma dictates that if you do bad things to others, bad things will happen to you. A positive outlook on life will directly improve your luck, or “Karma.” Buddhism Since Buddhism is such a predominant religion today, many Buddhist followers are found here in the United States. Many Asian Americans practice Buddhism and there are a large number of Americans of other ethnicities who still convert to Buddhism. Ancient Buddhist principles are even prevalent in the non-Buddhist society. The best example of this is Buddha's four precepts: "Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not be unchaste. Do not take drugs or drink alcohol." Most of these ancient Buddhist precepts have been transformed into either Christian and Jewish commandments or laws that govern our society. Many other ancient Buddhist principles have since been adopted into modern society, like "do onto others as you would have them do to you." Confucianism Confucianism had a world-wide spread after the death of Confucius in 479 B.C. People in America use sayings and messages that came from Confucius without even knowing where they came from. People are always talking about the golden rule and I believe that Confucianism is where that came from. Confucius was all about treating others in harmony and not having violence or wars and there are people in America today that feel the same way. Taoism Taoism impacted Americans ideals and beliefs. I believe that a lot of Americans have their beliefs even if they don't know it, Taoism was all about making harmony with everyone and everything. They were all about peace, basically our modern day hippies.
12: Works Cited | "Map of Asia Satellite Map - Mapa.owje.com." Mapa Mundi - Mapa Politico - Mapas Satelital - Mapas Físicos - Mapas.owje.com. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
13: "Dancing with Siva, Resource 5, The Major Religions of the World." Kauai's Hindu Monastery. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.