Study Guide

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1. The lowest level of India’s society, considered “untouchables” were called _______
Pariahs, “harijans”, “Untouchables”, “Outcastes”, Dalit, “Children of God”

2. The priests in Hinduism belong to what caste?
Brahmins
3. What is “Dharma”?
“Path of Life”, religious teachings of Hinduism – (“eternal order, religion & law of the universe), Also – the teachings of Buddha in Buddhism. 4. Which of the religions or philosophies does not worship clergy or gods?

Confucianism, Buddhism

5. Explain how Buddhism and Hinduism differ?
Buddhism is a philosophy and is not based on a holy book or god, but rather a “path of life” or dharma to follow; to be the best you can be. It is based on living a good life and giving back to the world. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion based on a holy book (called the Upanishads and the Vedas). It is based on the worship of many gods rather than providing a philosophy for life.

6. Why are Buddhism and Confucianism not considered ‘true’ religions?
Buddhism and Confucianism are not based on holy books or any specific gods. They are both focused on providing good values, and living a productive and meaningful life.

7. Why did the Sikh’s split from Hinduism?
Sikhs did not believe in the Caste System, which separated individuals, polytheism, or the pilgrimage to the Ganges. They do believe in reincarnation. They are monotheistic, believing in Naam or the Divine Name. They believe in equality and peace for all souls. They carry daggers for protection and for defense of their religion; a tradition dating back to Muslim and Hindu persecution in the 16th century.

8. What is the name of Hinduism’s sacred river?
Ganges River

9. Who is the Dalai Lama? What is his significance to Buddhism?
The Dalai Lama is the Buddhist spiritual leader of Tibet. He currently lives in Exile and cannot return to Tibet (Nepal) due to the threat of arrest from the Chinese government. He is in support for an independent Nepal from disputed land claims of the Chinese.

10. Is Buddhism polytheistic or monotheistic? How do you know?
Buddhism is really neither – they do believe in one god, but do not worship him. Buddha brings enlightenment and guides the way to that. It is a philosophy vs. a religion.

11. What religious practices do Hindus do on a daily basis?
Hindus practice yoga and daily prayers. They also attend public rituals, hold “puja” dinners to honor gods and celebrate holidays throughout the year (celebrate seasons, various gods and accomplishments of religious leaders), but not on a daily basis.

12. The term “samsara” most nearly means?
The term “samsara” most nearly means reincarnation or rebirth.

13. Brahma is the _____________?
The “One True God” in Hinduism, Brahma is the Creator, the Spirit, Om, and the Intelligence that is in every living thing.

14. Shiva is _____________?
The Hindu god that is the “Destroyer of the Universe” Shiva represents the life cycle; birth, life, death, rebirth.

14. The founder of Sikhism is _______________ ?
Guru Nanak

15. Hindus believe that what animal is sacred? Why do you think they choose to be vegetarian?
Hindus believe that the cow is a sacred animal. They also believe in Brahma, the Creator, whose Intelligence is in every living think (including animals), which is probably why they choose not to eat animals.

17. What are the 4 Noble Truths? In what religion/philosophy do they belong?
The 4 Noble Truths are the basic tenant and beliefs of Buddhism. They are 1-suffering is a part of life, 2-There are causes of suffering, like emotional attachment, ignorance and selfishness, 3-there is a state of transcendence of suffering, and 4-there is a path that leads away from suffering and towards enlightenment.

18. The merchants and traders belonged to what Indian caste?
The merchants and traders belonged to the Vaishya Caste

19. The unskilled workers belonged to...
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