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Smith's The World's Religions - Hinduism Section


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If Hitler and Stalin exemplified violence in the 20th Century, who exemplified peace?
What was Gandhi's greatest political accomplishment?
The British withdrew in peace.
What did Gandhi do for the untouchables?
He raised them to human stature.
What was Gandhi's name for the untouchables, and what did it mean?
Harijan, which meant "God's people."
To what did Gandhi attribute his political effectiveness?
His "experiments in the spiritual field."
What did Gandhi call "the sovereign principle"?
What, according to Gandhi, was "the book par excellence" for the knowledge of truth"?
The Bhagavad-Gita.
What is the fundamental affirmation of Hinduism?
You can have what you want.
According to Hinduism, what are the four levels of human wants?
Pleasure, success, service, liberation.
Which of people's four wants is it okay to satisfy?
All of them.
What changes as you progress up the scale of wants?
The size of the self with which you identify.
It's okay to go after all the pleasure you want as long as --what?
You obey the basic rules of morality.
Under what condition should a person seek anything other than pleasure?
If he or she wants more than pleasure.
Why isn't pleasure ultimately satisfying?
It is private, and so satisfies only the smallest self.
What is the source and who is the author of: "In the bottomless ocean of pleasure, I have sounded in vain for a spot to cast anchor. I have felt the almost irresistible power with which one pleasure drags another after it, the kind of adulterated en
Sickness Unto Death, Soren Kierkegaard
What did Kierkegaard call a life in which enjoyment is the guiding principle?
The aesthetic life.
What 3 kinds of success does Hinduism identify?
Wealth, fame, and power.
For what 4 reasons is success not ultimately satisfying?
1. It is competitive, hence precarious. 2. The desire is insatiable. 3. It satisfies a self that is smaller than our actual self. 4. "You can't take it with you."
How long should we seek pleasure and success?
As long as they satisfy us.
What is the Path of Desire?
"The life in which we seek only pleasure and/or
When we're ready to go beyond the Path of Desire, what path do we take up?
The Path of Renunciation.
In the positive sense of "renunciation," for what do we renounce something?
For something we desire more.
How long does it take, at most, to tire of the Path of Desire?
Many lifetimes.
What quality determines whether a person is ready for the Path of Renunciation?
Psychological age.
What determines a person's psychological age?
Experience in past lives.
What are the 3 that can happen on the Path of Desire to leave us dissatisfied?
1. We don't get what we want. 2. We get what we want and lose it. 3. We get what we want and get tired of it.
The religion of service could also be called the religion of --what?
To what point has our self expanded when we serve?
The community.
What are the 3 rewards of service?
Respect, gratitude, and self-respect.
Aldous Huxley wrote: "There comes a time when one asks even of Shakespeare, even of BeethovenÂ…" --what?
Is this all?
Who wrote: "Â…there is no true good here below, that everything that appears to be good in this world is finite, limited, wears out, and once worn out, leaves necessity exposed in all its nakedness."
Simone Weil
What is our highest desire?
What are 3 aspects of liberation?
Infinite being, infinite knowledge, infinite bliss.
Why can't people achieve infinitude?
We already have it.
What is Sanskrit for the infinite center of every life?
What is Sanskrit for the Godhead?
Why is our infinitude not apparent?
It is covered up by our surface selves.
What 3 things comprise the "dust and dirt" that covers up the eternal in us?
Distractions, false assumptions, and self-regarding instincts.
Who wrote: "Â…The aim of life is to get as far as possible from imperfection."
Justice Holmes.
What 3 experiences interfere with our joy?
1. Physical pain. 2. Frustration. 3. Boredom.
Which limitation is the least troublesome?
Physical pain.
What are the 3 ways we can limit physical pain?
1. Conquer fear. 2. Have a purpose for the pain. 3. Anesthetize outselves through drugs or control of the senses.
How can we overcome frustration and boredom?
By expanding our identification beyond the individual self.
What statement of Jesus shows that he identified with everybody?
"Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me."
What scriptures speak of "Â…knowing of That the knowledge of which brings knowledge of everything."
The Upanishads.
"Knowledge of everything" doesn't mean omniscience in every detail. That would be like --what?
Asking the number of atoms in a great painting.
How does modern psychology agree with the Hindu concept of ignorance?
It posits large hidden areas in the human psyche.
If a person's being isn't measured by the size of her body, how is it measured?
The size of her Spirit.
How do you measure the size of a person's spirit?
Measure the size of what she identifies with.
What is a common expansion beyond individual identity?
Identification with my family.
What is the largest identification?
Being as a whole.
As each moment is born and dies, why don't we experience our own death?
We don't identify with moments. We see ourselves as larger.
How does Hinduism extend the idea that we endure through successive moments?
We endure through successive lives.
What is a royal metaphor for forgetting who we really are?
An amnesiac king wandering his kingdom in tatters.
What is an animal metaphor for forgetting who we really are?
A lion cub raised by sheep.
What is a romantic metaphor for forgetting who we really are?
A lover dreaming of searching for his beloved while his beloved sleeps next to him.
What is it like for a realized person to try to describe her experience of total being?
Trying to describe a sunset to a blind person.
Where can we find clues to the experience of total being?
In the biographies of realized persons.
What are our clues to the experience of total being?
A realized person's expressions of freedom--of being, knowledge, and joy.
What has been India's obsession?
Bringing the knowledge of our total being to light.
What is a metaphor for the urgency for finding a teacher?
A man carrying on his head a load of wood that catches fire.
What are the directions for realizing our deepest being?
What does yoga mean?
What are the two meanings of "yoke"?
Unite and place under disciplined training.
What is the yoga for training the body?
Hatha yoga.
If the West emphasizes strength and beauty as the goals of body training, what are the goals of hatha yoga?
Precision and control.
What, ideally, does a hatha yogi learn to control?
Every bodily function.
How was hatha yoga originally practiced?
As a preliminary to spiritual yoga.
What is the purpose of the spiritual yogas?
To unite the human spirit with God.
How many forms of spiritual yoga are there?
Why do we need four yogas?
Because people approach the goal from different directions.
What determines the direction from which you start?
The kind of person you are.
What Western spiritual director criticized "directors who get a plan into their heads which they apply to all the souls who come to them, trying to bring them into line with it like one who should wish all to wear the same clothes"?
Father Surin.
What is the source and who is the author of the statement that the aim of spiritual directors should "not be to guide souls by a way suitable to themselves, but to ascertain the way by which God himself is pointing them?"
The Living Flame, St. John of the Cross.
Who built his typology of human personalities on the four-part Indian model?
Carl Jung.
What are the four personality types?
1. Reflective. 2. Emotional. 3. Active. 4. Experimental.
What is the base on which religion is built?
What is the problem with selfishness?
It coagulates the finite sense of self instead of dissolving it.
What is the problem with ill-will?
It perturbs the consciousness.
What are 8 habits that form the first step of every yoga?
1. Non-injury. 2. Truthfulness. 3. Non-stealing. 4. Self-control. 5. Cleanliness. 6. Contentment. 7. Self-discipline. 8. Compelling desire to reach the goal.
What are the four paths, in English?
1. Knowledge. 2. Love. 3. Work. 4. Psychophysical exercises.
What is the path of knowledge, in Sanskrit?
jnana yoga.
What is the goal of jnana yoga?
To identify with God.
Who should take the path of knowledge?
People for whom ideas are important.
In jnana yoga what is the metaphor that describes the individual's relationship to God?
The wave and the sea.
In jnana yoga God is one's deepest self yet goes beyond the individual self. What is the term for this?
What is the process of jnana yoga?
A series of demonstrations to convince the yogi that she is more than her finite self.
What is the key to success in jnana yoga?
What is it that needs to be distinguished?
The surface self from the invisible deeper self.
What are the three stages of cultivating the power to distinguish the surface self from the deeper self?
1. Listening to sages and scriptures. 2. Prolonged, intensive reflection. 3. Shifting self-identification.
What can a yogi contemplate about language that suggests there is an "I" separate from the mind and body?
We say, "My mind, my body." Who is the "I" to which "my" refers?
What does science tells us that a yogi can contemplate that suggests there is an "I" separate from the mind and body?
There is nothing in my body that was there seven years ago, and my mind has undergone many changes, yet I consider myself the same person.
What does the etymology of "person" tell us that a yogi can contemplate that suggests there is an "I" separate from the personality?
"Person" derives from the Latin persona, which denotes the mask that an actor wears.
What can a yogi contemplate about a game of chess that suggests that the finite self isn't all there is?
The player survives the end of the game.
What mental practice does the yogi do to shift identification to Spirit?
In her thoughts she thinks about herself not in the first person but the third person, separating the Witness from the surface self.
What is the shortest and steepest path to realization?
The Path of Knowledge.
What is the most popular path to realization?
The Path of Love.
What is the Sanskrit name for the Path of Love?
Bhakti yoga.
Who was the sixteenth-century mystical poet who famously shifted his attachment from his wife to God?
What other religion do Hindus consider to be the Path of Love?
How does bhakti yoga differ from jnana yoga in defining God?
In jnana yoga God is Self; in bhakti yoga God is other.
What is God's relationship to the bhakti yogi?
Friend or lover.
What food metaphor does the bhakti yogi use to express her preference for a God who is Other?
I want to taste sugar; I don't want to be sugar.
If not where were the love?"
What is the goal of bhakti yoga?
To adore God above all things, with no ulterior motive.
What are the tools of bhakti yoga?
Myths, images, and rituals.
What is the relationship of the tools of bhakti yoga to God that allow them to be used without becoming idols?
They represent aspects of God without being God.
Who said: "Those who meditate on Me and worship Me without any attachment to anything else, those I soon lift from the ocean of death."
Lord Krishna.
What are three practices recommended by bhakti yoga?
Japam, ringing the changes on love, worship of one's ideal.
What is japam?
To repeat God's name; to pray without ceasing.
What is the classic Christian story about praying without ceasing?
The Way of the Pilgrim.
What is ringing the changes on love?
Loving God in all the different ways humans can love.
What is worship of one's chosen ideal?
Selecting a representation of God to love, usually an incarnation like Rama, Krishna, or Christ.
What is Sanskrit for my chosen ideal?
My ishta.
What is Sanskrit for the Path of Work?
Karma yoga.
Who should take up karma yoga?
Active people.
What are the two subpaths of karma yoga?
Jnana (knowledge) and bhakti (devoted service).
What kind of work dissolves the ego?
Selfless work.
For whom does the selfless karma yogi work?
Who wills the karma yogi's work and where does she get her energy for it?
"Thou are the Doer, I am theÂ…" --what?
For what reward does the karma yogi work?
What outcome is the karma yogi hoping for?
"Do without attachment the work you have to do. Surrendering all action to Me, freeing yourself from longing and selfishness, fight--unperturbed byÂ…" --what?
"To work you have the right, but not to theÂ…" --what?
A yogi who repeatedly rescued a scorpion from the Ganges even though it bit him each time explained his actions by saying, "It is the nature of scorpions to bite. It is the nature of yogis toÂ…" --what?
Help others when they can.
What five qualities characterize a karma yogi's actions?
Concentration, calmness, diligence, patience, and detachment.
What is the Sanskrit name for the Path of Psychophysical Exercises?
Raja yoga.
What is another name for raja yoga in India?
The royal (raj) road to reintegration.
For what type of person is raja yoga designed?
One of scientific bent.
What does raja yoga compare to in the West?
Scientific experiment.
What is the research subject in raja yoga's scientific experiments?
How are the results of raja yoga experiments different from the results of Western science?
They are subjective.
What replaces dogma in raja yoga?
A hypothesis.
What is the central hypothesis of raja yoga?
We are layered beings.
What are the four main layers?
Body, individual conscious mind, individual subconscious mind, and Infinite Being.
How much of the raja yoga hypothesis does Western science agree with?
The first three layers.

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