World Religion Part II / 2014 (Alan Ream)

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1 World Religion Part II / 2014 (Alan Ream) History Standard 6: Students know that religious and philosophical ideas have been powerful forces throughout history. What is the Essence of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Taoism? Essence Explained: A chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips is not a The attributes that makes something what it is without which, it loses its identity The Vibe of something Plato s notion of ideal forms What makes something tick? How is the thing unique and special? What is the most important ingredient? Your Task: After doing some research and design, students will create an outfit for the fashion show, to present their findings about the critical elements of these four religions. * The idea is to present the essence of each of these four religions using props and dialogue to highlight key similarities and differences. You are not to dress up like a Hindu or a Buddhist but rather, your fashion should reflect concepts, ideas, beliefs, and values that are essential to the religion you are studying. Sample Sources The American Heritage dictionary of the English Language Answers.com Essence of Hinduism. Pranava K Jha. Professor. Web.stdoudstate.edu Essence of Buddhism. World Religions. Interdisciplinary Thematic Unit. Teacher Created Resources. Gabriel Arquilevich What do we know about Buddhism? Anita Ganeri. Peter Bedrick Books. New York Eyewitness Books. Religion. Myrtle Langley What do we know about Sikhism? Beryl Dhanjal Sikhism: Discovering Religions. Sue Penney Greek Philosophy: PLATO

2 The Essence of is Approximate Age: Approximate Number of Followers Worldwide: Religion Headquarters: Famous Founders and Followers: Descriptions / Essential Elements: Symbol: It symbolizes Famous Quotes:

3 The Essence of Hinduism Approximate Age: 2000 BCE Approximate Number of Followers Worldwide: 800 million Religion Headquarters: India Famous Hindu: Mahatma Gandhi Description: It s not a religion but a way of life Dharma is the essence of Hinduism. It is the moral law of the world and it needs to be kept in balance. Hindus believe in repeated reincarnation. There is a cycle of birth life death and re-birth. Hindus are polytheistic. They believe in many different gods and each person picks a special one to worship in their lives. Brahma is the creator; the supreme god. All other gods came from Brahma. Hindus must practice: compassion, patience, forgiveness, self control, honesty, sanctity, control of the senses, reason, knowledge, truthfulness, absence of anger. There is a bond, a unity between man and nature Thoughts are more potent than actions and hold more weight. Thinking about something bad is worse than doing something bad. Your thoughts and actions are your Karma, your destiny. There is good karma and bad karma. What you do in this life will transfer into your next life. Misery in life is the result of evil thoughts and actions. Quotes: Kindness is not optional All things of the universe are links of one chain; the shaking of a flower will set a star ashiver. Raghupati Sahai Firaq ( ) Misery is one s own creation - Blissfulness is one s own accomplishment.

4 The Essence of Buddhism Approximate Age: 500 BCE Approximate Number of Followers Worldwide: 400 million Religion Headquarters: India, and Tibet Famous Buddhist: Dalai Lama Description: Buddhists follow the teachings of their founder Siddhartha Gautama who became the Buddha. They do not worship an all powerful god. The beliefs / teachings of Buddhism are called Buddha-Dharma. Truth, compassion, and care for others are essential. The essence of Buddhism is understanding the Four Nobel Truths I. Life involves suffering II. Our suffering is caused by our desires III. We can ease this suffering by being aware of these desires IV. The way to happiness is to follow the Middle Path Buddhists believe in a cycle or wheel of life: It is always turning. The wheel represents birth, death, and rebirth. The outside part of the wheel represents different stages in one s life. The inner wheel is for the different ways in which you might be reborn. The three animals at the center stand for hatred, greed, and confusion which stand in the way of a person s enlightenment. After a number of lives, one can reach the highest level called enlightenment (being able to see the true meaning of life) and will be freed from the cycle of reincarnation. Nirvana is the name given for the perfect state of bliss and happiness that can be reached. Karma: good thoughts and actions lead to being reborn closer to Nirvana while bad thoughts and actions lead to rebirth further from it. The Three Jewels of Buddhism include: The Buddha himself, the teachings, and the community. Buddhists must follow the Eightfold Path, which includes: 1. Understanding Buddha s teachings 2. Thinking kind thoughts

5 3. Not telling lies or using angry words 4. Not harming any person or animal 5. Doing work that does not cause others to suffer 6. Thinking before you act 7. Being alert and aware 8. Meditation for a calm focused mind Quotes: Good begets good, evil begets evil. All causes will give rise to results; it s just a matter of time If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it; if it can t be solved, worrying will do no good.

6 The Essence of Sikhism Approximate Age: 1500 CE Approximate Number of Followers Worldwide: 20 million Religion Headquarters: Amritsar India (Punjab region) Famous Sikh: Guru Nanak Description: The word Sikh means learner or disciple The essence of Sikhism is service to others. Sikhs believe in one almighty and eternal god. God is not male or female. God has always existed. God created the universe and everything in it. God is the same God for all people of all religions. Sikhs also believe in the teachings of Ten Gurus who brought the word and will of God to the people. All people are equal in the eyes of God regardless of race, religion social status, etc. (everyone eats together at the Langar which is a free meal open to all after any Sikh service). Sikhs follow the teachings of these Gurus The holy book for Sikhs is the Guru Granth Sahib (Granth means large book and Sahib is a title of respect) The symbol for Sikhs is made up of three parts: Two swords (serve God by teaching the truth and fighting for what is right), a circle (God is one and has no beginning or end), and a double edged sword in the center (the power of God). The Five K s are the things that Sikhs should wear to show their faith. 1. Kesh: uncut hair (a Turban is worn over the hair and has come to symbolize Sikhism) 2. Kangha: small comb (for keeping clean and neat) 3. Kirpan: sword (it s a duty to fight against evil) 4. Kara: steel bangle (God has no beginning and no end, steel represents strength needed to fight for what is right) 5. Kachera: short pants (underwear really)

7 Quotes: The place of worship is called the Gurdwara. It has the holy book (Guru Granth), a room for worship, a kitchen, and a yellow flag flying outside. Really any place can serve as a Gurdwara as long as it can provide these minimum requirements. Pilgrimage is not an important aspect in Sikhism. Sikhs believe in reincarnation. When you die, your soul moves to another body. Reincarnation explains the unfairness in life, because things you did in a past life can follow you and affect you in this life. The goal is to live each life well so that one day you can merge with God forever. As fragrance dwells in a flower and your reflection in a mirror so the divine dwells inside everything; seek therefore in your own heart.

8 The Essence of Taoism Approximate Age: 500 BCE Approximate Number of Followers Worldwide: 35 million Religion Headquarters: China Famous Taoist: Lao-Tse ( BCE) Description: Tao is a life force that flows through all living things. Taoism means the path or the way. Taoists must follow the way of nature also called the watercourse way. It is one of three great religions in China (Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism) Humility is the most highly regarded human virtue in Taoism. The essence of Taoism is to harmonize with nature. The goal of every believer is to harmonize with the Tao through inner meditation and outer observation. The concept of time is cyclical not linear as in the West. There are five main elements to be in touch with and they relate to the body. Sky, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth The Three Jewels of Taoism are: Compassion, Moderation, and Humility. One must follow the art of Wu Wei: let nature take its course. It can be highly superstitious (some Taoists are polytheistic). Symbol: Yin Yang It symbolizes a balance of opposites in the Universe. The swirling shapes represent change which is the only constant factor in the Universe. When both Yin and Yang are equally present, there is calm and balance. The dark color represents female energy and the light represents male. Each has a bit of the other within it. Quotes: The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

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