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Hinduism terms

Ascetic one who renounces physical pleasures and worldly attachments for the sake of spiritual advancement.
Atman the eternal self or soul of an individual.
Brahman the highest of the four classes of the caste system, made up of priests.
Avatar an incarnation, or living embodiment, of a deity, usually vishnu, who is sent to earth to accomplish a diving purpose
Rig Veda A collection of 1,017 Sanskrit hymns composed about 1500 B.C or earlier; Hinduism's oldest sacred text.
Maya Cosmic illusion brought about by divine creative power
Caste System Traditional division of Hindu society into various categories; brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra each class contains numerous subgroups, resulting in more than three thousand categoreies.
Four Goals of Life Sensual pleasure, Material Success, Harmony with Dharma, The bliss of Moksha.
Karma The moral law of cause and effect of actions
Dharma Ethical duty base on the divine order of reality
Moksha Liberation or release of the individual self
Monism The doctrine that reality is ultimately made up of only one essence
Upanishads a collection of over two hundred texts composed between 900 and 200 B.C.
Samsara Wheel of Rebirth.
Three Paths of Liberation To be active, To gain knowledge, and to experience emotional attacmhent.
Four Stages of Life 1st- Student, 2nd- pursuing a career and raising a family. 3rd- birth of the first grandchild, forest dweller stage. 4th- wandering ascetic. stage for forest dwellers ready to return to society.

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