Religion - Assignment

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You have read several passages from The Vedas and The Upanishads in The World's Wisdom. For this discussion board, I would like you to choose one of the passages we have read and tell me what you thought of it.  

Your journal could focus on any of the following guiding questions, or you can just discuss your response to that particular reading. 

  • why did you choose this particular reading?  what interested you about it?
  • did you find the reading beautiful? or disturbing?
  • what did you learn about Hinduism from this reading?
  • is there something about the reading that confused you?
  • does the passage remind you of another scripture you are familiar with?

You must also respond to at least two classmates  

This is for the first student

Passage from The World's Wisdom:

The Bhagavad Gita

20a. "Act Without Seeking the Fruits of Action" (pgs 31-32)

I chose this particular reading because I thought that it was a passage that could be relatable to people, regardless of what religion they are, or if they're even religious at all. This passage talked about selfless work and learning to work without laziness and accepting failure which I think is something really important to understand. One part of the passage explains, " work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender" (pg 31). I thought this was really beautiful because it is teaching followers of Hindu that it is important to avoid anxieties over things such as work, which I myself believe is an important thing to practice because work is something that should not consume one's life and should merely be one activity of many in a day. I learned from this reading that Hinduism teaches selflessness by including a statement that reads: "they who work selfishly for results are miserable" (pg 31). This passage does not remind me of another scripture because I'm not very religious, however I know that many religions believe in selfless acts which can be seen from the previous quote. I also enjoyed part of the passage that states, "desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working" (pg 31) because it matches my belief that you should work for something that gives you joy and is your passion, rather than for something that merely gives you a lot of money

and this is the post of second student8. Kena Upanishad: Brahman, the Spirit: Not What People Here Adore (10)

"What cannot be indrawn with breath, but that whereby breath is indrawn: Know that alone to be Brahman, the Spirit; and not what people here adore." (10) My mind has wandered down an odd road over this passage. I'll try to lay out where I've been.

Some similar thinking:

"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao" - Tao Te Ching, 1.

"For in him we live, and move, and have our being [...]" - Acts 17:28 (St. Paul)

"This is the seeing that consists in not seeing, because that which is sought transcends all knowledge, being separated on all sides by incomprehensibility as by a kind of darkness." - St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses

“Christ our God, the Existing One, is blessed, always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.” - Dismissal in Eastern Orthodox worship services.

I'm drawn to reflect on the countless mystics across almost all religious traditions, especially christianity, who have had experiences of profound darkness and brilliant light. The knowledge that is acquired through these experiences is usually expressed through negation; God is known and left a mystery beyond speech and thought.

"What cannot be seen with the eye, but that whereby the eye can see..." (The World's Wisdom, 10).

This is just it, isn't it? Generally the purpose of light isn't to be seen, but to see by. Light allows us to see; it presents depth, texture, and color to our eyes. I can't gaze at the Sun without ruining my vision, but by the light of the Sun I can gaze on everything else in the world that it illumines. I don't see light, I see what reflects the light, and in some way, everything participates in what light is. As a Christian I can relate to this idea from the Hindus even as I have a different theology to interpret the unknowable. I think the Hindus might have gotten along with St Gregory of Nyssa who liked to say that we meet God in a "luminous darkness." 

name of the books

rothero, Stephen. God Is Not One. New York: HarperOne, 2010.

Novak, Philip. The World’s Wisdom. New York: HarperOne, 1995. 

These are the videos








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