Terms and Sample Questions
Brahman (capital B)
brahman (lowercase b)
nonviolence of the strong
nonviolence of the weak
transmigration of souls
Explain the doctrines of karma and reincarnation. How do they explain what we see in the world?
How do the Hindu ideas of Heaven and Hell differ from the Christian ideas of Heaven and Hell?
What goal might one who follows the great tradition be seeking to attain? What goal might one who follows the little tradition be seeking to attain? How might these different goals affect their choice of actions?
Why must moksha be attained, if at all, by our actions during our life on earth?
What are the four major varna or castes? What sorts of occupations would the members of each caste engage in?
Does the doctrine of karma discourage Hindus from helping the poor and the oppressed?
What are the “four stages of life” that twice-born Hindus expect to go through?
Explain Hindu attitudes toward war.
In the Bhagavad Gita, what three arguments does Krishna use to encourage Arjuna to fight?
How three arguments did Gandhi use to overcome the objection that the Gita justifies war?
If the Gita is revealed truth, why did Gandhi feel free to re-interpret it? What specific teaching of the Gita did he reject, and on what basis?
What did Gandhi think was the central message of the Gita?
If Krishna, an avatar or incarnation of the god Vishnu, urged Arjuna to go to battle, why did Gandhi dare to oppose war? Did he think he knew more than an incarnate god?
Be able to recognize the key principles of satyagraha according to Gandhi, and to discern when they are being incorrectly described.
Describe Gandhi's "constructive program"
Describe Vinba Bhave’s campaign of Bhoodan or land distribution: what it was, and how it began.
How did Bhave connect “bhakti” with “service”?
How did Bhave connect "action without desire for fruits" to “service”?