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Selected Works

Social and Behavioral Sciences

2004

India

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Full-Text Articles in Religion

Evolving Hinduism: Comparing The Bhagavad Gītā, Michele Gibney Dec 2003

Evolving Hinduism: Comparing The Bhagavad Gītā, Michele Gibney

Michele Gibney

Hinduism was a semi-fluid belief system in the medieval period of India. At first it was built around the Brahmin class who were the priests that had the ritual authority to perform elaborate sacrifices for the other three caste levels. There was also then the canon of Vedic literature, one aspect of which was the Upanişads. The Upanişads preached a solitary, hermit-like existence which emphasized meditation. This produced a strong ascetic body, but did not contribute to the continuation of society as a whole. The Upanişads themselves were a reaction to the earlier traditions of priestly worship and predominance of ...