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Introduction to Hinduism - 01 - The Hindu World View

Any Religion or World View has 3 levels:
1. The Core Philosophy
2. Ceremonies/ Rituals/ Practices
3. Myths

--- Philosophy is the base of this 3-tiered classification.
--- Different interpretations of the philosophy gives rise to different set of practices/ rituals which forms the middle-tier.
--- Mythological stories make up the top-tier - myths are woven around the philosophy, the rituals ,  the ceremonies and the prevalent way of life at that point of time.

Cutting across all these 3 tiers are the Religious Scriptures - which contain prayers, hymns and invocations.

Using the above framework, the Hindu World View can be analyzed as under:

Hindu World View

1. Hindu Philosophy
-------- 1.1 Astika Schools
---------------- 1.1.1 Sad-darsana (Six Systems of Philosophy)
------------------------ Nyaya
------------------------ Vaisheshika
------------------------ Samkhya
------------------------ Yoga
------------------------ Mimamsa
------------------------ Vedanta
----------------------------- Advaita
----------------------------- Vishishta-Advaita
----------------------------- Dvaita 
---------------- 1.1.2 Other Schools
------------------------ Trika (Kashmir Shaiva Monism)
-------- 1.2 Nastika Schools
---------------- 1.2.1 Buddhism
---------------- 1.2.2 Jainism
---------------- 1.2.3 Charvaka

2. Ceremonies/ Rituals/ Practices
-------- 2.1 Way of Life - Dharma
-------- 2.2 Hymns
---------------- 2.2.1 Mantra
---------------- 2.2.2 Stotra
---------------- 2.2.3 Sukta
-------- 2.3 Ceremony - Yajna

3. Hindu Mythology
-------- 3.1 Itihaasa
---------------- 3.1.1 Ramayana
---------------- 3.1.2 Mahabharata
-------- 3.2 Puraana
---------------- 3.2.1 Brahma Puraanas
------------------------ Brahma Puraana
------------------------ Brahmānda Puraana
------------------------ Brahmavaivarta Puraana
------------------------ Markandeya Puraana
------------------------ Bhavishya Puraana
---------------- 3.2.2 Vaishnava Puraanas
------------------------ Vishnu Puraana
------------------------ Bhagavata Puraana
------------------------ Naradeya Puraana
------------------------ Garuda Puraana
------------------------ Padma Puraana
------------------------ Agni Puraana
---------------- 3.2.3 Shaiva Puraanas
------------------------ Shiva Puraana
------------------------ Linga Puraana
------------------------ Skanda Puraana
------------------------ Vayu Puraana

In the next post, I'll talk about Hindu scriptures and how it maps to this framework.

Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay (2011)


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