Thursday, March 31, 2016

Moksha: Equating versus Relating

I had multiple students point out that I haven't posted anything in 10 days.

I make no apologies.  Teaching takes a lot of time.  :)

We're moving from Gandhi and the Indian independence movement into the study of Hinduism.  (This seems like a natural progression since Gandhi was Hindu.)

One of the (minor) struggles I've had in teaching is getting students to relate, but not equate.  And sometimes, I don't even want them to relate two things - but they do.

Many of my students are Christians.  Many of those who aren't Christian are at least familiar with Christianity because they live in Northern Indiana.

So, when they hear about avatars: Hindu gods that come to earth in the form of humans - many draw comparisons to the Christian belief in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  But Christians wouldn't say Christ was an avatar - they would say he is God (or the Son of God.)  Maybe students could relate the two, but definitely don't equate the two.

In Hinduism, Shiva is the destroyer.  In Christianity, Satan is the destroyer.  But Shiva is not Satan.  In Hinduism, Shiva is not even evil.  Here, I'd like students to neither relate, nor equate.

Christians believe in heaven.  Hindus believe in Moksha.  Moksha is not heaven.  Again, noting the similarities is fine.  Equating them is not.

When I hear students equate, it usually sounds something like this, "Oh... so Moksha is the Hindu heaven?"  Or "Oh... so Shiva is the Hindu version of Satan."


Moksha is the Hindu afterlife, but it's not the "Hindu heaven."

Maybe, if I have time tomorrow I'll give you a better description of Moksha.

If you want extra credit for reading and discussing the blog, write a couple sentences telling the difference between relating and equating.

Have the adult you read the blog with sign the paper.

Turn it in tomorrow.

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