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Upanishads

(912 words)

Author(s): Brück, Michael von
1. The Upanishads (Skt. upa-ni-ṣad, “set down close by,” in which students sit at the feet of their teachers, who by mystagogic instruction [rahasya] lead them to personal experience) are the heterogenous Sanskrit literature of Hinduisim, which, as the Vedanta (lit. “end of the Veda”), contain the Samhitas (the four great collections of Vedic writings: Rig-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, and Atharva-veda) and the Aranyakas (lit. “forest treatises”: spiritual commentaries on the Vedas deriving from the vānaprasthas, or forest-dwelling hermits). Some of the teachers (guru) are kn…

Hinduism and Christianity

(756 words)

Author(s): Brück, Michael von | Rajashekar, J. Paul
A first attempt at communication between Hinduism and Christianity was made by Robert de Nobili (1577–1656), who, with a view to missionary effectiveness (Mission 3), adopted the lifestyle of a sannyasin, or itinerant ascetic, in order to understand Hinduism better. Only with the Hindu renaissance in the 18th and 19th centuries (through Rammohan Ray and others; Hinduism 3.4) did a dialogic exchange begin. Hindu reformers found in Jesus a divine incarnation, gained inspiration from him, and made …