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Lecture 2

Rels 131 lecture 2 2013/2014

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Queen's University
Religious Studies
RELS 131
Aditi Sen- Chowdhury

Rels 131 Lecture 2 September 13  Hindus and Hinduism o 1400 B.C. is when Hinduism is recorded  No Hindu identity back then  Different groups worshipping different gods  Still did not refer to themselves as Hindus by 1200 B.C. o British and Muslim invasions  Muslims rule but don’t try to group these people  British understood Islam but not Hinduism  Vast group of different religions were then grouped together as Hindus o Hindu books focus on “duty” and not on “religion”  Dharma was your duty.  Different schools of thought  British Helped them forge an identity they were searching for  Social Stratification found within books and culture  Different gods  All worshipped an idol  All very ritualistic  Fire, sacrifices, etc  3 types of Hinduism  Vedic  Classical  Extreme Hinduism o Language of the Vedas and the Upanishads  Dead languages as they were passed orally and not written down  Most didn’t understand their language  Word “Vedic” is misused o The Four vedas (the holiest book)  Rig Vedai songs/ hymns of praise  Captured imagination of modern Hindu world  Man’s raw contact with nature o Most of content deals with this  The yajur veda: Sacrificial rituals  Manual designed to aid sacrificial rituals  Instruction manual o “get 10 bricks”  The Sam Veda: Music  Read as group together as they are verses with musical notes  The Atharva Veda: Folk Religion  Black sheep of the Veda’s o Rig Veda  Gods  Agni (fire) o Fire is seen as essential o Fire takes sacrifices/messages to the sky/gods. o Messages carried by Agni.  Soma (unknown plant) o God of a people o Soma is a hallucinogenic mixture  Varuna (Storm/Ocean) o Fostered in the mind o Very fast  Parjanya (rain) o Carried metal pouches of water o Water chariots and horses  Dyaus (Sky) o Blue form of the sky  Yama (Death) o God of the departed o Tells you if you go to heave or hell.  Indra (King) o Manly ideal o Love to drink Soma and Skooma o Promiscuous o A warrior o Would fight demons o Would eat cows  Not initially holy  The Female Pantheon o Prithvi (Earth) o Sarasvati (speech)  Later other roles  Speech is female o Usas (dawn)  Different from sun god o Aditi (creation/universe)
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