RELS 131 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Atharvaveda, Yajurveda, Rigveda

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Week1 lecture 2!
Hinduism? Hindus?!
The problem with the terms!
Did the ancient South Asians identify themselves as Hindus?!
Some Common Features!
Caste System - social stratification based on the division of labour!
The Holy Trinity - creator, preserver and the destroyer, very holy all over Hinduism !
Few other major Gods - !
Belief in reincarnation - a cycle that goes on!
The Rig Veda as the holiest of all texts - !
Vedas and Vedic!
Vedic: includes the Vedas, the Brahmanas, the Aranakyas, and the Upanishads!
Vedas: The four Vedas!
The Four Vedas (*NEED TO KNOW) !
The Rid Veda: The songs/hymns of praise!
The Yajur Veda: Sacrificial Rituals !
The Sam Veda: Music!
The Atharva Veda: Folk Religion!
dating of the Vedas are problematic, preserved through memory, not written down, knowledge
is transmitted!
memory is deeply valued!
Rig Veda!
Agni (Fire)!
described as a God that is dierent in dierent ways. !
Soma (Unknown Plant)
most mysterious god. A creeper plant. Many scientist/scholars don't really know. Upon
drinking it, you have this close contact with god. Mind is the centre of the story and being
high is exactly this. It is considered a good state to be in. !
Storm (Varuna)!
Brings the rain with him. The god of storm and rain works as a team. Describe as being
fostered int he mind. He comes in a chariot of water. He takes watery buckets and pours
buckets into the sky!
Rain (Parjanya)!
Dyads (Sky)!
Huge and wide and blue. All of nature. It describe nature, praising nature. !
Yama (Death)!
Later become the guardian of hell. !
Indra (King)
Most important of all the veda Gods. Who is orangey coloured, he's a man's man.
** Remember the bolded ones!
The Female Pantheon!
Prithvi (Earth) !
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