RELIGIOUS STUDIES Lecture Notes January 22
"ORTHODOX" means that other groups are not. As soon as you start
saying something is Orthodox, you imply that other groups are
heretical. No group thinks they aren't orthodox unto themselves.
SOUTH INDIAN BHAKTI con't
CARNATIC music. mystical syllable OHM. this sound is the
manifestation of the supreme being and the beginning of the
universe. Knowledge of this sound is religious knowledge. If you
could control it properly and articulate it properly, the sound
itself could lead to a union with the divine.
BHAKTI spread to the North in 12C. Some similarities:
● use of vernacular language
● the inclusion of all individuals regardless of class
THERE WERE BIG DIFFERENCES with regards to FOCUSES of DEVOTIONS
- in the south, vishu or shiva
- in the north, rama or krishna or some formless god
KABIR, north bhakti poet, one of the most important poets.
argued that GOd is beyond all particularities.
- he was reabsorbed into regular hindu traditions
Major use of poetry in Northern India. Some were reabsorbed but
some founded their own traditions, like Nanakh (Sikh). BHAKTI made the message of the vedas available to everyone,
prepared devotees to receive a shower of grace. provided hope
and consolation. the message from the vedas stayed the same.
BHAKTI provides ANOTHER path to liberation: LOVE and TOTAL
DEVOTION to God.
AUTHOR of TB presents Bhakti as starting in the south and coming
north BUT Krishna talked about this in the Bhagavad Gita.
so it was one of many types of devotion amongst the time of the
writing of Bhagavad Gita and ramayana. then in the south, it
developed into a huge tradition within hinduism that many many
many people practices. then it spread back into the north in the
unified looking method and BHAKTI was practiced in the North as
just this one thing done this one way.
REFORM & REVIVAL
Vasco De Gama arrived in India in 1498 and opened the
subcontinent up to the British and French.
British very critical of idolatry, sati, and caste system.
Contact with the west ushered in a lot of reform. Before this
time, the Hindus had a lot of autonomy.
- this raises and important point:
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSIDERING "INSIDERS" AND
"OUTSIDERS"? is the catalyst of change coming from outside or
inside? There is a tendency to view outsiders or foreign powers
as the catalyst for change in every situation. IE when people
think of the reformation, they say: here's martin luther, he
came along with protestantism and changed everything. It is easy
to see the outside influence but you must not forget that
changes are happening inside, changes that would ahve happened without any outside influence.
BRAHMO SAMAJ - established in 1828. emphasized monotheism,
humanism, rationalism, social reform. called attention to
inhumane practices and need for reform and education. fought for
women's rights and abolishing sati. founded new periodicals. set
up new educational institutions. human rights.
ARYA SAMAJ - established in late 19c. rejected all
anthropomorphic characteristics of the divine. don't renounce
society or become an ascetic, engage with and better humanity
and uplift the body and soul. the message of teh vedas is all
RAMAKRISHNA MOVEMENT - est. in 19c. basically concluded that all
religions lead in the same direction and are true. non-
sectarian. opened schools and clinics. dedicated himself to
AUROBINDO ASHRAM - movement that combined nationalism and yoga.
the absolute itself was the force behind tthe independence
movement. then he had a spiritual awakeneing wher