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RELS 303 (1)

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40 Pages

Religious Studies
Course Code
RELS 303
Elizabeth Rohlman

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September 10, 2013 Parana: “mythology” Some scholars don’t even agree that there is a religion called Hinduism, instead it is a bunch of different religions branched under the same name -Hindu from “sindu” from Persian- “from below the indus valley”- what they called a group of people who were not Buddhist, Muslim, Jainist or Christian Sept 12, 2013 - Edward Said – scholar/professor at Columbia – wrote monumental book “Orientalism” published in 1978 o Biases of certain white persons like Said effected the teaching of Hinduism- they viewed it from a Protestant bias - German romanticism- had affection for antiquity – “what is older is better”- thus the Vedas were highly regarded by these scholars o Thought that contemporary Hindus have corrupted the beauty of the Vedas - Indus Valley civilization is now more commonly referred to as the Harappa civilization - Sanksrit alphabet: 38 characters - Some were disappointed in the Indus Valley civilization though we have found impressively designed urban centers with plumbing, streets on a grid, water tight construction o Also technological advancements like ceramics and brick, metal work, bead production o This is a civilization that at a very early had a sophisticated trade btw cities and other civilizations o This stuff rescued the indus civilization from decades of neglect by archaeologists o The religious practices are a huge mystery ! Little concrete information - Indus valley sights are in modern day Pakistan and India - Timeline of the Indus Civilization o C. 6500-5000 BC: food production and pastoral society  Small agrarian settlements o C. 5000-2600 BC: Regionalization  Larger civic organization o C. 2600-1900 BC: Urbanization and Integration  Height of this civilization o C. 1900-1000 BC: “Late Harappan Period” (regionalization) o C. 1500-1000 BC: Vedic Literature o C. 600 BC: Early Historian Era, Upaninads and Brahmanical Religion  What most of us would recognize as Hinduism comes from around this date ^ the ebb and flow of communities – not a huge rupture that made this civilization fall apart - Misconceptions of the Indus Civilization o Colonization from the West o Uniformity of Culture  Had just as much cultural variety as the region does today o Sudden Disappearance  This highly integrated society broke down into smaller groups- not just a sudden disappearance - TheAryan Invasion Theory  Aryan: Sanskrit term- describes a type of people- typically the people of India- means “noble” or the “noble people”  Mleccha: roughly translates as barbarian- thought to be an ugly sound thus it is an onimanopia- much like the greeks used the word “bar bar” – barbarian o Invasion from the Russian Steppes  Historical events recorded in the Rg Veda  Contemporary Russian/Slavik is more similar to Sanskrit than contemporary indian languages, or greek  This doesn’t mean the language was necessarily imported through a brutal invasion  When you have economic exchange you also often have linguistic exchange o Destruction of Indus Civilization o Displacement of Dravidian People to Southern India o Literary Record: Rg Veda, Mahabharata - The Issue of Language o The Indus Script  This script survives, it is unreadable  We do not know what language it represents  Small samples – longest sample is 13 characters o Sanskrit  In its earliest form it was recorded around 500 bc – does not match up with the height of indus civilization o The search for the “proto” indo-european language  Trying to find the mother tongue that gave rise to Sanskrit and other indo-european languages  Prof says there probably isn’t even a “mother tongue” that gave birth to these other languages - Religious Symbols, Cultural Continuity o Siva  Yogi  Proto-Siva • Aman sitting in a yogic posture, shown with a bull which is the contemporary vehicle of the God Shiva  The Bull o Pipal Trees  Type of fig tree that has enormous significance in India o Pictoral Narratives o The Goddess  Figurines  Narrative Seal • Aseal is 6x6 or 7x7 cm square Nefarious Sept 19, 2013 Altar of Fire – Movie notes - Nomads entered India, spoke Vedic (ancient indic language) more than 3000 years ago - Composed the 4 Vedas (Hindus see as a sacred revalation) – oldest of these is the Rg Veda - Unlike the Bible (aka the Book) the Vedas were handed down without writing- from teacher to pupil - Vedic nomads used perishable materials-Agni (god of fire) was kept permanently alive- stored or moved in alters and pots - Praise of agni - Vedic ritual declined with the evolution of Hindusim - Art of firing bricks is from indus valley civilization - Circular alters represent the kitchen, half circle alters always face south - Abrahman is eligible for this ritual only if he keeps three sacred fires burning in his home for all of his life - The only woman is a high class brahman who is hidden behind a parasol - This ritual hasn’t been performed since 1975 - The rg veda celebrates Perusha – a primeval person with 1000 heads, eyes, and feet. - Not only ritualistic, but the social component, and a holy experience (center of miracles) - Memory is crucial- vast memorization of prayers and meditations- must be said correctly - Fire which is common to all men - There are 14 goat sacrifices, though in this ritual they decided to omit goat sacrifice - 29 chants and recitations - indra: king of the gods - one of the oldest rituals of man kind was performed for the last time in 1975 Sept 24, 2013 Vocabulary - karma marga - jnana marga - yajnavalkya - Svetaketu - Sruti - Nir-guna - Sa-guna - Atman - Brahman - Samsara - Maya - Moksa - Yoga - Samnyasi Discussion on the Movie - vedas were preserved orally- young boys entered this training around 8-12, they were taught to sing/chant the vedas before being taught Sanskrit itself- the moving of the childrens head is a pneumonic device o even in our culture children learn to sing songs before really understanding what they mean o the goal of this is never not knowing- we can never not know the alphabet for instance - the “soma cow” goat- used to find the soma o animal sacrifice was part of the vedic times- goats and horses in particular o sometime after the Upanishads many hindus, tho not all, start to practice vegetarianism- this is because of the idea of the reincarnated soul o the goal is to remain as true to the vedic texts as possible without harming animals o what is considered vegetarian changes depending on where you are in SE Asia - Vedangas: “the arm” – commentarial of the vedas- - “Don’t cut yourself off from heaven, don’t cut yourself off from the world” – part of the mantras o certain space as sacred o rituals as being a way of communicating btw the two spheres - Vedic religion based on tripartite – earth and heaven being separated by air/atmosphere o The idea of heaven persists even after the introduction of reincarnation in the Upanishads o Humans and gods very separate- no one would wear a bracelet that says “what would Krishna do” because he does things we cannot do nor should we- we should not try to be like God/s - goal of ritual is to maintain rta- cosmic order o proper balance btw sat/asat: being and non being - why is the alter temporary? o At the end of the puja’s there is the dissolving of the idols that were worshipped o The gods are invited to be present in the worldly space during these rituals- at the end there is a signal to release the gods from the favor they are bestowing upon humans to be present in the space o Sign of respect – notion of grace- gods are gracing humans with their presence Discussion on the Readings in blue book - hand out - while reading these hymns/narratives make sure to read btw the lines- what does this indicate about what this tells us about the people who chanted them- what did they think about the gods, etc., - concepts of the divine in these readings: - purusa: the primordial cosmic man- kind of the divine model for human beings- symbolic notion of the primordial human being and the sacrifice of this human being as creating everything as we know it o prajapti is the sacrificer o prajapati can also mean being- only this one being has knowledge of what came before o the acknowledgment that we cant possibly know o polytheistic pantheum of gods associated with natural phenomena o more abstract than a god- prajapati is more like creation/existence itself - Usha: a deity who is connected with/describing natural phenomena - Which god: we don’t know what began it all- pre exists the gods - Indra and the dragon story: the original word means serpent but now instead dragon is used- serpent has a positive connotation in later Hinduism and Buddhism also o Victory of a god over a demon- using the term serpent to represent something negative doesn’t fit in with the Hindu world view o The dragon is a cloud/vapor- maintaining order in natural world as well- creation of the rains (two months of monsoon in these regions- these two months are crucial for the rest of the year) o Really a story of how indra created the rains *Vedas: most sacred set of texts to Hinduism even tho it is not completely relevant in modern Hinduism Upanishads – philosophical speculation and meditative experience - set of text that according the Indic tradition are part of the Vedas - sacred literature of Hinduism - Sruti literature (that which is heard/revealed) to rsis (those who it is revealed to) - Religion that is expressed is very different than that in the older Vedas - 1000 years separate the composition of the earliest rg veda and the earliest Upanishads - btw 600-500 BCE - something amazing and fascinating happened in SE Asia in this century but we don’t really know what it was- enormous religious renaissance in India- the time of the Buddha too- time of Mahavira the creator of Jainism lives too – big time!! - Upanishads, Buddhism, and Jainism all have in common: holds that the end result of this paths is empirically verifiable- the idea that if you practice it long enough you will experience this - The beginning of Brahmanical Hinduism- what we think of as Hinduism today - Religious Paths o Karma marga: the path of action – religious path of ritual action o Jnana marga: the path of knowledge – focusing on introspection, meditation, and cultivation of knowledge- profound understanding of the nature of the world/divine/soul - Seems incompatible with the Vedic Hinduism, tho they do merge well o New set of religious concerns, not rejecting what came before Cosmology of the Upanishads - samsara: o reincarnation o fear of death o marked by enormous suffering o like a trapped hamster on a wheel o preoccupied with death- waste everything you learned and are thrown back to the beginning - maya: o illusion o ignorance o everything we experience in a physical was as human beings is ultimately an illusion- entrapment in this illusion is what keeps us stuck in samsara o world denying religion o renounce life in social world and focus 24/7 on gaining spiritual knowledge - Moksa: o Liberation o Comes from the Sanskrit verb which means to release The Nature of the Divine - Atman o Tho non-dualistic o “self” or soul o nir-guna o immutable and intangible o our atman is the same as Brahman- same substance – not separate o simply knowing this is not enough to reach moksha- you need to have a comprehensive knowledge of this and yogic discipline of the mind - Brahman o Asingle divine presence/substance that pervades all of existence o Nir-guna: without qualities- does not have time, gender, appearance, it is not a living being or deity o Sa-guna: the gods of the Vedas- deities- Indra for instance- with qualities- these qualities are equally illusory o (Brahmin = caste of priests, and Brahma is a god jsyk) o cannot be described in human language- the only way to describe it is with “not’s” – not changing/immutable, etc. o can be argued that it is monotheistic- Christianity says there is one God with 3 forms and Hinduism says there is one God with 330,000,000 (infinite) forms Sept 26, 2013 - Moksha: it is a permanent space o To contrast it with nirvana- buddhist’s think there is a spontaneous moment of enlightenment and then your death comes later-in Moksha there is no spontaneous event, it is more about the path- about obtaining jnana- moksha as the moment of release - how do you explain population growth? o Notion of cyclicle time- time is like the face of a clock, divided into 4 quarters o “midnight” is creation o in indic views things are always getting worse o cosmic cow st o 1 quarter (uga) the cow is standing on four legs o 2 uga the cow dharma has lost a leg o 3 uga the cow is down to two legs o kali (black) uga – poor cow of dharma has only one leg o human life is a source of suffering o there are better states of being you could theoretically be born into o as the dharma gets worse, people will be falling out of higher ranks, thus the population can grow o just like Pablo Picasso said “before every act of creation there must be an act of destruction” same with this- after kali uga comes destruction and then once again creation o karma cycles are millions of years - darsana (closest sanksrit word to philosophy- means interpretive view point) o 6 classical schools of hindu philosophy o this means how each individual school interprets the Vedas o oldest school of Hindu philosophy: Samkhya (and Yoga is its pair)  it is dualistic – different from the Upanishads – separates mind from matter- tries to answer how do we have all of the atmans separated out from Brahmans in the first place  2 types of substances: Purusa (mind/Brahman) and prakrti (matter)  in a primordial state, all atmans were part of Brahman, and kind of broke off, much like life evolved- balance of cosmos is getting weaker and weaker (kali uga) and thus more of these atmans are breaking off from Brahman Atman : BrahmanAnalogies - Salt : water o If you poor salt into the water and check it the next morning- it is indistinguishable- salt can be separated from water but it can also be merged with it - Nectar : honey o Bees collect nectar which becomes honey, you cannot distinguish the nectar from the honey - Rivers : ocean o The relationship of rivers to the ocean- once you are in the ocean you cannot distinguish which river it came from - Brahman can manifest itself in 330,000,000 physical manifestations of the divine - British colonialists were frustrated with trying to convince Hindus about Christianity- Hindus saw Jesus as being one of Brahmans many physical manifestations - Empirically Verifiable: not just blind faith- like reading how to play the piano as opposed to playing the piano- it is an experiential religious path that you can prove to yourself by your own progress that it is true -Mahavakyas: “great” “statement/s” – distill all Upanishadic teachings down into one sentence - 4 Mahavakyas that are used/repeated most in Upanishads - Prof is just teaching us one: Tat vam asi: “Thou art that” – you, your soul, is that: Brahman the divine o this one is the most often repeated, the other 3 basically mean the same thing -Experiential Elements of the Upanisads - upanisad: “To sit down near” the feet of the teacher - life as a samnyasi - a renunciate - committed him/sometimes herself to fulltime spiritual religious questions- the attainment of jnana and moksha -you forsake human social life - when someone becomes a samnyasi there is a type of funeral ritual- signifies the death of their social identity, ideally once you have embarked on this path you should maintain distance even from your own family -in the past they were mostly forest dwellers th - after 8 century they began to live more so in monastery’s - a samnyasi studies with a guru - guru-student relationship - parampara: “tradition” (also a pre made curry to buy) - knowledge is passed down from one guru to one student - this has profound implications of what knowledge is - profound spiritual knowledge is always embodied- it is always passed down from a human guru -even tho everything is illusion, there is value placed on the human form - meditation and contemplation - this falls under the rubric of yoga -helps develop discipline - yoga - cognate to our English word Yoke (like put on cattle)- means discipline - to discipline primarily your mind - also physical discipline, disciplining your body is a way of disciplining your mind -renunciating in general is a type of physical discipline - yoga like the exercise we know - great feats of asceticism or self denial as well Vedic-Upanisadic Continuities - sruti literature- both are revealed literature - reinterpretation of ritual – Upanisads take ideas from the Vedas and reinterpret them o never say you shouldn’t do vedic ritual, instead gives more philosophical meaning which can be overlaid or applied to vedic ritual - portrayal of death o earliest Vedas are remarkably unconcerned with what happens to us after we die o Upanisads are much more focused on death- escaping the process of death - reinterpretation of karma o constantly reinterpreted o Vedas: literally means a physical action- and religious sesne means physical actions of performing rituals o Upanisads: closer to our modern concept of Karma- related to the moral qualities of our actions- those moral qualities of our actions can effect our next birth  Accumulation of karma from this life/past lives that determines quality of our next life - Jainism: sheer karma effects your rebirth, tho Hindus think intention comes into play- more similar to Buddhism - creation imagery: the sacrifice of purusa o just as Purusas physical body can be dismantled, and since we are made from this, our life is ephemeral/is a mirage Oct 1/13 - prohibition of garlic (and sometimes onion)- in Jainism, Buddhist monastic code, in some Hindu sects o can “inflame the mind and passions” so they are not consistent with yoga, discipline, etc. o chili/tomatoes/potatoes are “new world” crops Sruti Literature – Vedas and Upanisads - Differences o Karma marga vs jnana marga o Actions vs contemplation o Yajna v yoga o Rta vs moksa - Continuities o Death imagery o Re-interpretation of concepts and actions:  Karma  Yoga  Sacrifice  ? Smrti Literature (every other piece of literature we will learn of from here on out it smrti) - has an author - none of these authors are human as we are human – they are superior - dharma sutras and sastras: o within the Vedangas there are the Kalpasutras -> srauta, grhya, dharma o srauta (rituals) and gryhya (home rituals) o dharma sutras (meant to organize our lives- how the religious elements is to be lived out in daily life) – dharma sastras as well (sastra is difficult to translate- “treatise” or “science” “non fiction”) o laws of manu (manu is the first human man- not primordial man)  comments from the 14 century written on this, thus many argue they are obviously important and have been for a long time  - epics - puranas Dharmas and its Decline - Dharma: o “duty” o “religion” (in its broadest sense) o “law” o “ethics” o adharma: “that which is not dharma” or “sin” - Yugas: o Krta or satya (make/creation and youth) o Treta (three) (cow of dharma has 3 legs) o Dvapara (two) (two legs) o Kali (black age) – age we are in now- (difficult to live as a moral human in this age) Aspects of Dharma I: Purusarthas – religious goals to try to attain throughout your life - Dharma – gain spiritual knowledge- knowledge of dharma or of the ultimate reality - Kama – pleasure (sexual pleasure) – related to family life – what you should be doing/seeking - Artha – wealth – related to family life – what you should be doing/seeking - Moksa – moved from householder phase then one should focus on moksa Aspects of Dharma II: Responsibilities - Purity and Pollution o Some substances are spiritually and physically polluting and others are purifying o Any bodily excretion is polluting o Attached to caste- food is a big issue- very orthodox brahman would only eat food made in his home, by his own wife, before she has eaten - Three Debts o Gods o Seers – those who received the revealed literature o Ancestors o Daily offerings made to these three - Five Sacrifices o Gods o Brahmins o Ancestors o Spirits o Seers Aspects of Dharma III: Varnasrama Dharma - Varnas (caste) o Brahmin o Ksatriya o Vaisya o sudra - Varna vs Jati o Jati means birth group- sub caste o Jati is an ancestral lineage that is attached to a heritage occupation (from father-son, etc.) - Asramas o Brahmacarya (phase of celibate student- boy from twice born classes) o Grhastha (longest phase- householder phase- focus on 2 and 3 of the 4d goals) o Vanaprastha (forest dweller- retirement) hand over running of the household onto the next generation- don’t enter until you have sprouted your first great hair and your first grandson is born- finished your obligations to your children in particular- still live with your family in this phase o Samnyasi – only a select few people choose to do this- renunciate – performing a ritual funeral Oct 3/13 Discussion for Samnyasi Movie - the vying tension between the worldly and other worldly – the president vs the pope - one cannot pursue both- not enough time - the varnasrama dharma says you can have your cake and eat it too- being a student, a householder, a retiree, and then a renouncer - if everyone renounced, who would give alms to the beggers- if no one did who would have the wisdom? - One samnyasi said to him “you are thinking of renouncing because you are experiencing problems, not experiencing wisdom. Once you fix your problems you will not feel this way anymore.” - In practicing reality exceptions will always arise- humans will apply their humanity to all rules/laws – for instance if aliens were to come down and see our law books, they would assume from year 1950-2100 all humans drove below 100km/hr- this obviously is not true- we cannot think that past laws/rules/dharmas were reality Oct 8, 2013 - Research Term Paper Overview o o related to Hinduism, particularly classic Hinduism (classical/textual traditions of Hinduism) o Proposal: an abstract (a paragraph) of what I want to write on, plus a hypothesis (pre-thesis), and two sources that I have found in the library o at least 5 sources outside of assigned readings for paper itself  journal articles, books o Prof says don’t write “I will” statements in the intro- instead use the intro to hook the reader, draw them in, and show what you are talking about  It is like an inverted triangle- start with a broad statement and then rationally work your way down to the thesis statement o a good research paper is a balance btw evidence from sources and of our own analysis- our analysis is stated most clearly in our thesis (it should be a statement we can argue) o Conclusions suck- but turn upside triangle right way up- start with thesis and broaden it out from there: proposing further avenues, what questions do we now have, etc. o Bibliography ofAsian Studies,ATLA, JSTOR, Worldcat, etc. o Only quote if the actual wording of the quote is something you are going to talk about in your paper  If you use a quote explain why you used it o Citation: Prof prefers Chicago style (either footnotes or in-text)  Use page number! Some styles say just give author and date, but prof says use the page number in all the citations o italicize any non english world that is not a proper noun! ***  karma, yoga, they have entered the English vocab now so we can italicize but do not have to  we can use English versions too, like Krishna instead of krsna with diacritics Mahabharta - Similar to the Greek epics - 100,000 verses long and tells one story in a highly complex way - uses box narrative- (likeAladdin orArabian Nights) – frame narrative: literary form that originated in India and moved to Persia- night by night story- like Buffy and X-files o digressions, “this reminds me” – so comprehensive - complex piece of literature, difficult to study - it has not ever been completely translated yet! There is a curse, everyone dies before they finish - 18 books of the Mahabharata, one prof did 4 books and died, his students are trying to finish it - This is smrti literature - Itihasa (means history) cognate to our English word o Written in a simple poetic meter o Portions that are regarded as poetry because the language itself is to beautiful o Considers the Mahabharata and the Puranas - Kavya: means literature designed for pleasure- plays for instance Cast of the Mahabharata - tragic war - individuals who are cousins but are raised together as brothers (grew up in the same household, and shared the same guru thus have same knowledge) - this war btw them will wipe out the human race - this is what ended the 3 Yuga and ushered us into the Kali Yuga - the Mahabharata is most commonly referred to as “the fifth veda”- saying it is as important as the Vedas - all of human knowledge is contained in it (and in the Vedas, thus it contains all of the knowledge of the vedas) - It presents this knowledge as a story - Good people having to make difficult moral choices under very difficult circumstances - Pandu: King of the Pandavas (Pandavas are the sons of Pandu) o He has two wives, and they have 5 sons btw them - Five Pandu Sons o Yudisthira: son of Kunti by Dharma (human incarnation of morality on earth) (moral order) o Bhima: son of Kunti by Vayu (the wind) o Arjuna: son of Kunti by Indra (son of the gods) o Nakula: son of Madri by theAsvins (twin deities) o Sahadeva: son of Madri by theAvins (twin deities) - Draupadi: wife of all five Pandava brothers – she is a princess- self choice ceremony (like a mideival match- whoever wins the tests wins her hand) - - Krishna: Lord of the Universe, friend and ally to the Pandavas – he drivesArjunas chariot - Bhisma: the son of King Santanu and the holy river ganga, advisor and teacher of both the Pandavas and their brothers - Dritarastra: blind king of the Kauravas - Gandhari: wife of Dhritarastra and mother of his 100 sons o Duryodhana: eldest of the Kaurava brothers o Duhsasana: Duryodhana’s closest brother and aly - Yudisthira’s one vice is gambling (“possessed by the dice”) o Gambles away his wife, so Duryodhana only give her back by taking his kingdom for a certain period of time o When Yudisthira comes back to reclaim his kingdom, Duryodhana refuses, and an 18 year battle ensues o Arjuna has a crisis of conscience and does not think he can fight his cousins o This is when Krishna comes in and tells him he must o Desolate waste land post war- everyone dies and goes to heaven except for Yudisthira with a dog (a dog is a bit like a rat in Indian culture) o He is told he can finally enter heaven but only if he leaves the dog behind- he cant bring himself to abandon this dog so he refuses- this is when the dog reveals himself as a God and says you have finally passed your moral test - Krishna’s answers to Arjunas dilemma: o Immortality of the soul o Obligations of Dharma, or duty o Bhakti, or devotion to God Oct 10/13 Exam: - 3 sectionst o 1 is “term ID”- define terms and explain its significance  5 vocab words- define/explain why it is important  good term ID answer takes 2-3 sentences. 5 points nd o 2 is short answers- paragraph each (or a page of our blue book)- will make us talk about the films  3 and answer 2  15 points  paragraph to answer  discuss material from a single unit of the course- films ! o 3 is an essay question- answer question (all parts of the question) that is asked- paragraph per question asked she says- balance of analysis and evidence (examples from lectures, films, readings- and analysis=how have we discussed this material and what analyses have we talked about in class)  worth 50% of the exam  broad thematic question  devote a paragraph to each part of the question  balance broad interpretive statements (lecture) with specific examples (readings) invigilate The Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata - avatara: “to come down” - Avatara’s of Vishnu (10-128)- Vishnu loves his devotees so much that he will take human form on earth to help them - The Gita is written 800 years before the avatara’s of Vishnu- Krishna was probably once an independent god who had a sectarian movement behind him and then joined the pantheon of the Gods- in NW India people worship Vishnu but have images of Krishna in their homes (Krishna as a form of Vishnu) o In the Bhagavad Gita tho he is the manifestation of Brahman- not Vishnu - rta: cosmic order- from Mahabharata out it hinges on dharma- moral choices- the balance of the cosmos can change - arjuna as referred to as the “incinerator of foe”- incinerator also implies his power comes from his tapas (his spiritual power/heat) o Prof says he looks worse in Sanskrit than in any English translation she has ever read o He is the brother who is always getting into trouble o He seems more approachable because he is the flawed character o Krishna is a god who is also seen this way- more approachable and “human” - the Bhagavad Gita: Philosophy, Cosmology, and Morality o Mahabharata o Bhagavad Gita o Smrti o Itihasa o Krishna o Arjuna o Dharma o Karma yoga – path of action – vedic religion  Yajna – sacrifice- sacrificing your maya or illusion of the world  Rta – maintain cosmic order o Jnana yoga – path of the Upanisads o Bhakti yoga – devotion – offer up the fruits or rewards of your actions as a gift for Krishna- this is a change- this is devotion to a personal deity o Darsana (6 classical schools of Hindu philosophy)  Samkhya – the oldest of these schools – the only truly dualistic school – seeks to describe how Brahmin turns into the physical world that we live in o Dehin – a synonym for atman- means souls- tho it takes on a more personal meaning in the Gita than atman does o Prakriti – feminine/material substance of the world o Gunas – “quality” like the Gods have qualities – three qualities color the nature of all things:  Sattva: “light” – luminous quality  Rajas: “passion/fire” – like a ruler/king  Tamas: “dark energy” – dark matter that will weigh you down - the three yogas are all equal o will lead you down the proper religious path no matter which you take- tho in the Gita it seems like the Bhakti is the most expedient path - Re-defined Terms o Yoga: broader spiritual discipline that describes three different paths o Dharma: duty- comes to take more expansive and complex meaning in modern Hinduism that is morality/moral duty o Rta: cosmic order- defined much more in terms of the moral balance of dharma/adharma – also referring to the Kali system and cycles- balance of time o Yajna: “sacrifice” – personal sacrifice- making in service of a greater moral good- effort of committing certain moral acts o Jnana: “knowledge of God” – in Gita is different than Upanishadic notion- spiritual journey is a journey to forge a personal connection with a personal God like Krishna Gandhi famously said if you replace the word war with the word work in the Gita it applies to all humans Oct 15/13 Exam Review - bhakti: intense emotional devotion to a personal god o not abstract brahman o they are an embodiment of brahman tho o these gods have personalities tho o Krishna is the first hindu got to have a bio o Not just about abstract philosophical concentration, or sacrifice in veda times o Desireless action o Krishna says to Arjuna- you have a moral obligation to act in this world for your dharma, for your varna- but you must act out of moral duty and not out of ego- act out of the correct motivations- offer up the fruits of your sacrifice to god not for your gain - when youre studying for the term ID section, use our own common sense - varnashana dharma- which dharma you are born into- the caste - jnana is associated with student stage, where moksha is associated with the last two states, and kama is associated with the second stage - karma o in vedas means the physical action of performing the sacrifice o in Upanishads it is more so the quality of actions that determine your next birth o in gita there are two answers:  karma is used as the name of one of the three paths- the karma yoga (yoga=multiple religious paths) – it is a proper noun, it comes from the Vedas- religious action- ritual obligations (whereas the jnana yoga is from Upanishads and Bhakti yoga is an even newer idea)  the moral value/qualities of your actions that determine your next rebirth  your karma is determined by your intention - Fate is a huge theme in the Mahabharta o If the end of the war has already been determined by fate what is the point of taking point? o The general hindu tradition would say that we can not determine ourselves what is fated to happen- only the Gods (Krishna in the gita) can give answers and encourage them to choose adharmic actions because he knows what needs to happen- human beings do not have this ability o Humans know that you are based into a certain varna and so we must use this to guide us o Must maintain your obligations within your varna - guna: means qualities o saguna: with qualities – a way of talking about gods that do have physical forms and personalities  they are associated with different natural phenomenon o nirguna: without qualities- highest expression of God o Krishna for example is an avatara form of Brahman in the Gita- saguna o Samkhya school: includes an analysis of the world around us in which all things are marked by one of three gunas  Like the medieval notions of the three humors that needed to be in balance  In Samkhya there are also these three qualities: satvva (light), rajas (passion), and tama (dark inertia) – Krishna says different varnas are marked by the different gunas - Gods o Krishna o Brahman o Gods from the vedic pantheon  While the gods in the vedas are saguna they are associated with natural phenomena (like agni and fire) – we should know ones that we have talked about in detail though - sruti literature has two different books: the Vedas and the Upanisads – revelaed to rishis that has no author- that which is heard- revealed in a visual way to seers (rishis) o upanisads are actually seen as part of the vedas o in the academic study of religion (1000 year span from earliest veda and latest upanisads) we separate them because of the time difference o acknowledgment within the Hindu tradition that it is a tradition that evolves ov
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