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lecture 5

Course Code
Ajay Rao

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Colonial period stars at round the 18 century.
Bhagavad Gita: a synthetic text that brings many traditions together. Used by many
different traditions. It is a part of a much larger text of Sanskrit epics. Has a vision
(non-random). Vaisnava text.
According to the Gita, the Vedic rituals only gets people reborn (bad).
Mahabharata: the longest poem in the world, written in Sanskrit. 75,000 verses.
Thought that all knowledge in the world is in the Mahabharata. More loose text
than the Veda, people kept adding to the text to retell the story. Composed in
Western India. Main text is composed before 200 BC. Open + creative. 4 versions of
the Mahabharata.
Iti hasa; this is how it happened (account).
Some historical evidence that Iti hasa in the Mahabharata are true.
Jaya: victory. First short version of the text.
Basic story of the Mahabharata: feud between cousins: Kavravas vs. Pandavas.
Bishma took a terrible vow of celibacy where he is not to have any relationship with
a woman. He renounces the throne and women. Pandu marries 2 women but is
cursed to die if he has sexual intercourse. Pandu has sex then dies. The oldest
Pandavas is a weak king who has jharma (good action) + likes to gamble -> he loses
everything, including his wife, in a gamble. The wife shames all in the assembly and
tells them that they cant wager her. The Pandavas are set free but they must go
into exile. Krishna helps the Pandavas in the war, then all die.
Avatar: Sanskrit word meaning descent. Descent of god into Earth.
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