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Lecture 6

RLG205 - Lecture 6

Course Code
Ajay Rao

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Feb 13th, 2008
Lecture 5: Foundations of Vaisnavism: Bhakti, Puja, and Vedanta
- Caste structure – varna system
- Gita (text)
oText that occurs in a moment in history
oBeginnings of elements associated with classical hindu practices (i.e
temple practice)
oBakthi – participation/ devotion to god
oWhat theism means in Hinduism?
o2 main groupings – theological communities
visnu or siva
for these communities, the deity is their “god”
oFuller says,
330 million gods
uses the word polytheism (worship of many gods)
he counterpoising popular practice against a certain kind of
he has a sociological analysis between local worship of deities
(siva and vishnu)
goddess worship is very popular in south Asia (ex. parvathi)
there is a relationship between local traditions and
translocal traditions (traditions that travel)
the local god gets included – is closely connected
henotheism – Muller – not just polytheism
oWhen worshiping a deity, that particular deity is the
most powerful.
Last two visistadviata and dvaita are the most important of the
Visistadvaita – qualified non-dualism
Relationship between body and
Srivaishnava – tradition of tamil devotion poetry;
worship of visnu
oSri’ – laskmi – wife of visnu
is the goddess part of divine nature or is she a
Modwas – own form of worship
Keep in mind the orthodox theology & different types of
Krishna is there as an incarnation (avatara)
Has a lot of heads – arjuna is freaked out by the iconic
Hard to visualize because has many different
oThe vishnu and the Siva’s don’t usually get along because each are
devoted to their own deity
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