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Lecture 7

RLG205 - Lecture 7


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG205H5
Professor
Ajay Rao
Lecture
7

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March 5th, 2008
Lecture 7 - Saiva Thought and Practice
- Saiva traditions are another kind of grouping
oDistinguish themselves from vishnu’s
oThere are 3 groupings :
Vaishnava
Saiva
Smartha
- Vedanatha – tradition built up on the upanisads tradition
- Vaisna traditions orientated towards = Vishnu
- Saiva traditions orientated towards = siva
- Srivaishnas – more specific traiditon
oCan talk about theology
oTheir theological system is visistiadvaita
oPancarata, vaikhanasa
oHave their own insignia - a “U” shape symbol
oAlso tradition that reveres the Tamil devotion poetry
oThey are not sects (like the Anglican church) – not solely on doctrine
oOrthopraxy
- The figure of Siva, the kinds of worship is very different way of understanding what
religion is all about
The Figure of Siva
- The graphics of Siva are many
- He is commonly dressed as a beggar (Yogi)
- His body is smeared with ashes, whole body has tiger stripes
- Siva is not worshiped in iconic form, but in aniconic form.
- He sometimes carries a human skull
- Dwells in mount. Kaivashka
oHe surrounded by ghosts and goblins
oHe rides on a bull
- He is also closely associated with the gods
oLocal traditions are very much subsumed to goddess worship (almost every
village has a local goddess)
oThere are many different names/forms of the goddess (ex. parvati)
Kali – worship is the most popular form of worship
She is dark
Durga – puja is huge
-Personality of Siva
oOn the one hand – he is the Yogi
Meditates for thousands of years
Very self-controlled
Great ascetic
oOn the other hand – very erotic
Great lover
- The linga (aniconic – not actual representation of god – just symbol)
oThe work “linga” means _____
- Paradox – ascetic vs. erotic
1
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