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RLG205H5 (57)
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Lecture

Bhagavad Gita
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Department
Religion
Course
RLG205H5
Professor
Ajay Rao
Semester
Fall

Description
RLG205 Oct 19 th Bhagavad Gita 7.21-23: Inclusive or Exclusive? - I (Krishna) grant unwavering faith to any devoted man (or woman?) who wants to worship any form with faith o you can worship anything (ex. Christianity) and you have a lot of faith and religious feeling – I am the one who is giving you that faith – you may think you are worshipping Jesus but it is governed by Krishna - disciplined by that faith, he seeks the deity’s favor; thus secured, he gains desires that I myself grant o you ask Jesus for something, but I (Krishna) will give it to you - but finite is the reward that come to men of little wit; men who sacrifice to the gods reach the gods; those devoted to me reach me o belittlement of the former – you may preach to anyone you want, but you can only get so far, you will never reach heaven unless you worship me (Krishna) - is this idea inclusive or exclusive? o inclusive: you can believe whatever you want o exclusive: you will get the results that you “deserve” - there are 330 million Gods o are Hindus polytheistic or monotheistic?? - theological explanation: belief in one main God o Shiva/Vaishna traditions: so what are the other Gods? – Angels  like monotheistic  they believe in the other Gods, but to prove the existence of God, is to prove the existence of ONE God - believe in many Gods, but only worship one o practice one thing, believe another - 1. we live in a finite world, and worship one God, but through finite mediums (other Gods) - 2. yes there is a God named Ganesha, but his authority derives from (Ganesha) - sociological explanation: there are many local traditions – different temples of worship o dominant tradition absorb local traditions o Gods take form on Earth – different names o every single temple might have a different name or form of the God ***Vaisnavism - performed in temples and at home - welcoming deity; bathing it, adorning it with jewellery, garlanding with flowers, offering meal - darsana, “seeing” an image o visual aspect: seeing God (distinction from Islam) o part of the devotional practise o goes both ways – not just a symbol – invested with the power of God  devotee is looking at God and God is looking at devotee - prasada; transferring of substances from deity devotee o the offering
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