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RLGA01H3 (62)
Henry Shiu (55)

Second week lecture

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Henry Shiu

RLG AO1 LECTURE 2 The Laws of Manu describes a social order that goes far beyond the Rigveda. The varnas are now hereditary, and their inequality in dignity is proclaimed with a new emphasis. - Roles for Women The Laws of Manu gave women a low status. The notion of dharma. “A husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.” Women are also denied of independence: “In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead, to her sons; a woman must never be independent.” The dictates of the Laws of Manu were not necessarily followed in the Hindu society. There were also exceptions when women were respected and honoured as poets, philosophers and commentators. It is also stated in the Laws of Manu that: “Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.” All these reflect the emphasis of the dharma of women as a faithful wife (pativrata). The idea of karma had become widely accepted by the classical era New texts known collectively as the Dharmasastra were created The Dharmasastra assume that one’s birth location is the most telling indication of one’s karma. The doctrine of karma assumes that a natural causal mechanism conditions individual destiny RLG AO1 LECTURE 2 - The Four Stages of Life - In Hinduism, the Four Stages of Life are four stages of increasing dignity (asramas). - The Student Stage - The Householder Stage - The Stages of the Forest Dweller and the Sannyasi The Four Aims of Life 1: artha (“worldly success”) 2: kama (“sensory pleasure”) 3: dharma (“duty”) 4: moksa (“liberation”) Yoga = yoke, to join, to unite Yoga training brings about conscious union of one’s own soul with the universal soul. There are several systems of yoga, such as Hathayoga. For most Hindus, yoga refers to an Eight-stage meditational discipline (attributed to the ancient sage Patanjali): Moral restraint Mental discipline Posture Breath control Withdrawal from sense objects Steadying of attention Meditation on religious insights Concentration on the mystical merging with the ultimate The ultimate goal in yoga meditation is to reach an awareness that is perfectly at one with and centered in the atman. The yoga practitioner who reaches this state is said to put an end to all past karma and experience moksa. Samskaras = Life-Cycle Rites RLG AO1 LECTURE 2 The Dharmasastra lists over forty life-cycle rituals Examples of samskaras: Birth Rituals Early Childhood Rituals Coming of Age Rituals Householder (Marriage) Rituals Death Rituals After-Death Rites Puja = homage or worship Hindu rituals mark special occasions, from birth, through childhood, to marriage and finally death. Rituals cut across theological distinctions. - Gestures of Respect Namaskara or Namaste “I place my hands at the centre of myself, the atman in my heart, to salute your same holy centre.” Puja (worship or homage): Built on the assumption that humanity and
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