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Lecture 2

Course Code
Henry Shiu

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Lecture 02 / pg. 1
Shiu, Henry September 22nd, 2009
RLGA01, Lec. 02
Review from Previous Lecture
- The name India was first named by the outsiders to refer to the land surrounding the
Indus River
- Bharata = indigenous term for India
- In the 1960s, India attracted the hippies from the West, seeking mystical experience and
enrichment from the India sages
- What makes the idea of India problematic is that it may suggest greater cohesiveness and
unity than it actually exists
- Indus Valley culture flourished between 3000 to 1500 BCE
o The Indus Valley civilization may have spanned over one million square
o Most important of the excavating sites are Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
- Concerned with procreation and purity
- Worship male animals as a way of incorporating their sexual powers
- Female reproduction powers were also regarded as sacred
- Female principle may have been revered as a goddess
- Purification practices, meditation, and the well-organized cities suggest the importance of
So who are the Aryans?
- They were not highly organized
- They were nomads rather than settled agriculturalists
- The Aryan language evolved into the Sanskrit, the official language of the Hindu religion
- The Sanskrit word for God is deva, akin to the English words divine and deity
- Almost everything we know about them comes from a collection of writings known as
the Veda
- So important is the Veda that Hinduism is sometimes called Vaidik dharma, meaning the
religions of the Veda
- The words of the Veda, according to traditional conviction, were revealed to ancient seers
o Mahabharata
o Ramayana
o Puranas
o Bhagavad-Gita
- The Veda divides into four samhitas or collections:
o Rig ± Veda
o Yajur ± Veda
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