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Ritu Birla (12)

Regional polities and cultures 1

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Ritu Birla

th September 26 1700-1000 bce, Aryan culture/rise of brahminism Dharma, the place in the world, the idea that its better to do your duty well than try to do sbd else’s duty and do it poorly. Disinterested action, being completely in the present, no interest in the future or consequences of actions. You say what you do, do what you say- the upanishadic philosophies. Philosophy of oneness, each part of the social order has its own dharma and at the same time the idea that one can be completely autonomous and sovereign of one’s self. Even as an athoritative brahminical culture comes to be, around 1000bce also the Upanishads and autonomy… so Hinduism is a very diverse religion. At the same time Buddhism and … also come to be, the idea is revision of moksha in the Upanishads, atman etc. The Buddhist word for it is nirvana, it’s a transidential state that dioesnt use the concept of brahma. You reach it through your own practices. The thera vada (lesser vehicle, old school) and Mahayana Buddhism that highlights new Buddhist saints, the greater vehicle. Its actually artistically prominent as well. The Mahayana later spreads north to china, Japan etc whereas the Theravada spreads down to Thailand, india, so south. Even within Buddhism there is vajrayana Buddhism, which poses male vs female concepts. Tangerism and tangeric Buddhism has two main divisions- the right and left hand, right hand devoted to male and left to female. Hindu tanterics develop their own basis of philosophy, which allows taking liquor and hallucinogens, meat eating and sexual promiscuity. Upaya is the male principle and prujna is the feminine one, 1 one is means to an end and the 2 nd is wisdom, so you have to bring the two together to achieve liberation, hinting at sexual union. All of these question hierarchy as does jadysm, launched by maha… philosopher, mentioned as a very important ascetic. Its concerned with separating the soul from its materialistic embedding in the world. Small community whose origins lay in the critique of the Buddhist and hindu order. Ahims= non-violence So its in this period that we see the emergence of different cults, not just the brahminical order. That’s also when Hindu gets the ism, which doesn’t really exist up to that time. This is primarily in the north, whereas in the south Aryan influence is different. We can distinguish between two major groups- brahminism and sramanism . Brahminism uses sanscrit and has the emphasis on rituals and the authority of Brahmins to conduct those rituals. Sramanism is a broad category which includes a general critique on cast and social hierarchy, allowing one to move through them etc. The idea of conversion is also normally present. For Brahmins you are born into a cast with no way of getting out. In the classic sabskrit text there is no conversion. Some sects break with brahminism specifically on cast, such as Shakta that tend to worship female goddesses and principles, with more linear rules. In this period Brahmin culture attempts to purify itself and return to the original texts and the implement is sanskritization, meaning that the a
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