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03:12:12 LECTURE #11

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University of Toronto St. George
Walid Saleh

RLG100 WORLD RELIGIONS  622 – First year in the Islamic calendar  Shi’ism –  Ismaili  Sufism  Five Pillars of Islam o The shahada (Islamic creed) o Daily prayers (salah) o Almsgiving (zakat) o Fasting during the month of Ramadam (sawm) o The pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime  Qur’an is not a library of books like the bible. It is its one book. INDIA (subcontinent)  Consists of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh  1500 BCE: Vedic Religion period, from the book of Veda  600 BCE-400 BCE: revolution in India  Axial Age Revolution, ideas changing understanding of what living is  Out of this revolution (600 BC), three religions grew o Jainism o Buddhism o Hinduism  They grew out of the Vedic religions  VEDAS (which were also re-interpreted by Hinduism later on) o Collection of hymns that constitute one of the oldest religious texts in the world from (1500 to 800 ce) o Hymns were the basis of the rituals of the religious system o Written in an Archaic Sanskrit o Hinduism preserved the Vedas but is not Vedic o Polytheistic  4 Collections of Vedas o the oldest, RiG Veda o They are pure hymns (like the psalms) used in pure rituals that preserve religion and society by God o Veda= true knowledge  A scripture that has no author, heard from the Cosmos  5 Major Principles o A tripartite mindset, that tends to categorize things into threes, a way to comprehend reality  3 social classes, 3 seasons, 3 times of day, Earth/Atmosphere/Sky etc. o Warrior’s Society  Ethos: culture, values, habits of a warrior  Military values prevailed  Indra, God of war would be most important in Hymns  Overwhelming others was celebrated  Pray for sons and wealth o Naturism  The Gods are nature and nature is God, eg. The sun is a God, Fire is a God so on and so forth  They are not transcendent, they are imminent  They are on Earth  Many deities are identical to natural phenomenon  God of Fire, Agni  Vak, Goddess of Sacred Speech, pronounces the mantra, sacred speech which is needed for rituals to function  Soma a drink that produces immortality o Vedic Sacrifice  The only way to connect to the Gods was through sacrifice, yajna  The offerings were milk, grain, meat (sheep, goat), horse  14-16 priests were needed for the sacrifice  Warriors could sacrifice because they were wealthy and could afford to pay for the priests and goods  Without the sacrifice, the universe will cease to function  It was through the sacrifice that the world was created  The other of the world, Rita  Sacrifice makes Gods happy and thus people wealthier  Yajna can give you 3 Benefits  Cosmic results (allows the months to continue, the seasons to continue etc.) Keeps the rita functioning  Personal/material: you will have wealth, crops, beat your enemy and have sons, victory, long life  Divine self: good life in the afterlife, bribe your way beeatch o Vedic world is a Good world  You can make good things happen  Problems o Too ritualistic o Elitist o Too dependant on transactions o The sacrifice was questioned by all of India o Nothing in existence was vindicated, life was tragic o This system collapsed, thus giving us the 3 religions, which are the direct response to the Vedic religion Revolution  Generated Indic world view Characteristics of the Indic World View  Common Philosophical Presuppositions  1) Anadi (without beginning) o No moment of creation, the universe has always been there. The world never began, and it will never end. Existence is the only constant. No moment of creation. Transformation and transmutation of material, the universe evolves into something or devolves into
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