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RLG100 lecture jan 6.docx

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Arti Dhand

RLG 100 Lecture Monday, January 6, 2014 Vedic Religion -theory of the Indo-European migration -evolved this theory that south Asian peoples as well as Europeans originated from the same ancestors, in southern Russia central Asia -branch that moved southward into South Asia practiced form of religion called Vedic religion -called so because it is based on texts called the Vedas (fl. 1500 BCE- 2 century CE) -composed in Sanskrit -composed and speak of people who call themselves Arya (Europeans changed this to Aryans) -believed them to be a race of people, however they were a class of people -class of people involved in governance, warrior class or the aristocracy who ran society -ritual oriented tradition based on concept of sacrifice (usually occurs around a fire) -have sacrifice because understanding of universe is that everything is connected so that anything occurs at one point of the ‘circle’ has a larger reverberation in the cosmos -cosmic events affect our life -trying to maintain and preserve harmony of the circle, to avoid putting it out of balance -to ritually create this harmony through sacrifice -farther down the line in history, the act of sacrifice becomes so complex that it needs a class of ritual experts to perform them -Brahmins -oral tradition, passed on verbally -something more like a tape recording -very finely organized set of poetic hymns that were memorized by specific families of Brahmins who would pass them on in their exact form to the next generation -all of the Indic traditions evolve from Vedic religion -over the course of time reactions are developed to the practice of Vedic religion -first concern was that Vedic is a communal religion -over course of time (8 c. BCE) a movement is developed that is opposed to this communal idea because it leaves no room for the element of the individual -there is a resistance to Vedic religion because of its high degree of ritualism -does it actually work? -resisted by certain strands of society -Vedic religion is very exclusive -only way to be religious is through the Brahmins -resistance to the idea of s
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