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RLG100Y JAN 10th
Traditions of south asia
Indic world view
A whole different way of looking at the world, our relationship to the world and
Indic world view:
1. Anladi: literally means ‘without beginning. it refers to the way the universe
works. It moves constantly, internally, the universe is always flowing but always
changes, so we see transformation both dramatically and slightly.
2. Kala: the movement of time. (Western: time begins when the universe begins.
God created both.) The south Asian tradition understands time in a different way.
As the universe going, time moves in a wave-like pattern. Sometimes the physical
universe is degenerating, sometimes evolving, According to this pattern. The
moral, spiritual movement is sometimes up and other times down. -------------Jain
Time moves in cyclical pattern. The physical and moral movement emerge,
evolves, matures and goes down, setting the next development and is eventually
destroyed. The universe is ‘created’ in one moment and then evolves in a certain
pattern. Once it reaches its peak, it degenerate again. Before the final destroy, it
starts the next cycle. Its self-destructive. Each of the cycles is divided into 4
different phases. These phases are called Yuga. ---------Hindu
1st stage: Human are physically and morally clean, uncorrupted. The world is
without disease, famine and people have a long life span. Also, there is no hatred,
jealousy, etc. people have a clear and penetrating insight and thus our minds are
sharp and we can understand each other clearly.
2nd stage: Our behavior starts to degenerate a little bit. There are increasing self-
serving behavior and there becomes illness, disease, conflict in the world.
3rd stage: negative things both morally and physically become more
4th stage: Kali Yuga---the age of distress phase, the physical and moral bottom of
the cycle. This is where we are now and is characterized by conflicts, distress,
amenity, hatred, self-interest, rivalry, etc.
3. Samsara: The nature of worldly experience. It is the assumption that this
constant movement of time is marked by a sense of stress, distress, anxiety and
even suffering. And hence the worldly experience is inherently unsatisfactory.
Because of the constant change, the world cannot provide lasting happiness and
peace. The world is conducive of struggling and pain, and thus troubling.
4. punarjanma: literally means rebirth. The assertion is that people are integral
parts of the world and it is their actions keep the movement of time going. We
wear our body so we do not die when our body dies. We will move onto another
body and we begin another life circle: birth, growth, maturity and death.
---------basic assumption of Indic tradition. We can inhabit different forms.
RLG100Y JAN 10th
We can be reborn in 4 different categories. The ladder of existence: gods (Refers
to divinity, some sorts of beings with extra power, not God)-----
human(media)-----animal----ghoul( Preta)----(plants---Jain)
How to determine which category you will be reborn next time?
The quality of moral action.
All of the phases are temporally. Eg, heaven---temporally also. You can only be
there for a while and then come back, like a club.
Human being is a media point because only as a human being, we can make
moral choices, which determines which category we will be reborn into. If you
are really rotten, you will be reborn as a plant. You will be a human again and
then make moral choices?
4. Karma: literally means action. Action is of various kinds: physical action,
verbal actions, mental actions, emotional actions. The basic assumption here is
that whatever we do, it is the choice that we make. And they all represent actions.
Actions can be moral, immoral, or amoral (actions do not have any reference to
judge whether it is moral or not)
Every action has an equal consequence attached. Eg. If we perform good actions,
we will get good results.
Everything becomes habitual but you still have the choice to get out of the thing,
to get a good result.