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Lecture

The Indic Worldview


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay

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World Religions
November 22nd, 2011.
The Indic Worldview
Reading: NONE
The south Asian tradition Indic worldview, whole different way of conceiving the
world, understanding how it works, our relationship to world & each other, very different
from Abrahamic traditions.
Note: all points are Sanskrit terms
1st point of Indic Worldview anadi, meaning without beginning, refers to the
understanding of the way that the universe works, universe always is, will always be,
continues going but is constantly changing, therefore we see transformation of various
types (dramatic, minimal), universe always been here.
2nd point – kala, meaning nature of time, with reference to the idea of the movement of
time, god created the universe and from this moment we started to mark historical time, if
universe ha always been going then how do we understand/mark time? Therefore we say
that south Asian tradition understands movement of time in a different way. Time
movement in rhythms, sometimes in evolving or degenerating cycle (wavelength) for
eternity. Positive phases (spiritual) or degenerating phases (moral, spiritual sense) 
Jane understanding of time
Hindu understanding of time is that time moves in cycles, e.g. you have a certain phase at
which creation happened, it physically, morally, spiritually evolves in a certain pattern and
once it reaches the top of the circle (apex), it started to devolve again and eventually it
gets to a point of no return and self destructs but before it destructs, it sheds the seed for
the beginning of another cycle (4 phases in each cycle). These phases are called yuga,
meaning age. 1st phase is when cycle is uncorrupted; we who inhabit world are also
understood to be most uncorrupted, because lack of moral pollutants in our minds, our
intellect is sharp to understand clearly. as a result, we live long lives, world is free of war,
diseases, however as we proceed further into the cycle and concurrent with the pollutants
that enter into our moral sphere, we see the development and introduction of disease,
famine, increasingly self serving forms of behaviour, development of conflict, wars, and
our interpersonal relationships tend to be more conflict, having impact on environment,
society, and negative elements start to take over and push us into degenerative phase of
cycle. in this stage we see more of negative elements until we get to ost difficult era of all
called kali yuga, meaning age of distress, people more concerned with their own self
advancement, material things, selfish interests than others, creates age of distress not only
among people but world has many conflict, environmental degeneration, famine, disease,
last stage of cycle.
3rd point – sansara, meaning nature of worldly experience. Constant movement of time,
change, is marked by a sense of anxiety, stress, distress, suffering, so assertion is that our
experience of the world, as a result of the constant experience of change, is one of anxiety
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