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Lecture Notes on Hinduism-February 12th

Course Code
Andre Maintenay

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February 12
- Vedic religion (sacrificial religion that brings together community; goal ± uphold
the world (intrinsic) harmony)
- Vedic religion is structured around a set of text called Vedas
- enormous collection of text
- divided into 4 major sections:
o Mantras
Collection of poetic, cryptic hymns
o Brahmanas
Collection of texts; ritual commentaries on the first section
o Aranyaka
Text written in the forest ± in opposition with community
Forest ± people who chose to live away from community; away
from the structures of society
Forest = text that are likely critical of the values and structures of
More philosophical content/commentaries of Mantras
Contemplation of ideas
Opposes Brahmanas
o Upanisads
text that are composed in the forest context
considered to be secret/more advanced teachings
idea: like sitting next to teacher/guru; they judge if an individual is
capable of more advanced teachings
From Vedic religion comes the Sramana movement,
- 3 groups that emerged from the Sramana:
o 1. Jains
o 2. Buddhist
o 3. Hindu(ism) ± later to be called
Major difference between the Hindus and Jains+Buddist = Jains and Buddhist reject the
- Hindus think its too far to throw the Vedas out ± the way that they have been
interpreted (ritualistic interpretation)
- Vedic religion can be corrupted and ignored but not the Vedas
- Hindus look back to the first section of the Vedas and come up with a new
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