RLG100Y1 Lecture Notes - Artha, Dharma

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23 Mar 2011
World Religions
Hinduism: Dharma
Reading: Ch. 5 “The Hindu Tradition,” pp. 281-325
March 16
, 2010.
Pravr tti: dharma, artha, kama, moksa are all motivations in life
That which is the r ight thing to do
2 broad categories : common/ordinary and particular
Common/Ordinary – Class of duties that are common to all people at all times in
all place regardless of your social location, regardless of your gender
5 basic ideals for Common/Ordinary:
1.Ahimsa (engage in world in spirit of non-harm)
2.Truthfu l
4.Sexual modesty
5.Non-grasping/non-covetous behaviour
Broader concepts – approach world in spirit of kindness, spirit of friendship, etc.
Based on 4 major categories:
Varna – class/occupation in society – depending on class you belong to, you w ill
have different duties
4 broad classes:
1.Brahman – pr iestly duties, education
3.Vaisya – economically productive class
4.Sudra – serving classes
Asrama4 basic stages of life and depending on what stage we’re at, we will
have different stages
1.Student stage – f irst 25 years, as student have certain obligations, expectation not
employed because have own work, not expected to suppor t yourself, expected to
be chased
2.Household stageconcerned with mar r iage around age 25, duty to be sexually
engaged, also expectation/duty to be employed and make vast sums of money as
able to do, expected to become very prosperous
3.Forest-dwellow stage – forest implies a removal from society, distancing of ones
self from concerns of material world, stepping away and devoting ones self to
more religious/spiritual concerns, forest-dwellow is equivalent to retirement stage
4.Renouncer leave all concerns of society behind and wander radically alone,
give up even the vestige of identity that you have with the forest and henceforth
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