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Lecture 3

RE321 Lecture Notes - Dharma, Bhajan, Walkover
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3 Pages
59 Views
Winter 2018

Department
Religion & Culture
Course Code
RE321
Professor
Alexander Damm
Lecture
3

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Lesson 3 Gadhi’s Religious Thought 2: Core Thees
Gadhi’s Religious Thought: The Goal ad the Meas
Gadhis Hiduis as distitie combined themes that had not been too significant in Hindu tradition
The Goal Truth
Gandhi adhered to Vedanta like many Hindus taught by meditation on the equation of the atman w God , one can liberate
their atman from the cycle of death and rebirth
Preferred distinct images and vocab
o Most appropriate name for God was Truth
o Soeoes goal has to be to understand and live as closely as possible in accord w Truth
Truth = pure non-violence + love = ahisma
o Pointless to try and rationally prove existence of Truth
o Truth could be felt and understood
The Means
Believed that life in accordance w Truth demanded specific means or methods all non violent, ameliorating service (karma
yoga) and renunciation (tapasya)
NON-VIOLENCE (AHISMA)
o A contribution of ancient Buddhism and Jainism
o Has 2 defining features:
State of pure love refusal to harm others and do best to care for others
Non violence is total love that manifests itself psychological, physically, politically and in all ways
o Non-violence = total way of life way of thinking and acting that embraces pure love towards all living things
o Ahisma = moral stance involving love and affirmation of all live
o non-violence = fundamental means to discover and illustrate Truth
ACTS OF AMELIORATING SERVICE (KARMA YOGA)
o Believed we could appreciate truth if we sought actively to serve others
o Karma yoga active expression or love / ahisma
Can take several forms charitable work, improving social/economic conditions, working w untouchables etc
o De-emphasized elements of Hindu piety that ere very popular
E.g. devotional practice bhakti (hanging garlands on statues)
o Ritual practices not wrong effective in drawing attention towards Truth
But were insignificant in doing service
o Emphasized horizontal dimension of religion and NOT vertical dimension
RENUNCIATION (TAPASYA)
o Helpful way to redirect attention from meaningless worldly pressures into life of ameliorating service that
heightened the awareness of Truth
o Renunciation = denotes the suppression of physical/worldly desires as a way to heighten awareness
o Takes 2 forms;
Purification believed to have non-violence ppl need to purify and control themselves from desire to indulge
the body included sex and body gratifying materials and from thoughts or deed that expressed violence
Suffering or suffering love believed that suffering was expression of renunciation to suffer in service of
loe = sigh of loes stregths ad a to repet past isdeeds
Lived w others in a like-minded community to practice renunciation lived in an ashram
o Created a lot of ashrams in south Africa
o Ppl shared possessions and lived w/o private property
o Lived frugally and met necessities of life w.o indulgence
Founded 2 ashrams Phoenix Farm and Tolstoy Farm
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Description
Lesson 3 Gandhis Religious Thought (2): Core Themes Gandhis Religious Thought: The Goal and the Means Gandhis Hinduism was distinctive combined themes that had not been too significant in Hindu tradition The Goal Truth Gandhi adhered to Vedanta like many Hindus taught by meditation on the equation of the atman w God , one can liberate their atman from the cycle of death and rebirth Preferred distinct images and vocab o Most appropriate name for God was Truth o Someones goal has to be to understand and live as closely as possible in accord w Truth Truth = pure non-violence + love = ahisma o Pointless to try and rationally prove existence of Truth o Truth could be felt and understood The Means Believed that life in accordance w Truth demanded specific means or methods all non violent, ameliorating service (karma yoga) and renunciation (tapasya) NON-VIOLENCE (AHISMA) o A contribution of ancient Buddhism and Jainism o Has 2 defining features: State of pure love refusal to harm others and do best to care for others Non violence is total love that manifests itself psychological, physically, politically and in all ways o Non-violence = total way of life way of thinking and acting that embraces pure love towards all living things o Ahisma = moral stance involving love and affirmation of all live o non-violence = fundamental means to discover and illustrate Truth ACTS OF AMELIORATING SERVICE (KARMA YOGA) o Believed we could appreciate truth if we sought actively to serve others o Karma yoga active expression or love / ahisma Can take several forms charitable work, improving social/economic conditions, working w untouchables etc o De-emphasized elements of Hindu piety that ere very popular E.g. devotional practice bhakti (hanging garlands on statues) o Ritual practices not wrong effective in drawing attention towards Truth But were insignificant in doing service o Emphasized horizontal dimension of religion and NOT vertical dimension RENUNCIATION (TAPASYA) o Helpful way to redirect attention from meaningless worldly pressures into life of ameliorating service that heightened the awareness of Truth o Renunciation = denotes the suppression of physical/worldly desires as a way to heighten awareness o Takes 2 forms; Purification believed to have non-violence ppl need to purify and control themselves from desire to indulge the body included sex and body gratifying materials and from thoughts or deed that expressed violence Suffering or suffering love believed that suffering was expression of renunciation to suffer in service of love = sigh of loves strengths and way to repent past misdeeds Lived w others in a like-minded community to practice renunciation lived in an ashram o Created a lot of ashrams in south Africa o Ppl shared possessions and lived w/o private property o Lived frugally and met necessities of life w.o indulgence Founded 2 ashrams Phoenix Farm and Tolstoy Farm
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