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Lecture 8

ASIAN 101 Lecture 8: Hindusim Test #1

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San Diego State University
Asian Studies
Angela Feres

 The ancestors of modern human species that moved out of Africa were the Homo Erctus man, Java man, or Peking man o They used stone axis to chop  Homoneandarthalis may have also moved to Asia but they are mainly found in Europe and parts of the Middle East  Homosapiesns moved out of Africa and displaced the earlier Homoerctus groups and established their presence in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Americas o They knew how to use fire, weapons, art, sculpture, jewelry, cave art, fishing, hunting, and they also followed the animals that were migrating  Later on they stopped migrating a lot and had more permanent cities, and they started developing governments, religions, etc. Early societies in India  Foundations of Harappan society were found in the Indus River, which is silt- enriched water from mountain ranges  The writings were at first considered an early form of Sanskrit  Great bath: to purify  Locking doors: indicate crime/wars  Some scholars believed that women were ruling the society  Shiva is a God of creation and destruction.  The Aryans came later on, they are light skinned, and they moved in India from a North, slowly overtime. They disliked the native people, because of their dark skinned and etc.  The Aryan will emplace a caste system called the Varna system (color bias), which placed light skinned on top and the darker skinned people in the bottom o This system gives the darker skinned people a limit for some stuff they can do and some stuff they can’t do. (It will affect them economically socially)  They brought in Animals with them  No Hindu Indian eats cow because it is considered sacred to them because it is considered to be the embodiment of mother hood of the God Mother, Goddess, because it provides food (milk, butter, and cheese) Sanskrit: Sacred tongue, it is a language that in many ways is related to Greek, Latin, Persian, and Greek Aryo=Noble In the caste system they Aryo’s are considered to be at the top The Caste System  Their priests are called Brahmin’s, and they are considered to know all the sacred traditions and therefore they have a great deal of power, and they are believed to be very pure and closer to release to get off the wheel of life. (they are respected, but not always rich)  The Kshatriya (warrior) and Vaishya (merchant), they are considered to be part of the top 3 casts, which enables them to wear sacred thread and go through special rights of passage  The lowest on the caste and typically the darker skinned people are the Sudra, the commoners.  Outside of the Caste system are a group of people called the untouchables: pariahs or Harijan. Culturally they have no position and they are treated horribly and they are filthy and polluted. Examples of Harijan’s are garbage people, sewage people, working in cremation grounds. Nobody in the 4 casts can come near the untouchables, not until the 20 century, the great reformer Gandhi, he promoted them by calling them God’s children and to abolish the negative attitude towards these people. But there are still negative attitudes toward them.  Jati is a subsystem within each caste, which tells you how much money each has within one’s caste o Ex: higher caste warrior, and lower cast warrior The Vedic Age: The age of knowledge  We can see a lot of conflict between the Aryan’s and the indigenous people that they call daasa or enemies o But their all a lot of Aryan’s fighting against eachother  Since the Brahmins are the only people that have knowledge regarding what right and what’s wrong, and the sacred traditions, etc. They have a lot of power, and later on they write down all the vedas (the oral traditions)  Women and the lowest of the Caste/ the untouchables are not allowed to read the Vedas when they come out  The culture in Ancient Indian society is Patriarchy, which means the father rules the house o Wife’s should be submissive to their husbands Women in Aryan Groups:  Women were not allowed to read the sacred texts  They would regularly get married as children  Female infanticide, is the killing of a female baby before born. It was practiced quite substantially and still is practiced. o The privilege was that males brought honor to the family, while women brought shame.  Women who violated the gender norms, and lost their virginity before getting married, they could be killed by their families. Also adulatory. If the women stepped out of line, also her husbands family would be degraded o They are also a waste of money and effort, since they will leave the house later on  Sati (suttee), is the ritual burning of women when their husbands die. However, women who did not voluntarily jump in the fire, they will be helped by some people. Aryan Religion  From the four Vedas, the rig was considered to be the most important Veda o It contains over a 1,000 hymns that were memorized and passed on and eventually passed on.  Theses hymns describe an elaborate body of ritual sacrifices that the Brahmins had to offer to the God’s and Goddesses in order to continue to receive the blessings of water, rain, fertility, etc.  They often drank a ritual substance known as soma, which contains halucegenic drugs (like mushrooms). They take it in order to experience an altered state of conscious that they believe allowed them to understand the will of the God’s and Goddesses and to be more effectively communicating with them  According to the Early Theology, the God created the universe o And one of the Gods Purusa was dismembered and his body forms the cosmos and society  Each part of his body represents a different part of the Caste system and it is believed overtime that being in one of the Caste’s would be considered a Dharma (a sacred duty, natural law, rhythm of universe)  Each individual has a individual Dharma and a Caste Dharma that they must follow o This require obedience Gods 1. Agni and Soma a. Fire, transformation and immortality b. They are both associated with the substance called Soma 2. Indra a. Warrior God of the Aryans, he was important but he lost his power and influence between the other Gods in the system 3. Shiva a. Is believed to unleash the sacred power of the Ganji’s river from his third eye, which is a mystical point in the human body a.i. You can
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