INTRODUCTION TO SOUTH ASIAN RELIGIONS
PROF DAVID MILLER
CRITERIA FOR GRADING THE MID-TERM EXAMINATION (40%)
QUESTIONS FROM LECTURES – EACH QUESTION IS WORTH 5 POINTS.
1. In the CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD Chapter 6, UDDALAKA ARUNI, the
father, uses symbolic analogies to teach his son, SHVETAKETU, the
meaning of ATMAN. What is the basic teaching that is symbolized by the
bees-honey and rivers-ocean analogies?
(2 pts) the basic teaching of the CHANDOGDYA UPANISHAD Chapter 6 is that the
INDIVIDUAL SOUL (ATMAN) is of the same ESSENCE (SPIRITUAL) as the
COSMIC SOUL (ATMAN) (or BRAHMAN). Both are eternal and immortal. Hence
the classic statement: “THAT THOU ART” (THAT = COSMIC SOUL, ATMAN);
(THOU = INDIVIDUAL SOUL, ATMAN). Hence, SVETAKETU’s SOUL
(ATMAN) IS OF THE SAME ESSENCE OF THE COSMIC SOUL (ATMAN).
(2 pts) The analogies of BEES-HONEY and RIVERS-OCEAN are used by the author
of CHANDOGYA Chapter 6 to illustrate this philosophical teaching. The nectar of
the plant when taken by the BEE becomes HONEY, which is of the same ESSENCE
as the HONEY of the HONEYCOMB into which the bee places the HONEY. The
RIVERS-OCEAN is a better analogy as the text reads that the RIVERS flow into the
OCEAN and “come (RAIN) from the OCEAN”. But, in both analogies the ESSENCE
of the INDIVIDUAL (BEE or RIVER) is of the same ESSENCE as the collective
ONE (HONEYCOMB or OCEAN). Again, the INDIVIDUAL SOUL (ATMAN) is of
the same ESSENCE as the COSMIC SOUL (ATMAN or BRAHMAN).
(1pts) The passage begins by stating that “In the beginning this COSMOS was “ONE
only without a second (ADVAITA)”; but the next verse states: “Let ME (the ONE)
procreate myself”. Hence the ONE (ATMAN or the COSMIC SOUL) becomes
MANY (ATMAN as the INDIVIDUAL SOULS). Hence, this passage is a good
example of QUALIFIED MONISM; The ONE ATMAN (as the COSMIC SOUL)
becomes the MANY (ATMANS as INDIVIDUAL SOULS). Later, with
RAMANUJA the term becomes SAGUNA BRAHMAN,the ONE (BRAHMAN) that
is QUALIFIED (SAGUNA) by the MANY things of EXISTENCE i.e SOULS
(ATMAN) and MATTER.
Questions from lectures each question is worth 5 points. Part-a: in the chandogya upanishad chapter 6, uddalaka aruni, the father, uses symbolic analogies to teach his son, shvetaketu, the meaning of atman. What is the basic teaching that is symbolized by the bees-honey and rivers-ocean analogies? (2 pts) the basic teaching of the chandogdya upanishad chapter 6 is that the. Individual soul (atman) is of the same essence (spiritual) as the. Hence the classic statement: that thou art (that = cosmic soul, atman); (thou = individual soul, atman). Hence, svetaketu"s soul (atman) is of the same essence of the cosmic soul (atman). (2 pts) the analogies of bees-honey and rivers-ocean are used by the author of chandogya chapter 6 to illustrate this philosophical teaching. The nectar of the plant when taken by the bee becomes honey, which is of the same essence as the honey of the honeycomb into which the bee places the honey.