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University of Toronto Mississauga
David Miller

QUESTIONS FROM LECTURES What are the major elements of the class (VARNA) social structure and how does caste (JATI) social structure differ from the class (VARNA) social structure? The Aryan Varna Class system began from 1500 BCE till 200 BCE at which point the untouchables were added into the system and it conformed into the Jati caste system which had 300 subunits. The Varna class system is based on colour as the Jati system is based on cleanliness. The Aryans were the lighter-skinned as the aboriginals were the darker skinned The Varna Class system: 1. Brahmans/Brahmins (SATTVA or goodness) consist of priests, religious elites, learned class, culture bearers. They study and teach the Veda and smriti and must sacrifice both for himself and others. They are the highest tier and are not twice born. They must instruct the other two twice born tiers in Vedic lore, but on no account should instruction be givien to a Shudra. This would be a sin and punishment is in the pains of hell. 2. The Kshyatriyas (rajas or energy) are the warriors and rulers among whom were included the kings or tribal chieftains, nobles and military. They have polital elite. They are twice born since they are able to sacrifice and be born into a higher tier or within the same class. They duty is to protect their subjects, to expand his kingdom by fair means or foul, if necessary by war. They must take part in war, kill or be killed while facing enemy. 3. The Vaisyas (mixture of energy or dullness) are the merchants, the common people, the tradesmen, herders, peasantry, artisans 4. The Sudras ( tamas or dullness) are servants/ slaves. They are not able to sacrifice nor have sacrifice on their behalfthus were unable to be born again. They are not allowed to associate with a higher class member. They were forbidden all access to Veda. 5. The untouchable There was rivalry among the Brahman and Kshatriyas, with the defeat of the Kshatriays. At this time the Brahman gave themselves sacred power and privileges. They were now gods among men and even spoken as gods of gods. In 200 BCE at which time the untouchables were added, the system was considered the Jati caste system and the upper classes were subdivided based on cleanliness. Jati caste system: one is born into their caste based on their previous life karma. They must marry within their caste (COMMMENSALITY) and eat with a member of own caste(ENDOGAMY). There are sets of rules governing acceptable occupationd, foods, marriage, and association with other jatis. In the Jati caste system the untouchables vs. mom were highly segregated. There were rules forbidding eating, drinking, smoking with member of different caste. Who are INDRA and AGNI and what are their characteristics and functions in Vedic religion? Vedic Indians declared three classes of priests, warriors and peasants were identical with Agni (fire-god), Indra (warrior God) and visve devah (all-gods) God is centered on 33 deities: Indra, Agni Indra- atmosphere Agni- earth In classical Sanskrit, the word Indra means lord or king. Indra is the warrior king and is the most popular of the gods. He is the god of storm. He is the chief deity and the god of war(later) and rain, the greatest concerns of the people at that time. He creates order in the world and he has many forms. He separated the heavens and the earth by defeating Vrtra, a snake-dragon representation of chaos and obstacles. Another Vedic myth describes his defeat of Vrtra using wind and a thunderbolt as his weapons, enabling the monsoon rains to end. Indra must be strengthened with the drink soma, provided by worshippers, to accomplish this .Indra's weapon, which he used to kill Vritra, is the thunderbolt (Vajra), though he also uses a bow, a net and a hook. He delights in drinking Soma. He is the god of war. Agni is the fire god who sends the soul of the dead to heaven where it is in perfect, carefree bliss. (Agni is known for sacrifice). He is a brahman therefore he is a priest and he is the son of earth and heaven. He is the mediator between gods and men and he wrestled demons.He is the elements that binds together the world: in heaven he is the sun, in atmosphere he is the waters, in the storm cloud he is lightning while on earth he is kindled by hands of men. 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 symbolized by the bees-honey and rivers-ocean analogies? 1. ATMAN in the UPANISHADS can mean either an INDIVIDUAL SOUL or one COSMIC SOUL as the COSMIC SOUL. ATMAN is identical with BHAHMAN, the ABSOLUTE GROUND of BEING (SAT) It (SAT, BEING) (ATMAN or BRAHMAN) created by itself Would that I be many. ONE gives rise to the many 2. BEE-HONEY: POLENS (MANY) forms(ONE) add distinctive flavers: here ATMAN means both INDIVIDUAL SOUL (pollens) and HONEY (COSMIC SOUL or BHAHMAN) 3. RIVERS-OCEANS Rivers are the SAME ESSENCE (water) as OCEANS INDIVIDUAL SOULS (ATMAN) are of the same ESSENCE as BRAHMANS- SPIRITUAL and ETERNAL 4. UDDALAKA concludes THAT is REALITY(SAT-BEING);THAT is ATMAN (COSMIC SOUL); THAT are THOU, The INDIVIDUAL SOUL (ATMAN) comes from the COSMIC SOUl (ATMAN or BHAHMAN) and retunrs to the COSMIC SOUL SHVETAKETH; gains JNANA What is meant when the Upanishads, especially the BRIHADARANKYAKA UPANISHAD, describe BRAHMAN or ATMAN as NETI, NETI not this, not that Neti, Neti means not this, not that. It can give analogies but they must be experiences. It is impossible to describe and must be experienced. The turning point is reached with the Upanishads and their dual search for the eternal self (atman) within man and the eternal ground of the universe outside him (Brahman). It is Neti, Neti, not this, not that. It cannot be described and must be experienced. It is a state of total consciousness or unconsciousness. It is Sat-Cit-Ananda (being, consciousness and bliss). It is a state demonstrated in the Maitri Upanishad when one is in the Turiya state. It is the silence once said AUM. It can be interpreted as the negation of all conceptions of self, which is similar to the Anatta doctrine of Buddhism. In the Brhadaranjaka Upanishad, when yajnavalkya was questioned by his students to describe god, he could only say it is not this, it is not that (neti neti) This is unlimited, amorphous, colourless, characterless and formless universal spirit is omnipresent and omnipotent and like cosmic energy, it is pervasive, unseen and indescribable In the SHVETASHVATARA UPANISHAD who is the One God who rules over the perishable and the self (JIVATMAN) and who is identified with BRAHMAN? The One God who rules over the perishable and the self (JIVATMAN) and who is identified with BRAHMAN is Shiva known to be a vicious and dark figure or diety is rather a good diety in the Upanishad whom masters over the perishable and imperishable. He who creates and protects, he who rules over the world. The use of the term god as the one ruler of the universe is used alongside a shift in the Upanishads from Absolutism to more Theism. The tendency to use the term a god culminates in the Shvetashvartara Upanishad and using the term of God, as the one supreme being begins. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad was between 600 200 BCE and in this Upanishad Ishwara was the one great being. In the MANDUKYA UPANISHAD three psychological states, the waking state, the dreaming state and the deep sleep state are used as analogies to meditational states. Briefly, characterize each state and its relationship to RAJA YOGA. a. Waking state Outwardly cognitive, the senses are active on objects of the external world subject-object duality b. Dreaming state- sleeper falls asleep; hence, exists in the mind- mind-mind object;dreamer-dream; Though TAPAS (Mediatational heat or concentration) the Mediatator withdraws his senses into the mind (STEP 5. PRATYAHARA); The MEDITATOR holds his minds fast to a mind objects (STEP 6. DHARANA) c. DEEP SLEEP STATE The sleeper dreams no dream whatoeverMIND ObJECT fuse; state of UNCONSCIOUSNESS; BUT in STEP 7. DHYANA (MEDIATATION) the MEDITATOR by TAPAS willfully experiences a state of pure self consciousness, which then leads to STEP 8. SAMADHI (ABSORPTION) d. THE FOURTH STATE TURIYA in the MANDIKYA UPANISHAD is characteriszed by Silence-Neti Neti: beyond worlds; I is analogous to the experience of SAMADHI- ABSORPTION; the ULTIMATE experience of BHAHMAN, the absolute, oneness analogylike a droplet of water in the Ocean- absorbed into Brahman, Oneness-absolue monism From the LEGEND of THE BUDDHA describe, in detail, the TWO EXTREMES over against which BUDDHA created the MIDDLE PATH. From the lengend of the Buddha the two extremes of the middle path are self-indulgence and self mortification. The purpose of this path of the two extremes by the Buddha was to exterminate oain and suffering and self hurt. The eightfold path consist of 8 syeps for mental rehabilitation and mind deconditioning. These 8 steps aare as follows wisdom: 1. Right Understanding-BODHI-ENLIGHTMENT 2. Right thought 3. Righ speech 4. Righ action 5. Right livelihood 6. Right effort 7. Right mindfulness 8. Right concentration- SAMADHI NIRVANA These 8 paths lead to insight, wisdom, calmness and knowledge Rich and showered with material goods that are not everlasting and permanent from birth to the age of 29. Father wants him to become universal monarch so he shelters him from death, old age, and disease. Builds him 3 palaces for each season and builds a barricade around each palace. Provides him with 40000 dancing girls. However, when he leaves the palace one day he witnesses an o
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