Lecture 1 - 4.docx

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Lecture 1 Two ways of looking at religion Historiography: writing of history -how ideas and practices change radically over time? -looking at religious history from the outside -how is Islam as a religious tradition different from Hinduism as a religious tradition? (not in beliefs) Hindu – term comes from a Persian term. Historically it referred to the people who lived beyond the Indus River (geographic) Sultan- emperor 1830 – the term Hinduism came about Cast disabilities removal Act, 1850 – developed on the basis of property. Everyone is the same in the eyes of the law Lex Loci Act, 1845 – Warren Hostings’ Judicial – different sets of law for hindus and muslims Lecture 2 Looking at : Indus valley civilization and Rg Veda and the sacrifice Indus valley civilization  (one of the 3 oldest civilizations in Indian history) = [Mesopotamia, Indus valley]  Indus river = in Pakistan  Evidence available in ancient civilization = material objects eg structures, buildings, pottery, seals etc  No texts in ancient civilization Two major ancient sites (cities) : Harappa and Mohanjo-Daro Mohanjo-Daro: 4 millennia BC (3000-4000BC) Central planning, similar layouts in both cities Mohanjo-Daro Great Bath: in Pakistan, underground. Mohanjo-Daro Granery: remains have been withered away with time. Agricultural production, sophisticated economy Indus Valley Seals: have symbols, found in museums Dravidian: language spoken in southern part of India Theory: all languages in southern India are part of a family Theories for the collapse of Indus valley:  Invasion  Internal collapse (famine, natural or economic disaster)  there must have been a conquest of the Indus valley people by the vedic people Vedic civilization: Vedic people came in after the collapse, so there was no conquest and they were called the Aryans. Debate: origin of vedic (did they come from within or outside of India)  arguments say that they either migrated to india from central Europe vs came from India  they came from OUTSIDE India because their language was sanskirit  Indo-european language family : French, german, greek, sanskirit, latin, Spanish, Russian, old english  People must have had contact with each other : their words for mother, father etc sounded very alike  Vedic/Aryans travelled from place to place  They were hunters and gatherers and did not show interest in agriculture Vedic Culture documentary o Clay, wood and grass o God of fire was kept alive o Fire was celebrated in ceremonies o Sacrifices and rituals survived but declined o Squares, rectangles and triangle woods used o Around 10 BC, fire was built from a 1000 bricks VEDIC SACRIFICE: [RG Veda = oldest text of vedic Aryans]  Done by Brahmans  Sacrifice died off, people now go to temples  Sacrifice was “recreated” in the documentary FIRE: very important, animal is offered into the fire or usually a “symbol” instead of animal Ancient sacrifices: animals eg deer, horse etc. Rd Veda: reciting the text (words) and the fire are important. They recite different verses which are in the massive text called “The Veda” its like an encyclopedia. Rd Veda is the part where they are praising the God. Other part of Veda contains instructions on how to do the sacrifice. They sacrifice because they think they have an “Exchange” relationship with the god. They offer the animal to the god and the god is expected to do something for them. “a person who wants to go to heaven, sacrifices”. Person who usually wants a son, sacrifices. Men perform the sacrifice. Lecture 3 Summary of lecture Personal relation to the lecture – personal reflection or reading material Looking at:  Renunciation in ancient india  Historical background on late vedic society  Buddhism and other renouncer traditions  Upanisads Renunciation: giving something up or to renounce Renouncers: gave up the vedic sacrifice (giving up fire) and giving up marriage (ritual and social life) [things that we do not do] Asceticism: set of practices (things that we do) eg fasting, yoga practices, meditation etc Life of the Buddha : marks transformative moment in ancient india 556-486 BCE or 448 – 368 BCE (date that the scholars adapted) Two sets of renouncers in ancient india: Anchorites : live in hermitages (aashram), live together, community-like | live with a group of people Renouncers: wander in the forest, had a begging bowl | wander and beg New practices and concepts associated with renunciation  Yoga  Meditation  Rebirth (no idea of rebirth in vedic)  Non-violence  Liberation Goal of life in Vedic world: Go to heaven Goal of life in Renouncers’ life: Liberation Why would someone want to renounce the world?  Closer to god  Escape from current life  To show that they are not driven by evil  Loss of a loved one  World = materialistic  To
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