Hindusim Study Guide (Lecture outlines w/ answers)

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University of Toronto St. George
Andre Maintenay

RLG 100280 - LECTURE 11 HINDUISM (Part I) term Hindu from Persian Sindhus, the word for the Indus River - Term applies not only to those who belong to one of the hindu denominations but also to any other person domiciled in the territories to which the Hindu Family Act extends who is not a muslim, christian, paris or Jew by religion - Default identity in India multiple Hinduisms many traditions (regional variances in India) Indus Valley or Harappan culturecivilization (c. 2700-1500? BCE) ancient India - Excavations reveal several large towns on banks of Indus in modern day Pakistan - Archaeology suggests a uniformity in culture across entire north-western part of subcontinent - Although culture widely associate with Indus valley there are similar objects found thousands of miles apart :. Scholars like to call it Harappa culture cause it extends past the Indus basin itself - Had written language but no sure discipherment - Impressive builders, lived in planned cities - The great bath at Mohenjo Daro - possible evidence of yoga - Man in a yogic position - prototype of god Shiva (as evidenced by animals and headdress)? - Some think it was destroyed by Indo Europeans around 1750 - Other theories include flood or epidemics - Replaced by Indo-European Vedic culture in 1500 Vedic culture (c. 1500-500 BCE) - named after vedas knowledge - Importance of ritual and sacrifice - Focus on experiential understandingknowledge - Many schools Vedas (knowledge, composed between 1700-600 BCE) Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda - Earliest surviving compositions are the vedas - Vedas = sanskrit for knowledge - Term vedas has been used in hindu tradition to denote the whole corpus: hymns, ritual treatises, philosophical texts - Western indologists often use it to refer to only the hymns (the samhita) - Not accepted by hindus - Works are collectively known as shruti - that which was heard - Vedic rishis (seers) saw the mantras and transmitted them to their disciplines, starting an oral tradition that has continued to the present www.notesolution.com- Generally thought to have been composed between 1750 and 600 BCE - Four collections - Rig veda - Earliest - Contains 1028 hymns - Sama Veda - Borrowed from Rig - Sung in a specific manner - Yajur - also borrowed from rig - Atharva - The Upanishads composed around 600 BCE are the most recent addition shruti (that which was heard) literature as opposed to smrti (that which is remembered) literature (post-500 BCE) - of lesser authority than shruti - But still considered inspired - Played a more important role in lives of hindus for last 2500 years sacred Vedic language Sanskrit - indo-european script many Vedic gods, e.g. Agni, Indra, Soma, Varuna, etc. father of gods Dyas Pitr - Dyaus Pitr is etymologically similar to Zeus and God the father - Gods are associated with natural things - When you invoke gods they are actually present cosmic origins linked to sacrifice of cosmic person, out of which came for classescastes (varnas) of society: brahmin; ksatriya; vaisya; sudra - From the Hymn to the Supreme Person (Purusha Sukta) the creation hymn from the Rig Veda - Universe is said to have originated through a cosmic sacrifice in which the primeval man (Purusha) was offered - From the cosmic sacrifice the origins of the four varnas of hindu society are traced - Likely that caste system was developed before the Rig Veda was composed - Brahmin (priests) - Ksatriya (warriorsrulers) - Vaisya (merchantsfarmers) - Sudra (servants) - Dalit (outcasts) emphasis on ritual and sacrifice maintaining rta (orderbalance) - cosmic and earthly order = Rta - A delicate connection was seen between the rituals and the prevelance of Rta - Rta is truth and justic, the rightness of things www.notesolution.com
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