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Hindusim Study Guide (Lecture outlines w/ answers)

15 Pages
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Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG100Y1
Professor
Andre Maintenay

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RLG 100/280 - LECTURE 11
HINDUISM (Part I)
termHindu” – 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 culture/civilization (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 understanding/knowledge
-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 languageSanskrit
-indo-european script
many Vedic gods, e.g. Agni, Indra, Soma, Varuna, etc. – father of gods Dyaüs 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 classes/castes
(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 (warriors/rulers)
-Vaisya (merchants/farmers)
-Sudra (servants)
-Dalit (outcasts)
emphasis on ritual and sacrifice – maintaining rta (order/balance)
-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
-Makes harmony ad peace possible in the earth and heavens
-It is an impersonal cosmic principle
-Upheld by gods like Varuna
Upanishads (“sitting near, c. 8th-5th c. BCE) – speculation on Brahman (cosmic
essence/being)
-composed in a time of philosophical inquiry
-A time of intellectual ferment and questioning and rejecting authoritarian structure
-Upanishads do not totally reject early hymns and sacrificial rituals but instead rething and
formulate them
-Thus some rituals are interpreted allegorically and the symbolic structurs of the
sacrifices are analyzed in some detail
-Most of the Upanishads take form of a conversation between a teacher and a student, husband
and wife or fellow philosophers
-At the heart of higher wisdom is experiential knowledge of the relationship between deepest
self (atman) and the Supreme being (Brahman)
-Brahman pervades and yet transcends not only human thought but the iniverse itself
-Brahman cannot be described anymore than infinity can be contained
-To know brahman is to enter a new state of consciousness
-Associated in the upanishads with the existence or truth (Satya), knowledge (jnana), infinity
(ananta) consciousness (chit) and bliss (ananda)
-Elsewhere Brahman is described as the hiden, inner controller of the human sould and the farm
over which the universe is woven
-Earliest discussion of several concepts central to later hindu tradition
-Ex, Karma
-A frequent theme of the upanishads is the quest for a unifying truth.
-The ‘higher’ knowledge is clearly distinguished from the ‘lower’ knowledge that can be
conceptualized and expressed in words
-Its nature cannot be explained or taught and can only be evoked
-link to deepest self (atman)
-salt + water analogy – tat tvam asi (“you are that)
-Conversation in the Chandogya Upanishad, a father asks his son to dissolved salt in
water and says that Brahman and Atman are united in a similar manner
-Father ends his teaching with a famous dictum - tat tvam asi (‘you are that’)
-‘that’ refers to Brahman and ‘you’ to atman
-More than 1000 years later philopshers still differed in their interpretations of
this passage
-Either identical or that two were inseparably united but not identical
cyclical rather than linear time – repetition of vast yugas (“eons)
- within each manavantara are 71 great eons
-smallest cycle is maha yuga - ‘great eon
-A single eon is basic cycle
-During this time dharma or reightouensness is firmly established
www.notesolution.com

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Description
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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