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HUMA 2440 term 1 exam review.docx

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York University
HUMA 1846
Janet Rubinoff

HUMA 2440 term 1 exam review Week 1 Section 1: India – An Overview * „Local‟ name: Bharat * Gained independence in 1947 * Capital is New Delhi * Official languages Hindi and English Section 2: Chronology and Maps * Gangetic Valley 1000-500 BC Maurya Empire under Ashoka 268-233 BC India 0-300 AD Gupta Empire 320-500 Early Middle Ages 900-1200 Late Middle Ages 1206-1526 Mughal Empire British Penetration of India 1750-1860 Republic of India 1947 Powerpoint notes Varna – caste (colour). Primarily Hindu societal concept Class /= caste. Is a set of social relations within a system of production (financial). Caste, conversely, is something you‟re born into. * as caste barriers are breaking down in modern India, class barriers are becoming more prominent. * first mention of caste differences are in the Rig Veda, which may have referred to main divisions of ancient Aryan society * the Rig Veda mentions a creation myth “Hymn of the Primeval Man” which refers to the creation of the universe and the division of man into four groups of body parts (below under section 3) * outsiders consider caste to the be the defining aspect of indian society. Megasthenes and Alberuni both focus on that when they analyze the culture. Jati or jat – subcaste. these have distinct names like “Gaud Saraswat Brahmins”. Dalit – untouchable Dvija – twice-born: part-way through a non-sudra person‟s life, they go through a „spiritual birth‟ which is their „second birth‟, called the upanayana, where the initiated then wear a sacred thread Hierarchy – different types of ordered ranks systems. i.e. gender hierarchy is male > female, sexual hierarchy is heterosexual > homosexual * rank can be inherited at birth (from father) * one‟s birth/rebirth is based on one‟s deeds in a past life Endogamy – marriage within own caste Commensality – can only eat with jati members Jatidharma and varna-dharma – one‟s duty in a caste or subcaste (lower castes must serve higher castes) Jajmani system – patron-client system of land owning and service/artisan castes. No longer prominent in modern India Karma – a sum of all an individual has done in the past and is currently doing and will do in the future: affects one‟s rebirth (what caste you‟re born into) Purity and pollution – concepts relating to different castes, which justifies one‟s caste. A Brahmin is more „pure‟ than a Sudra. Sudras are more „polluted‟ than other castes “Important themes in lecture”: relationships b/n fundamental values like hierarchial ranking and Indian social structures like caste, family, community * what role do these social structures and hierarchial constructs play in ancient, medieval and modern indian culture? * contrast outsider/insider view of indian society * consider the implications of caste on modern Indian society. political equality vs. social inequality? * last 10 slides should be studied: points of detailed inquiry and speculation – good for exam preparation. Week 2: Hierarchy and Social Structure Section 3: Religions on File * Main castes/varnas/colours: Brahmins (priests) – the mouth – white Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers) – the arms – red Vaishyas (merchants, husbandmen, craftsmen) – the thighs – gold Sudras (unskilled workers) – the feet – black Untouchables (labor) * Vishnu has 10 incarnations, and holds a conch shell, disc, mace and lotus * Shruti (revealed scriptures) - Vedas: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda * Smriti (traditional scriptures): Laws of Manu, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas Section 4: Stories from Buddhist Birth-Stories (Jataka Tales) * All of the tales are told in a frame narrative * Is Buddhist (religious) in nature * It‟s believed that the Buddha explained/commented on events happening around him by telling of similar events that had occurred in his previous births – and he used these stories to communicate * Western stories were borrowed from Buddhist stories * Have stanzas in the middle of stories to explicitly communicate a lesson Section 5: More Jataka Tales * Shakuntala Jataka Tale is in here. Powerpoint notes (look at week 3‟s powerpoint notes) Week 3: Folk Tales & Social Values Sections 6 & 7: Panchatantra – Social Values, Folk Tales * Panchatantra. Secular. Written by Vishnu Sharma. Overlaying narrative is that a wise scholar agrees to teach a king‟s stupid boys all aspects of life in a short period by telling them lots of stories. The teachings are broken up into 5 parts: 1 – estrangement of friends 2 – winning of friends 3 – of crows and owls 4 – loss of gains 5 – rash deeds These stories have further stories in them (the bull and lion …) and are filled with lessons. * Inherently sexist against women (reflective of patriarchal values of the time) Powerpoint notes (applies to week 2 as well) Katha(taka) – stories/narrative fiction Jataka tales – stories that convey religious teachings of the Buddha to his disciplies, later used to spread teachings of Buddhist from 500 BCE. * Buddha lived from ca.563-480 BCE Pali – sacred language of Buddhism (like Hindu‟s sacred language, Sanskrit) Panchatantra – see above. Nitishastra – instructional text that contains rules/lessons for leading a good life Frame narrative – story within story Champu – literary form that includes both verse and prose (like Jataka tales or Panchatantra) Vetalapanchavinsati – five and twenty tales of the genie written by Sivadasa in Sanskrit. King Vikramaditya (vikra = valour, aditya = name of the sun) encounters an evil monk (frame story) Major themes of these stories: * rules for good conduct * ideal of just and brave king * deceit and ruse (for good and bad ends) * weak characters outsmart stronger ones * humans trick gods *importance of practical wisdom *role of women (patriarchal values) *importance of order in society *concepts of honor among kings, warriors, husbands, women * The importance of folktales is that they are telling of values/society at the time. * Jataka tales have been represented in architecture carvings * Buddhism is more egalitarian (absence of caste system) * Panchatantra influenced a lot of western literature. Uses animals as characters a lot * (a lot of the powerpoint summarizes the events/preamble/premise of each book) Week 4: ..? notes/readings covered maybe combined with week 3? … Week 5: Representation of Women in Early Indian Literature powerpoint notes: * heterodox sects Buddhism and Jainism emerged in Northern India in the th th 6 -5 century BCE. * heterodoxy – not agreeing w/accepted or orthodox beliefs * collective authority (elders and chiefs) was surfacing as an alternative to the orthodox model of hereditary authority * oligarchy – a small group of people having control over a country * gana-sanghas – same as above. Assemblies of people of equal status (chiefs/leaders) that reach agreement through consensus and voting * an increase of wealth and agriculture in the 5 -6 century BCE led to a bigger gap in wealth between the rulers and the ruled. This led to more people questioning the validity of orthodox rule, further paving the way for the emergence of heterodox sects * hegemony – leadership/dominance of one group (e.g. Brahmin hegemony) * Buddha and Mahavira founded new religious traditions. Both were Kshatriyas and from regions that had “republican” chiefdoms (more egalitarian) * Buddha founded Buddhism and Mahavira founded Jainism * samsara – transmigration of the soul, rebirths * karma – the result of actions or deeds that influences rebirths * right conduct – doing good deeds released the soul from rebirth… * nirvana(Buddhism), moksha, mukti(hindu) – all meaning the release of the soul from rebirth, ending suffering * the new heterodox sects introduced the idea of reaching enlightenment without the need for intermediaries such as Brahmin priests or rituals * ahmisa – non-injury to all living things. especially challenged animal sacrifices brought out by Vedic and Brahmin tradition * 4 noble truths – Buddhist concept: life is full of suffering (dukkha), this suffering is caused by desire and greed, overcoming desire is the path to enlightenment * eightfold path – Buddhist concept: a path to reach nirvana. Right understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, awareness, concentration * 3 principles of Samadhi (concentration), panna (wisdom) and sila (morality) * 3 jewels/authorities of Buddhism: * acceptance of the Buddha * acceptance of the Dhamma (rules and teaching) * acceptance of the Sangha (ascetic community of monks, nuns) * Buddhism was antagonistic towards women: nuns were not allowed to be part of the Sangha (ascetic community) th * Patriarchal ideologies still took over Buddhism in the 6 century BCE * importance of the Therigatha * earliest known anthology of women‟s literature * carried over as oral literature over 400 years * first written down about 80 BCE * theri – respected, revered females; senior nuns. gatha – song/poems * was a compilation of rarely recorded expressions of women‟s experiences and feelings in their own words (not portrayed by men) * nuns come from many backgrounds (lowest caste or highest cast, young or old) * Therigatha contains religious material * revealed domestic suffering and patriarchal chokehold on daily life of women * a lot of songs emphasized “freedom” from hardship, suffering, inferiority – as well as from rebirth * changes from Buddhism * improvement of status of women (allowed to become nuns) * more egalitarian * use of local languages * incorporated heterodox concepts (like ahmisa: good deeds) * Jainism * founded by Vardhamana Mahavira (Great Hero) 540-468 BCE, a contemporary of the Buddha * 5 basic vows: no sex, no killing, no materialism, no lies, no greed * vegetarianism – cannot even have crops that were harvested by machines that could have killed insects. * threefold path to salvation: right belief, knowledge, conduct * accepting of women * digambaras – “sky clad” or naked monks. renounces materialism and even clothing – the process involves violence * shvetambaras – “white clad” monks who wear white robes. * never spread outside India * was a popular religion among merchants because their trade was not affected by strict dietary/non-violence rules * Jain Literature th * Kathakoshas – collection of Jain stories compiled in 12 century CE * “Tale of the Faithful Wife Rohini” – Rohini gets advanced on by a king. She stands up for herself and betters the king‟s morals. * themes: faithfulness of the ideal wife in Rohini refusing the king * women are to protect their own chastity, diplomacy, emphasizes Jain values of truthfulness, rejection of materialism, ahmisa * Representation of Women in Hinduism * belief that women were powerful but dangerous and therefore should be under the control of men so that women‟s power (Shakti) could be used for „good‟ * more restrictions on higher caste women to preserve honor * In Hindu law (dharmashatras), punishment for wrongdoings for higher caste women was as bad as the punishment for lower caste women. conversely, higher caste men were exempt from punishments for lower caste men. * the “Law of Manu” (Manu Smriti) states that a woman is to be a dutiful wife and caring mother, totally dependent on a man. * Sangam Poetry * very early writings by women in India * written in Old Tamil * secular * women were glad for their sons to die in battle for it was honorable * poetry and literary achievement were important in Tamil society * poems incorporate theory of the nature of beauty and highly stylized personal emotions and ideal types in this poetry * Akam(aham) type of sangam poetry reflects inner or interior landscapes of mind: emotions. Mostly love poems involving stock characters like He, She, the Courtesan, Her Friend * Puram type of sangam poetry focused on the outer or exterior world: the court, the battlefield, honor * extremely succinct writing style (one symbol can mean many things) often connecting landscapes and seasons to emotions * landscapes in Akam poetry were associated with different stages of love: mountains, forests, barren land, river valleys and sea coasts * akam poems emphasized physical beauty * akam poems contrasted the limited/domestic experience of the woman with the broad experience of the man * women in Tamil society were educated and had more freedom * women were associated with Shakti or their creative power. men were considered to be purusha or static form. women were deified and had new importance * The Kural aka Tirukkural * book of practical advice; a nitishastra – written by Tiruvalluvar * from ancient Tamil culture, written in Old Tamil * influenced by spiritual values of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism * emphasis on how to lead a good and honorable life, how to execute practical affairs of state as a just leader, proper conduct for men and women, emphasis on values of love and friendship and ahmisa * composed of 3 parts * book 1: virtue (dharma or aram) * book 2: wealth/politics (artha or porul) * book 3: love (kama or inpam) * emphasis on good, realistic action. not overly spiritual; written by a realistic, cultured man * 4 stages of life: 1 – brahmacarin or student stage. 2 – grihastha or householder stage. 3 – vanaprastha or retirement stage. 4 – sannyasin or ascetic stage. Week 6: Reinterpreting Ancient Myths in Alternative Art Forms – Sanskrit Drama powerpoint notes: * Kalidasa wrote Shakuntala and the Ring of Recollection * his name means „the servant of time and creative power‟ * was a courtly poet who wrote dramas for a noble audience * his legend goes that he was stupid, but he married a princess and she prayed for his intelligence. Then Kalidasa got wicked awesome at poetry and whatnot * 3 surviving plays: Malavika & Agnimitra, where a king falls in love with a picture of exiled servant girl. Vikramorvashe, where a king falls in love w/a celestial nympth. And Shakuntala. * his works evoke Siva‟s presence through the blending of the erotic and the spiritual * with the Gupta dynasty came the Golden Age: the revival of Hindu culture and religion (decline of Buddhism and resurgence of classical Hinduism) * areas of science, math, astronomy and philosophy all progressed * origins of Sanskrit drama * sources: the vedas, divine origins, enactment of stories in dance * earliest forms related to dramatic religious performances/ceremonies * meant to entertain and to provide advice * secular but with a religious dimension (invocation of deities) * Sanskrit drama developed independently of foreign influences and is rooted in myths, legends and rituals of ancient India * Drama theory st * Bharata was the 1streat commentator on Sanskrit drama who lived around the 1 century BCE. He defined dramatic nature and wrote Natyashastra (Art of the Play) * Drama‟s purpose: entertain and give good advice. Drama‟s goal: produce rasa or a full emotion of closure evoked by art. * Sanskrit drama composed of verse/prose, dance, music/spectacle. Real blockbusters. * these terms are derived from nat – to act or represent * natya – dramatic art or dancing * nata/nati – actor or actress * nayaka – hero * nayika – heroine * vidusaka – buffoon/comic relief dude * rupa – the play * rupaka – major drama * upa-rupaka – minor drama * nataka – most common type of rupaka drama or play. plot adapted from myth or legend that includes a 5-10act long heroic romance * ancient literary and legal texts prove that women‟s status decreased as kingdoms became larger/society became more complex * this is reflected in dramas written around the time * 5 stages of plot development in Shakuntala 1. desire to attain something (arambha) – King and Shakuntala want each other 2. organized effort to achieve goal (prayatna) – They marry under king‟s promise to make their son his heir 3. possibility of success/obstacles to success (prapti-sambhava) – the old a scetic places a curse on king‟s memory 4. certainty of success (niyatapti) – king regains memory 5. attainment of goal – king reunites w/family and son * aesthetics of Sanskrit drama * rasa: flavour or essence of the play. similar to catharsis. ultimate closure from the drama and its emotions evoked * only drama produces rasa, according to drama theory * bhavas: nine emotions that characters express which make up pretty much the whole spectrum of human emotion: desire, laughter, anger, love, pride, fear, aversion, wonder, and rasa * absence of tragedy (unlike Shakespeare, other western drama) * death forbidden onstage. law of karma guarantees justice * Brahmins and noble characters in dramas speak in Sanskrit and commoners/women speak in vernacular languages (Prakrit) * also, men speak in lyrical stanzas and alternate w/prose narrative to show that they‟re boss. women and lower caste characters don‟t do the same * characters tend to be stock types instead of realistic humans * political changes evident in dramas. Bharat, son of Shakuntala, was reputed to be first leader to consolidate some Aryan clans through complex alliances into beginning of small kingdom. they went from smaller civilizations to bigger, more autocratic ones * economic changes: importance of control over pasture lands changed to the importance of clearing land for agriculture * social changes: distinctions b/n caste and jati were more evident in Kalidasa‟s time compared to earlier stories (myth and jataka tales) * women had a lot of power, independence, deification still. however, this led also to their growing exclusion from public affairs. Week 7: India Through Foreign Eyes: (Mis)perceptions – accounts of travellers, scholars, rogues and migrants powerpoint notes * emic – perspective of someone who is born in a culture and participates in a culture; familiar assumptions about a culture come from this perspective * etic – perspective of someone from another culture; extrinsic/scientific/sociological assumptions about a culture. * ethnocentrism – evaluating a culture based on the standards and values of one‟s own society * neither an emic nor etic perspective is better/more authentic than the other: they just provide different interpretations. Either perspective can be equally ethnocentric! * Megasthenes, c.350-290 BCE * was a Greek traveller, geographer, historian and ambassador to the new Mauryan kingdom c.302 BCE * overall paints a very positive picture of Indians and geography * was sent by Seleucus Nicator, a Greek general, as his ambassador to report on Pataliputra and its court * had 4 volumes of writings that reported on culture, history, geography and religion of India – most complete account of India at the time and the basis of western knowledge about India- including first western description of caste system * his writings contain beautiful descriptions of geography and administrative structure of Pataliputra and fantastical descriptions of mythical peoples/deities/ascetics and agriculture/economy * „gold-digging ants‟ referred to probably Tibetan gold miners, told to Megasthenes as stories by Brahmins * described 7 divisions of caste, placing philosophers at top * emphasis on Indian storytelling * Abu Raihan Muhammad Alberuni ca. 973-1048 CE * his “India” writing became one of the most important accounts of India from etic viewpoint of a foreigner * was a great thinker, contributing to Islamic science, math, art medicine and philosophy * sent by Mahmud of Ghazni to India to scout its wealth and resources for a later raid as well as for info on India‟s culture, science, etc. * these effects on Hindus of these raids were noted by Alberuni in his writings: that Hindus feared foreigners and Muslims * Hindus considered Mahmud of Ghazni as a destroyer, whereas Mahmud has also been perceived as a cultured aristocrat. He used the loot from the India raids to build libraries, museums and mosques. He‟s a patron of arts and sciences * Alberuni likely was told what to write about: this affects the validity of his report * critical of many aspects of Hindu society: difficulty of learning Sanskrit, the split image of Indian nationality (Buddhists and Hindus), claiming that Indians are close-minded and ethnocentric whereas Muslims are more worldly/less prejudiced * especially critical of apparent Hindu ethnocentrism * and critical of Hindu patriarchal values/caste system * tried to „slip in‟ some praise for Hindus despite the need to please Mahmud of Ghazni * Marco Polo 1254-1324 * merchant/adventurer. Made a lot of claims, a lot of stories, but not so much proof * wrote “The Travels of Marco Polo” as a collection of his stories about his travels * most interested in India‟s goods and trade items, as well as production methods (seeing how he is a merchant) * tended to evaluate towns in terms of their productivity * very inaccurate in his geography * exoticizes India – making everything into a spectacle/marvel * talks accurately about customs and superstitions .. business-related stuff * his writings create a tremendous influence on europe‟s perception of India, becoming its primary source of Indian knowledge * Lonely Planet guides * started in 1970s * popular travel books advertising places to go for westerners. written by westerners appealing to a western perception of “other” places * provides some helpful advice like where to eat or rest, as well as cultural cues/customs. * generalizes. Week 8: Sacred and Profane in Bhakti Religious Tradition Section 20: Selections from Love Song of the Dark Lord: Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda * In this reading, there are poems about Krishna‟s (Vishnu Avatar) love for Radha, a human chief milkmaid * Written by Jayadeva in Sanskrit Section 21: Selections from Bhakti Poets * Janabai is a bhakti poet who is „perhaps one of the best known and best loved of Maharashtra‟s Varkari saint-poets‟ * The hardships of being a woman and the burden of domestic labor are present in her writing * It is in the love she has for God that Janabai can imagine and reach out toward a freedom and a power her normal life could hardly have provided for her * She imagines the God Vithoba as an everyday helpmate and companion in one poem, and in another poem Janabai speaks of herself as a wandering singer (I will be a slut: I will forego materiality and pride to be in your love) * Mirabai is another bhakti poet. Her struggles with her husband and his family – it is legend that her husband‟s family tried to kill her several times but Mirabai somehow survived. * In Mirabai‟s poetry it is not the devotee who pursues God, but Krishna who pursues the devotee as her pursued the milkmaids (Radha) and the ensuing relationship is intense and erotic * Mirabai has had a rebellious life, having hung out with holy men and strayed from the natural „order‟ of being in a woman‟s place, but this contrasts a lot with the poetry she writes, where
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