9/8/09 Relig ST LEC: Intro to Hinduism Hinduism timeline: 3500 BC: Indus Valley settlements 2500 BC: Harrappa & Mohenjo Daro Civilization (2500-1550) 1500 BC: Aryans migrate into the Indus Valley 1000 BC: Vedic Period 566 BC: Birth of Siddharta Gautama (Buddha) 500 BC 486 BC: Death of the Buddha 400 BC 300 BC: Chandragupta Maurya (360-297 BC) Alexander the Great invades NW India, 327-325 BC 200 BC: Asoka Maurya 268-239 BC?Buddhism spreads to Sri Lanka 100 BC: Mahayana Buddhism develops in India 0: Buddhism spreads to china along the silk road, Tantric Buddhism developed (6th century), Buddhism wanes in India 300 AD: Gupta Dynasty 320-540 AD 500 AD 1000 AD What is ?Hinduism?? A term created by westerners and other invading countries/groups British Colonists needed to find a term to describe non-Muslims The dominant religion practiced in India Unified Hinduism---wishful thinking? Hinduism has many different sub-cultures Harappa and Mohenjo Daro: influenced modern Hinduism Harappan culture died out 1000 yrs later, the Aryan invasions happened (Aryan means ?noble?) Aryan beliefs and language were added on to existing religion and culture Precursor to the Caste System The Vedic period is named for the Vedas, which were created during this time The Vedas were transmitted orally Writing down scripture= not ok!!! (Sruti= that which is heard) Aryan language expanded across asia Had the capacity to explain large concepts, so it was used as the language for religion Hinduism Concepts What does religion mean to hindus? Dharma: important!!! Dharma comes from Dhr, which means to uphold or sustain. Means, ?righteousness? ?law? ?ethics? ?one?s duty or religious obligations? ?ritual? etc etc etc Also refers to paths to liberation, cosmic truth, meaning of reality, and eternal truths. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. Follow your own dharma Muslim-Hindu tension There is no one Supreme text, deity or law. Brahman= the root or source of all that is. ?Immensity.? everything and anything that is, was and will be, ever. Deep stuff. Characterized as OM. OM= the past, present and future. Everything. Atman: essence of a person. ?Soul? Atman =Brahman and Atman Brahman. Multiplicity: characteristic of Hinduism that describes the divine as everything, rather than in Abrahamic religions where god is just one thing. Many gods, but only one? Ishdadevita: many deities Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva Vishnu has 10 avatars Krishna was the most important of his avatars Multiple lives, reincarnation cycle: Samsara Karma: law of action and consequence that determines the quality of your next life. Moksa: release from samsara. Kalpa: cycles of time (epics). Varna: ?color.? Caste divisions. -Brahmin: priestly caste -Ksatriya: kings, rulers -Vaisya: merchants -Sudra: servants -Dalit: ?untouchables? Jati: sub-castes Asrama: Life has a different meaning depending on what phase of life you are in Purusartha: purposes of life: pleasure, purpose, dharma, moksa. Marga: ?path.? -karma yoga: path of works and engagement deeds (do good things) -jnana yoga: path of wisdom and insights (gain knowledge) -bhakti yoga: path of devotion (love your deities) How do people deal with all of this craziness????? Polytheism: worship of many gods (330,000,000 gods in Hinduism?apparently) In Hinduism, 330,000,000 =1. ??!!?!?!!!!!!?!!???!? It?s all the same number. You can?t describe divinity without sounding batshit crazy. Why? Because it?s the divine. Puja: The worship of Hinduism -Brhadaranyaka Upanisad -Vidagdha Sakalya -yajnavalkya -kathenotheism -ista-devata: pick your favorite god and worship it ( a customizable Hinduism experience! ) An image means nothing until it?s consecrated. (similar to the Eucharist) Means of consecration -Play dress up with statues of the god -Give it some food -Bling it up Darsan: the main event of consecration and worship. Means sight, vision or gaze. Devotees try to achieves this in the puja. Large eyes=easy to gaze at, so most statues have big eyes. People circle camphor lamps in front of the image, reach for the fire and then touch their eyes. Their foreheads are marked The image of eyes is very important The Bhagavad-Gita: Themes and Ideas Hindu Gods Ganesha: God of Beginnings - Child of Shiva and Parvati - Made of dead skin from Parvati (ew) - Guarded the door while she bathed - Angered Shiva by refusing to let him in, Shiva chopped of his head - Parvati was furious, demanded that he bring the child back to life - Sent his servants to go find a head, his servants brought an elephant?s head -?Remover of obstacles, guardian of thresholds? - Symbols are the lotus, axe, sweets, noose, and pen. - His mount is a mouse ****Vaishnavas: worshippers of Vishnu ****Shaivites: worshippers of Shiva Vishnu: creator of worlds represents permanence, continuity, preservation. Embodiment of all creation and contains all creation in him His mount is Shesha, the Naga (serpent) king, who represents the abundance of Vishnu. His consort is Lakshmi (feminine aspect) Has a boar avatar Lakshmi is the goddess of the earth His emblem is the lotus (creator aspect, religious symbol, represents Lakshmi and human spiritual potential) Carries a mace (ball and chain): destructive and protective symbol. Has a Chakra, which represents the wheel of life (Samsara) Has a conch shell, which produces the sound OM. Has 10 avatars, symbolizes multiplicity 9 have come, waiting for the 10th Avatars: fish, tortoise, woman, boar, lion man, dwarf, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, ? . Vishnu is everything, and everything is contained in him Savior figure, restores order from chaos Rama and Krishna are the most worshipped forms of Vishnu Krishna Normal birth Not from any specific caste Identified with village people God that most people are able to see His main consort is Radha Mischievous and sensual Plays the flute, sometimes plays ?air flute?(suggests divine nature of the music) Born during the reign of an evil named Kamsa Kamsa has heard a prophecy that one of his children will kill him 8th child of Devaki, Kamsa?s cousin Kamsa pulls a Saturn move and tries to kill each baby she has Raised by cowherds Beautiful baby Shows signs of abnormality Ogress comes to eat baby Krishna Ogress disguises herself as a voluptuous woman Offers to nurse Krishna Krishna forces her back into a horrific form She dies from thrashing around Krishna saved all of the village children Blessed the ogress with his feet, she went to heaven Mischievous as a toddler as well Plays pranks Krishna has the whole universe in his mouth! Reading the Bhagavad-Gita: -What is god? -How should good and evil people act? -What is the path to god? -What does devotion entail? Krishna in the story - Theophany - Devotion and suffering in the Bhagavad-Gita - The Bhakti, Jnana and Karma paths are featured in the Gita Karma refers to the actions of Puja and discipline in the Gita. Paths are intertwined The highest path of god is Bhakti Plot of the Gita: Arjuna changes his way of seeing the world. Celestial eye: 2 instances of divine sight. -Sanjaya is a charioteer, has a gift of seeing the divine. -Arjuna receives the divine sight from Krishna. Arjuna recognizes his duty (dharma) on the battlefield Everyone has access to Krishna Lec. 9/17/09 The Bhagavad-Gita and Gandhi Devotion and suffering Self-realization Love Purpose Determination Suffering: Arjuna is upset at the thought of killing his family Arjuna?s suffering is something that all of us experience all the time at different points in our lives Krishna is concerned with the spiritual suffering, not the worldly suffering It is a battle to know oneself, one?s duty, and god to achieve liberation from Samsara Everyone has a choice Everyone thinks about small frustrations of the now rather than the larger problems of people who are trying to find liberation from the sorrows of existence Gandhi has different interpretations of suffering To Gandhi, the Bhagavad-Gita is a manual for how to become perfect Fight for justice and truth He is fighting, but he does it in a different way The treasures of the man who is born for heaven: Fearlessness, purity of heart, constancy in sacred learning and contemplation, serenity, self harmony, adoration of god, study of the scriptures, austerity, righteousness, non-violence, truth, freedom from anger, renunciation, aversion to fault-finding, sympathy for all beings, peace from greed, gentleness, modesty, steadiness, energy, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, a good will and freedom from pride. Ahimsa: non-harm Brahmacharya: ascetic behavior Asramas: Gandhi sees self-realization synonymous with knowing god Because god is everything, including you Atman -> Brahman This is reached through selfless action, love and knowledge Kill your passions to kill the desire to kill (?) Fighting isn?t always equivalent to killing or violence Karma yoga is the path of service ?The gospel of work? Love of god is love of truth God as truth, Truth as God Interprets aspects of Hinduism his own way Struggle for social justice=ascetic discipline=devotion to God Gandhi?s Life and Work 1869-1948 gandhi?s youth his mom was a Vishnu worshipper and read the Quran too mom had him take a vow to study law and to avoid wine, women and meat became vegetarian food is linked to power trip to Africa discovers discrimination by virtue of being colored demonstrates against pass cards nonviolent resistence is the way for the struggle for justice in south Africa to unfold activism gives up everything did not like untouchablility Bhagavad Gita does not mention untouchables Idea of karma= core of gandhi?s theology ?Renunciation? Development of the Satyagraha Philosophy Other Religious responses Martin Luther King Jr. Love is the center of his theology : eros (romance), philia (friendly), agape (selfless love for all men) Not a method for cowards Spiritually aggressive Attempt to win over the opponent ?redemptive? suffering for the sake of others Thich Nhat Hanh Develops socially engaged Buddhism Peaceful, no political affiliation Burning Buddhists Maha Ghosananda Questions Why did we choose to end our unit on Hinduism with these different thinkers? To show how Hinduism shaped their thoughts on human rights, oppression and suffering. How does our study of the Gita through these different interpreters help us understand how and why to study ancient great texts (like the Gita)?
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