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Rels 303: Hinduism, Week 3 Notes

by: Kayteeessbee

Rels 303: Hinduism, Week 3 Notes Rels 303

Marketplace > Western Kentucky University > Religious Studies > Rels 303 > Rels 303 Hinduism Week 3 Notes
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About this Document

These notes cover the information that is provided in the Powerpoints on Blackboard as well as supplemental information provided by Dr. Samuels during lecture.
Dr. Jeffrey Samuels
Class Notes
Hinduism, vedas, devas
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayteeessbee on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Rels 303 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Jeffrey Samuels in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Hinduism in Religious Studies at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
September 7 Dandekar’s 3 Phases of Vedic Religion: 1.  Proto­Aryan Language and Religion  ­ fire worship, sacred drink, prominence of idea of cosmic law and its  administrator (Agni, Soma, Rta­Varuna)  ­ individual worship 2.  Leaving home in Balkh­moving to India (Aryan)  ­ Hymns to Gods and Spells and Charms  ­ Prominence of Indra (lead divinity); overcoming the Dasas/Dasyas  ­ focus on warriors 3.Settled existence  ­ admission of other popular Aryan divinities (Vishnu) and non­Aryan divinities  (Rudra)  ­ collected hymns related to the first two phases  ­ ordering of the Cosmos and developed ritual technologies  ­ preeminence of priests Gradual Settlement (1100 BCE) Brahmanical Period  Hymns becoming the property of Brahmins (they are now considered  necessary in order to translate and relay the messages of the hymns, etc.)  Developed system of ritual and specialists (everything becomes a lot more specific; rituals, etc. are less open to interpretation.)  Order (Rta) linked to sacrifice and ritual  Concerns with Origins (cosmogony)  Place of priests in Vedic society (they are viewed as necessary and very  important, in general. They serve a very specific purpose.) Vedic Society  Four main classes (varnas) of people, coming from Puruśa’s “sacrificed­ body”  ­ From his mouth:  the brahmans (priestly class, “voice of society”)  ­ From his arms:  the ksatriya (warrior/ruling class, “strength of society”)  ­ From his thighs:  the vaiśya (common people, “society’s support”)  ­ From his feet:  the śūdra (serfs/servants, “on whom society stands”)  A hierarchy of Purity and Pollution becomes clear (“untouchables”, etc.)  Varna (class): determined by one’s qualities, versus Jati (caste):  determined by birth


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