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RLST 105 Week two notes

by: Kayla Wisotzkey

RLST 105 Week two notes RLST 105

Marketplace > Towson University > Religious Studies > RLST 105 > RLST 105 Week two notes
Kayla Wisotzkey

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About this Document

These notes cover what we learned in week two of the Hinduism lecture.
Intro to the Study of Religion
Carl Yamamoto
Class Notes
Religious Studies, Hinduism
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayla Wisotzkey on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to RLST 105 at Towson University taught by Carl Yamamoto in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see Intro to the Study of Religion in Religious Studies at Towson University.

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Date Created: 09/16/16
Kayla Wisotzkey Hinduism  CLASSICAL PERIOD ­The Gupta empire was in charge at this time, and they gave money and support to Hindus  ­prosperity and social stability ­arts, architecture, literature, and philosophy developed  ­New things of the period: 1) New texts  a) epics: long narrative poems containing a warrior hero and a villain ­Mahabarata: story of the Barata family, ancestoral, 100,000 couplets(long story), war between  the Kauravas and Pandavas, found in the Bhagavad Gita ­Ramayana: story of Rama, war between Rama and Ravana… Sita(Rama’s wife) is abducted by  Ravana and the god Hanuman and his army of monkeys helped Rama get her back b) Legal­ethical texts: a person’s duties ­Laws of Manu: the “three fours”, the four purposes of life, the four stages of life, and the four  classes 2) New single­deity secs (worship of only one god) a. The goddess Devi: originally just a partner of a male god, but later she was  worshipped independently ­she is both benign and terrifying  ­Durga: the terrifying version of Devi b. Shiva: “creator and destroyer” ­followers were called “Shaivas” or Shaivites c. Vishnu: incarnations are Rama and Krishna ­followers are called “Vaishnavites” or “Vaishnavas” ­the Vaishnavites were given partronage and money by the Gupta Empire 3) New popular movements  a. Bhakti: devotion, relies on the energy of a group  ­bhakti poet­saints wrote devotional songs that were targeted at single deities, written  in a common language, created a personal religious feeling. GOD=LOVER mentality  MUSLIM PERIOD ­ruled by the Mughal Empire ­Emperor Akbar: 3  Mughal Emperor, he had religious tolerance and wanted to start a  religion that combined Islam and Hinduism (syncretism)  MODERN PERIOD ­Britain had control of most of India ­period of modernization and “western enlightenment” ­British law and educated were introduced to India ­Some Indians embraced Westernization, some rejected it ­Also, Hinduism came to the West…philosophy, yoga, etc. Philosophy of Hinduism 1) The Upanishads a. Samsara­Karma cosmology ­cosmology: study of the NATURE of the universe  ­cosmogony: study of the ORIGIN/BIRTH of the universe ­samsara: cyclic existence, you are reincarnated ­karma: the actions that you do that determine what class you will be born into  your next life ­moksha: getting out of samsara, liberation, the way to achieve this is through  knowledge b. Internalization of the sacrifice ­Hindus valued yoga and meditation ­ “tapas”: “inner heat,” breathing practices that actually raise the body  temperature ­oblation=breath c. Atman=Brahman  ­The Brahman is the eternal, ultimate reality that is the purpose of life ­all beings came from the Brahman, and want to rejoin the Brahman by achieving  individual liberation 2) Classical Hinduism ­healing social and religious divisions ­conflicts faced by classical Hinduism: a) Conflicting views of the absolute: what is the nature of Brahman? ­The views of the householders and the renouncers were put together, and the  conclusion was the Brahman is both an “it” and a “him/her” ­2 natures of Brahman: 1. Brahman without qualities: “nirguna” 2. Brahman with qualities: “saguna”: more single deity secs were formed because  people wanted a single god to worship  b) Conflicting views about how to achieve moksha (liberation) ­householders: did not want to waver from their social duties ­renouncers: wanted to leave society and seek knowledge ­they came up with the idea that there is more than one way to moksha: there are  three paths to moksha: 1) Path of Knowledge (jnana­marga): the renouncer path of meditation and yoga,  they believed that Brahman=atman 2) Path of Action (karma­marga): the householder view of social duties (dharma),  selfless action, and action without desire 3) Path of Devotion (bhakti­marga): worshipping and devoting yourself to a god,  having love for a god… this was the most popular path in the working class Practice of Hinduism 1) Brahmanical rituals  a. Sacrifice ­oblations and offering ­Housewarming ceremony: a ceremony involving sacrifice that celebrates the  marriage of a man and a woman b. Rites of passage (samskaras) ­ritual of impregnation: a ritual to guarantee that a woman becomes pregnant ­name giving ritual: giving a kid a name ­initiation: a celebration of when a male turns from a boy into a man, usually a  high­caste boy, this happens at 8­12 years old ­marriage ritual: weddings were arranged, the groom visits the home of his future  bride and the ritual includes fire (oblations and circling the fire) ­funeral ritual: cremation of the body of the deceased   2)   Classical Hindu rituals a) Puja("honoring): honoring a particular god, the central piece of the ritual is a  figure of the god ­done at home or at a temple ­the god is treated like an honored guest ­offerings are made in exchange for blessings, reciprocal relationship ­icon(figure): contains the prescence of the god ­consecration: when a new idol is invited into a Hindu home ­at the temple: there are sacred verses read, there is bathing and dressing of  the icon, and offerings of food, flowers, incense, and music ­darshama: seeing


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