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Hinduism Notes

by: Mindy

Hinduism Notes PHILOS 2120 - 0010


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About this Document

They might be a bit scattered, but it was following the flow of the discussion. I highlighted the parts you should know in yellow.
Asian Philosophies
Steven Brown
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mindy on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHILOS 2120 - 0010 at Ohio State University taught by Steven Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 78 views. For similar materials see Asian Philosophies in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion at Ohio State University.

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Date Created: 09/18/16
Hinduism  It’s a religion mainly practiced in India  Not just one view, but a family of views and very diverse  We are focusing on one tradition: Advaita Vedanta o Aman is Brahman (some kind of pantheism) Side note: “Hey! That’s not what I believe”   Dr. Brown is wrong o Talk to Dr. Brown if you think he is wrong  You could be wrong  There is more than one way to be a member of that tradition Vedas(~1500­1000 BCE)  Very old, but they were passed down through oral tradition  You can’t trust oral transmission because it could be inaccurate   Side note: When you hear about oral tradition, don’t automatically rule them out because  you think it is inaccurate  They were written in Sanskrit and there are 4 of them: o Rigveda o Yajurveda o Samaveda o Atharvaveda  Each of the 4 have 4 parts: o Samhitas: mantras and benedictions o Aranyakas: rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices o Brahmanas: commentaries on rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices o Upanishads: discussing meditation, philosophy, and spiritual knowledge  Etymology: U = at, pa = foot, nishat = sitting down  Sitting at the foot of the wise one and learning about important things  Vedas contain directions on how to worship, they also contain philosophical texts that  focus on why these rituals happen and why it is important to do  There exists a group of text called, “The Upanishads” o It was influenced and shaped by the Vedic Upanishads, there are far more of  them, there is no real limit o There are about 200 of them, but only 12 are heavily influential Katha Upanishad  One of “The Upanishads”  It is a tale, a narrative  Characters o Yama:Death o Nachiketas: the main character, a young man o Nachiketa’s Father: King  What Happens: o Father is making a sacrifice, Nachiketas criticizes his father for sacrificing too  little so Nachiketas is sacrificed instead and Nachiketas goes to Yama’s home.  Yama is not home for 3 days. Yama returns and offers 3 boons (wishes) to  Nachiketas. o What does Nachiketas’ ask for?  His father’s forgiveness  Yama: Sure  Understand the fire ritual  Yama: Sure  “What happens after death?” o Yama hesitates when telling Nachiketas what happens after death because not  even the gods understand o Yama wants to trade something else instead not the secret of what happened to  death o Nachiketas refuses the distractions, and Yamas says if he would’ve given in to the temptations he wouldn’t have told Nachiketas anyways o There is a universal world soul that underlies the reality of  all things o Monism: there is only one thing  Death tells of Samsara  Samsara: cycle of death and rebirth  Once you die, your atman comes back again in another being in another form o Might be human, might not be human  Karma: having done to you what you have done  o Do good things, you accumulate good karma o Do bad things you accumulate bad karma o Morality/Ethics o Suffering is often the result of something you do badly  Moksha: liberation from Samsara, Enlightenment o Enhanced/Hyper wakeful o Ordinary wakefulness  You know what it’s like to be awake o Drowsy wakefulness o Dreaming Sleep o Deep Sleep (Dreamless) o Enlightenment  If you really get what ultimate reality is, you are connected and  experiencing the oneness of all things  The line between nothingness and oneness are not the same  You get to Moksha through yoga o Yoga: techniques for working towards Moksha  Body poses  Meditation  Breathing exercises  Chanting  Ohm  We will never be able to understand Atman is Brahman by merely thinking about it, it  needs to be experienced o Mysticism: not everything that is true can be understood but it can be experienced  Analogy: Mary the girl who never saw colors and her attempts to  understand redness The Chandogya Upanishad  Shivetaketu is talking to his father, Uddalaka about Brahman   Tat Tvam Asi­ you are that  Analogies: o Understanding Gold  Experienced a particular chunk of gold  Based on that experience you can understand ALL other pieces of gold  because you understand goldness  You understand all things because you understand any of them  Claim: sameness of properties allows us to understand things that we  haven’t encountered directly o Rivers merging into the ocean  Claim: becomes part of a larger whole, its individuality is  unimportant/hard to make sense of/ track o Salt dissolving into water  You can’t see the salt, but it’s there  Claim: Atman/Brahman is a part of all things o So far we’ve been talking about Advaita Vedanta (Monistic School of Hinduism)  There are other non­monistic schools Ethics o Joy vs. Pleasures (Katha)  Preya=pleasure  The thing that gives pleasure isn’t good/ the pleasure isn’t goof (e.g) the  pleasure taken in the suffering of another being  They can be distractions from higher goods  Ascetism  Intentional denial of pleasures for pursuit of higher goods o fasting Side Conversation: Why is there individuality?  Superficial appearances  Deep truth about reality o We know very little about the world at this level  Modern Physics and the world of our experiences o  Don’t know about things at fundamental levels  What is the ultimate explanation of the world around us?(Cosmological  Argument)  Your mother  The Big Bang (has a beginning) or Eternally Existing Universe  (beginningless)  Why is the world (whole way things are) and why is it the way it is?  Cosmological Argument  Options:  There is no answer, the brute fact o Objection: The universe is too particular, not special  enough  God made it that way (cosmological argument) o Why is God the way God is? o God has some very special features that make for a beter  ultimate explanation  Being the greatest possible being  Brahman: Ultimate Reality is beyond all distinctions o Simple o Featureless o Unchanging Side Note: False memories  reconstructed memories based on stories about themselves Side Conversation to explain what is Atman:“What is it that makes a person the same person  over time?”  Same physical body  o Your DNA has a unique pattern and it stays constant o Same history o Maybe it’s not the same bc your body is always changing because cells die all of  the time o Approximately same properties o Continuity of function­ Aristotle o Continuity of consciousness  Dramatic psychological changes?  Consciousness is vulnerable, can be dramatically changed  Can result in breaks of personal identity  Jekyl and Hyde  Teleportation  Person teleports but then his molecules get assembled in a new  way on mars


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