3 Roots of Classical Hinduism (week 3)

3 Roots of Classical Hinduism (week 3) - Crystallized c....

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Crystallized c. 200bce - 200ce. A synthesis of earlier periods, especially: Vedic Period 1200bce-900bce Upanishadic Period 900bce – 400bce Bhakti Period 100ce → Indus Valley?
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Seated ascetic? Proto Shiva? Script undeciphered
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Most recent theory: Climate change, rivers dried up. People moved west. Earlier theory: Attack by people, on horseback, from central asia calling themselves “Arya” Relationship with Hinduism remains speculative….
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The Vedic practices, many of which are still practiced today , emerged in Western India between 1500-1250 bce. r Emerged in the shadow of the Indus Valley civilization.
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Vedas (sacred scriptures) Caste Structure Many rituals Sanskrit language/ mantras Elemental gods Expression of awe and wonder in prayer Idea of ancestors
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(less sophisticated than preceding Indus Valley civilization) Tripartite social structure: Brahmans (priests) Kshatriyas (rulers/warriors) Vaishyas (pastoralists, agriculturalists)
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Aryans = “those who participate in sacrifice” “noble ones” who spoke a “refined” (‘sanskrit’) language Co-existence of competing Aryan tribes. Dominate tribe: Bharata Bharata = name for India today.
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Knowledge on how to align oneself with cosmos r Cosmic order depended on mantras (prayers) and sacrifice r Religion centred on sacrifice
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VEDA = compilation of hymns “mantras”, for sacrifice. Vedas believed to be of Divine Origin A Creator God? Not specified… Hymn ( mantras ) existed before the creation of the world
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Vedas were revealed (“ shruti ”) a Revealed to rishis (‘sages’/ ‘seers’) r Rishis “perceive” the hymns through vision and sound
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Most of our knowledge on ancient India comes from the earliest Vedas Hereditary transmission of hymns. Responsibility of families of Brahmans. The Brahmans = the guardians of revealed truths. Priestly lineages responsible for groups of hymns
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Knowledge (VEDA) organized around the execution of the sacrifice ( YAJNA ) Yajna maintains the universe; the cosmic order = RTA” The hymns provide the vitality to the sacrificial acts; conferring on them cosmic power.
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crops would grow, no babies would be born etc. r
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3 Roots of Classical Hinduism (week 3) - Crystallized c....

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