hist120-01_noss9808 - HIST120-01 Noss p.79-105 September 8...

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HIST120-01 Noss p.79-105 September 8, 2008 Chapter 2: The Religions of S Asia I. The Religion of the Vedic Age Pre-Aryan India India goes back to pre-historic times o Aboriginal tribes w/Stone Age cultures still in C India jungle o S India – dark skinned people, speaking Dravidian – of prehistoric origin o Mongoloid origin/heritage in NE India since 2000 BCE Invaders of NW India (1800-1500 BCE) – Indo-Aryans o Called natives Dasas (dark, thick lip, cattle, strange lang) The Coming of Indo-Aryans Middle of 2000 BCE – made way through Hindu Kush Mts Tall, light-skinned, Indo-European – Aryans Lived in nomadic village groups o Adjust to new culture – less pastoral, more agricultural Cows, horses, sheep, goats, dogs Milk and meat Soma – stalk squeezed liquid Aryan Social Structure Each tribe had a chieftain – rajah o Hereditary o End of Vedic period, distanced from others by palace and nice apparel Private army Priests Farmers and herders o Father – pitar – head of family, owner of property o Mother – matar – free individual w/power over children and servants o Daughters free to be unmarried, voice in selecting husband and shaping marriage contract Eventually settled down o Ritual sacrifices, folk tales, stories o Hinduism’s earliest writings – samhitas “collections” – 4 in total; veda = “secret knowledge” Rig-Veda Sama-Veda Yajur-Veda Atharva-Veda
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Rig-Veda – “stanzas of praise” o Religious poetry/hymns Prayers addressed to 1+ deities – devas o Public worship under open sky in cleared space/altar site 3 fires W one (garhapatya) – round, like the earth E one (ahavaniya) – directional square, like 4 heavens S one (dakshina) – ½ moon, dome of air b/w heaven and earth o Later, square brick altar in various shapes Public Rites
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2010 for the course HIST 120 taught by Professor Witek during the Fall '08 term at Georgetown.

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hist120-01_noss9808 - HIST120-01 Noss p.79-105 September 8...

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