World Literature 5

World Literature 5 - Siddhartha Gautama The Buddha (563 483...

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Siddhartha Gautama “The Buddha” (563 – 483 BCE) Buddhism Founder Siddhartha Gautama o “buddha” is a title meaning “the enlightened one” Born in India (Southern Nepal) 6 th BCE his life overlaps those of Lao-tsu and Confucius He is a Prince of the Shaka (Sakya) clan Texts -- numerous (84,000) sutras (scriptures) recorded by his disciples and later followers Aryan Migration (2000 - 1500 BCE) Nomads from Northwest (Central Asia) bring their cultural traditions Language that evolved into Sanskrit (“well formed”) Veda o Sacred oral tradition that becomes the foundation for Hinduism Stratified society (later to become castes) settled Indus Valley, then moved South set up major kingdoms along Ganges 4 Hindu Castes (“Varnas”) Brahman o priests and literati Kshatria o rulers, aristocrats, warriors Vaisia o landlords and businessmen Sudra o Peasants and laborers (non-polluting occupations) **Untouchables** o Outcasts (not members of any caste) who perform “unclean” tasks Hinduism Evolves In its earliest form, Hinduism was concerned with ritual -- “cosmic maintenance” The Veda (“wisdom”) o Four collections of sacred texts Rig Veda (more than 1,000 songs of praise) Yajur Veda Sama Veda Atharva Veda (rituals and rites) The Veda were memorized and recited by priests or shamans (Brahman caste) and remained deliberately unwritten The Veda contain myths of creation, stories of the 33 gods (devas)
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course ENGL 2220 taught by Professor Gilbreath during the Spring '08 term at North Texas.

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World Literature 5 - Siddhartha Gautama The Buddha (563 483...

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