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Unformatted text preview: Ancient India and Vedism Ganesha “Remover of Obstacles” Indus Valley Civilization
• c. 3000-1500 BCE • sites at Mohenjodaro and Harappa • first discovered in 1921 • script still undeciphered/debated • in 2004, Dholavira discovered in India • other sites suspected but not yet excavated Dravidian language culture Citadels; granaries; urban planning Emphasis on hygiene? ritual purity? Ritual Purity and Pollution
Anthropologist Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger • separates what is religiously “right” or pure from the tainted • threatens the success of ritual activities pollution
• root problem: loss of (bodily) integrity • renders the polluted person or object dangerous death or contact with it wounds or skin disease blood flow, including menstruation and childbirth
here: a mikvah pollution... relates to classification and categories -- things must “fit” and “stay in place” purity and pollution
• pollution flows • purity does not • Dalit = “untouchable Terra Cotta Seals and Figurines Proto-Shiva Proto-Shiva (lord of the animals) Decline of the IV civilization
• reasons unknown • influence persists
– Hindu god Shiva, the “erotic ascetic” – deities with their “vehicles” or animal companions • Nandi, Shiva’s vahana • Durga on her lion Aryan migrations
• Indo-European language family • arrived c. 2000 - 1400 BCE • may account for North-South division in Indian languages and ethnicities • established hierarchical social order warriors and priests at top Religion of the Aryans
• mythologized and deified warrior heroes (Indra) • pantheon of nature deities (Rudra, Usha) • may have understood cosmos to be generated and continued through heat • fire sacrifice central means of communication with the divine • use of soma to induce ecstatic trance in priests ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2011 for the course RLST 005 taught by Professor Vivianleenyitray during the Fall '11 term at UC Riverside.
- Fall '11