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Religion Notes 01.19.11 - Religion Notes Upanisads-Appear...

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Religion Notes 01/19/11 Upanisads -Appear around 600 BCE -Age of Questioning, criticism, and reflection of what the Veda is -Socially/Intellectually, it's a time of ferment -Dissatisfaction with the Veda -Shift towards inquiry -Aim of Life: -Heaven (svarga) -Liberation (moksha) → freedom -Rejection of oppressive structures -Caste system -Leadership of Brahmins -Status of VEDA -Rise of new Sages outside Vedic orthodox (munis) -Growing of Asceticism -Sramanas – Responsible for catalyzing the beginnings of truly popular religion -Upanisads = response to these upheavals -Represent re-formist material -Don't reject Vedic hymns -Reformulate and rethink earlier material -Rituals interpreted through: -Allegory -Symbols -Proclaim: -Esoteric teachings -Freedom and immortality → techniques of inner concentration and internalization -Source of: -Orthodox Hindu Philosophy -Hindu mystical tradition -New Age/Spirituality -Upa -ni – sad “Sitting down near”
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