a Persian term for the people who lived beyond the Indus river.
('eternal support/law/religion') is a term which practitioners may use to describe their religion
Aryan Invasion Theory
• Popular among historians for 150 years—posits that 'Aryans' (Indo-European people from perhaps modern day Iran or Southern Russia) 'conquered' the Dravidian (native) people of the Indus Valley civilization (and the entire Indian subcontinent), imposing their Vedic religion and culture on them.
• The Vedas are a diverse group of Scriptures (some of the oldest in the world). Composed in Sanskrit (literally the 'well formed' (perfected) language), they have been carried orally for thousands of years.
• Veda means 'knowledge' and together the Vedas are considered shruti: "that which was heard" by the ancient seers (rishis). They represent the primordial, 'unstruck', ever0sounding vibration which underlies reality
("Hymn Veda")= the earliest and most important text, made up of hyms to the davas/gods.
• Sama Veda ("Chant Veda")= an anthology of songs for sacrificial rituals.
• Yajur Veda ("Instruction Veda") = rules for the physical preparation and carrying out of rituals.
• Atharva Veda ("incantations and spells for curing illness")= collected practices of popular medicine men.
" that which was remembered" = all post-Vedic Scriptures, which have a secondary status to the Vedas, but are extremely important and thought to reveal or clarify/elaborate on the Vedas.
emerged as a priestly class, the ritual experts who could recite the Vedas and perform the rituals and sacrifices
are ritual phrases, the sound of which are "believed to evoke the reality they name"
The most basic form of a mantra. signifying the original creative sound, an eternally vibrating sound current that can be tapped into through recitation.
• The Vedic 'Fire Ritual' invokes the god of fire, Agni, to consume offerings, and carry them to the devas, the Vedic gods who controlled various elements and powers.
• Importance of Ritual correctness "Earthly sacrifices were designed to preserve (the cosmic) order. If the sacrifices were offered correctly, the god would be appeased" (47)
• The Soma Ritual involved the imbibing of a now unknown sacred intoxicating drink" We have drunk the Soma; we have become immortal; we have gone to the light, we have found the gods." (Rig Veda)
• Purusha is sacrificed to create the physical world and the social classes.
• According to this hymm, four social classes emerged from Purusha, the 'cosmic man' and original sacrificial victim
Varna/Caste and the four varna names
the Brahmins (priests) from his mouth/head, the Kshatriyas (warriors) from his arms, the vaishyhas (merchants) from his loins, and the shudras (servants) from his feet= a model of society as an organic hierarchized unity of classes or castes with the Brahmin priests at the top.
• There were large numbers of people who because of their occupations, which were considered 'unclean' or 'impure' (leather workers, sanitary workers, etc.) were viewed as
4 traditional stages of life for 'twice-borns'
• Brahmacarin- "one pursuing sacred knowledge" -student
• Grahastha- "householder"- stage of becoming married- family life
• Vanaprastha- "forest-dweller"- retirement from family life
• Samnyasin- "renunciate" - wandering ascetic renounced worldly attachments
: (literally "sitting down near a teacher" comprise dialogues between teachers (gurus) and students (chelas) on how to achieve spiritual/philosophical attainment
is literally the "end of the Vedas" or "culmination of wisdom" (since Veda='wisdom')
Guru and Chela
• Guru/chela relationship persists to today
Brahman and Atman
(the Absolute, Supreme Reality) and Atman (the 'individual' soul) are identical, all perception of multiplicity or separation is maya, illusion
Dvaita and Advaita
Illusion illusion, ignorance (in Advaita Vedanta this is the notion of duality and differentiation) which is the cause of evil (wrong thought and action). This muste be overcome in order to achieve liberation. Causes us to do bad things to other people.
the 'wheel' of rebirth and 'reincarnation'. Each soul passes through a sequence of bodies, human and otherwise.
can literally be translated as 'action' or 'performance'. Every thought and act, everything we do is carried with us and will have an effect.
• Karma itself is not 'good' or 'bad', but will affect this life and any further life/lives in 'positive' and 'negative' ways.
• Acting in accordance with dharma (duty, law) produces good karma, acting in defiance of dharma (adharma) will produce 'negative' karma (and thus suffering in this life and the next)
liberation, the end of death and rebirth, blissful union with God/ the One, the soteriological goal of Hinduism.
is 'seeing and being seen' by a deity which "presents itself to be seen its image". This is the central experience in Puja, Hindu worship.
Image that expresses a divine spirit.
The Three main theistic groups in Hinduism
Vaishnavas: devotees of Vishnu (or His forms)
-Shaivas: devotees of Shiva (or his forms)
-Shaktas: devotees of any feminine form of the Divine (Shakti)
Shiva and some of His forms
as Nataraja: "Lord of the Dance"
Lingu and Yoni
Penus and vagina.
The earthly incarnation of a deity
That you are
Follows a father's instructions for son to follow nature of existence
Loving devotion to a single form of the Divine
Vishnu and some of His forms