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Hinduism

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  • 1. Spring 2014 Professor Deepak Shimkhada, Ph.D. Email: dshimkhada@gmail.com Office hours: by appointment
  • 2. SLIDE LINK www.slideshare.net Username: dshimkhada Password: kalki3050
  • 3. HINDUISM Hinduism claims no founder, no seminal event, no creed, no one textual authority. This agelessness gives it a tremendous range of expressions—from sensual to philosophical to ascetic. It also accounts for its breadth of tolerance for variety of understanding and practice expressed in the axiom “Paths are many, truth is one.”
  • 4. What’s Dharma? Dhārayati dharma What sustains is Dharma Duty, law, justice, moral conduct, one’s nature, the best possible course. Way of living a virtuous life with emphasis on proper conduct & behavior. Sanatana Dharma = eternal law/religion
  • 5. SYMBOLS OF WORLD’S ORGANIZED RELIGIONS Christianity (cross), Judaism (Star of David), Hinduism (the letter Om), Islam (Crescent Moon and Star), Buddhism (Wheel), Shinto (torii), Sikhism (Khanda), Baha’I (Star) and Jainism (the hand standing for protection from Ahimsa)
  • 6. Adherents or followers as of year 2000 census Christianity 2.1 billion Islam 1.3 billion Secular/Atheist/Irreligious/Agnostic/Nontheist 1.1 billion Hinduism 900 million Buddhism 708 million (see also Buddhism by country) Chinese folk religion 394 million Primal indigenous ("Pagan") 300 million African traditional and diasporic 100 million Sikhism 23 million Juche 19 million Spiritism 15 million Judaism 14 million Bahá'í Faith 7 million Jainism 4.2 million Shinto 4 million (see below) Cao Dai 4 million Zoroastrianism 2.6 million Tenrikyo 2 million Neo-Paganism 1 million Unitarian Universalism 800,000 Rastafari movement 600,000
  • 7. The Vedas (the books of wisdom) The Four Vedas 1) Rig 2) Sama 3) Ajur 4) Atharva Believed to have existed from the beginning of time. Preserved by creator God Brahma during the dissolution, and then given to humanity when the world was recreated. Eternal = Sanātana
  • 8. Saraswati River is mentioned in the Veda many times, but not Indus. Controversy of the myth of Aryan invasion Conventional theory vs. new theory proposed by David Frawley (read his article) (Hand out Fire Sacrifice article)
  • 9. Shruti = that which is heard Vedas and Upanishads = Shrutis Smriti = that which is memorized Sacred scriptures (Puranas; the Epics—the Mahabharata and the Ramayana—are classified as Itihasa = history) authored by Rishis are Smritis.
  • 10. Hierarchy of the Hindu pantheon Brahman (Tat) Brahma creator Vishnu Preserver Shiva Destroyer Brahma Loka Higher gods Deva Loka Lower gods (Deva) Indra King of gods Soma, et al. Agni 330 million gods Varuna, Vayu, Surya, et al
  • 11. While in deep meditation, the Rishis heard the verses of the Vedas and “channeled” them to other Brahmans (Brahmins) for preservation. Oral transmission, passed from teacher to disciple. Example of bringing several Brahmins to complete a Veda.
  • 12. Not to be confused between 1. Brahman and Brahmaṇa 2. Dharma and adharma 3. Shanti and ashanti 4. Himsa and ahimsa “A” and “Na” change the words into a negative meaning
  • 13. Vedas were orally transmitted. Oral transmission, not written down, using elaborate mnemonic system of preservation. Verse in metric system, ideal for memorization, each chapter committed to memorization by each Brahmin.
  • 14. VEDAS, CONTINUED Emphasis on accuracy Language of Veda: An archaic form of Sanskrit. Rig Veda, a collection of 1017 hymns to a wide assortment of gods arranged in 10 sections believed to have compiled by Rishi Vyasha before 1500 BCE.
  • 15. Sama is a selection of hymns taken from the Rig with a basic difference. The hymns are melodious so that one can actually sing rather than chant. Hymns from the Ajur are used for certain types of sacrifices ritualistic in form.
  • 16. Atharva is practical. It contains magical formulas for a variety of useful purposes, e.g. attracting lovers, subduing enemies, curing diseases, regulating weather, etc.
  • 17. THE VEDAS, CONTINUED Samhita = collection, hence Vedas are a collection of 4 Samhitas (i.e. 4 Vedas) Each Veda consists of three additional parts, viz. Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads.
  • 18. Samhita Samhita Rig Veda Brahmanas Sama Veda Upanishads Ajur Veda Brahmanas Aranyakas Atharva Veda Upanishads Aranyakas Brahmanas Upanishads Aranyakas Brahmanas Upanishads Aranyakas
  • 19. THE SO-CALLED CASTE SYSTEM (CHATUR VARNA) Mahapurusha (Universal man) Brahmana Brahmin Kshetriya Vaishya Shudra Untouchables=Bhangi, Chamar, etc. (Harijans) Varna = color/skin color/profession based on aptitude
  • 20. The four castes (Chatur Varna, jat (jati) all came out of Mahapurusha’s body Mahapurusha Brahman Head Head Profession Warrior, ruler, royalty Warrior, ruler, aristocrat Kshetriya Shoulder Shoulder Profession Merchant, trader, farmer Merchant, officer, farmer Vaishya Thigh Thigh Shudra Feet Feet Profession Priest, teacher Profession Tailor, musicians, blacksmith The untouchable Harijan, Dalit
  • 21. Caste is difficult to digest even for some non-progressive Hindus. My anecdote It obviously is most troubling for the non-Hindus, especially those who belong to the Abrahamic traditions. How it was explained in the Vedic scriptures and how it was practiced by the later Hindus, and how it is today viewed and treated is another matter.
  • 22. Not rigid as it sounds Able to negotiate Rules are there, but they can be broken depending on situation Manusriti by Manu (The Law Codes of Manu, codes of conduct for the followers of Sanatana Dharma)
  • 23. Brahma Saraswati Vishnu Lakshmi Shiva Parvati Parvati
  • 24. Vahana = animal vehicle Avatara = incarnation Rupa = manifestation Mudra = hand gesture Asana = sitting/standing posture Sansara/samsara = phenomenal world Mokshya = liberation, freedom, release from samsara, salvation
  • 25. AVATARA Vishnu’s 10 incarnations Purpose: Yada yadahi dharmashya glanirbhavata Bharata, abhyudhnamasya dharmasya tadatmanam srijam mahyem 1. 2. 3. Fish (Matsya) Non-human Tortoise (Kurma) Boar (Varaha) 4. Man-lion (Narasimha)and underdeveloped human Half-human 5. Dwarf (Vamana) 6. Parasurama 7. Rama Fully human 8. Krishna 9. Buddha 10. Kalki (Messiah)
  • 26. Krishna Radha-Krishna
  • 27. Saraswati
  • 28. Three major Hindu gods and their functions: Brahma creates (architect) Vishnu preserves (tenant) Shiva destroys (demolisher) Each god has a female counterpart called Shakti (energy) A male god is not complete without his shakti; in her absence, he is like a bulb w/o electricity. Shiva will be Sava (a corpse) without the presence of his energy, Parvati.
  • 29. Sampradayi (Sectarian) marks, Tilaka
  • 30. Two main centers of Indus Valley Civilization
  • 31. The so-called proto-Shiva Shiva as Pashupatinath
  • 32. Shiva in meditation At Mt. Kailasha Located in Banglore
  • 33. “Only when Shiva is united with Shakti does he have the power to create.” Saundaryalahari by shankaracharya Shiva w/Parvati Shiva w/Parvati
  • 34. Ardhanarisvara Androgynous form of Shiva Auspicious Inauspicious
  • 35. Superstructure/shaft=linga Ithyphallic Siva Base=Yoni
  • 36. The composition & meaning of OM Past Past A U M OM Brahma Present Vishnu Future Shiva The sound of OM is followed by a silence, and the silence is reconnected with the sound, hence completing a full circle. Om is composed of three letters, and yet it's not a word. The unique aspect of Om is that it is monosyllabic. It is considered to be the sound of creation, hence it's primordial. Copyright © 2004 by Deepak Shimkhada, Claremont, California
  • 37. What is Samsara? Field of action Every action has an equal reaction Karma is based on the idea of action and its consequence Samsara
  • 38. UPANISHAD Atma(n)=self Brahman=Absolute being, ultimate reality, essence of everything. Brahman is formless, can’t be seen, can’t be described, can’t be measured, it’s fathomless. And YET it’s everywhere. Is it dark matter? Is it God? What is it?
  • 39. Nirguna Brahman Saguna Brahman
  • 40. PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF HINDUISM Dvaita (two), dual, duality Samkhya (Sankhya) Purusha (Male), and Prakriti (Nature, i.e. female) Advaita (no two), non-dual, non-duality Shankara Brahman (neither male nor female) When Purusha comes too close to Prakriti, the equilibrium of the three gunas is disturbed, effecting Prakriti to manifest into multitudes of elements.
  • 41. PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE GODDESS Three Gunas 1. Sattva (goodness, purity, harmony, centering), 2. Rajas (activity, energy, motion, passion) 3. Tamas (dullness, inertia, going out of balance) When Prakriti is activated, unfolding of creation takes place. The diverse forms of Samsara are manifestations of Prakriti.
  • 42. Once the gunas cease to be effective, Prakriti returns to its original state of equilibrium. And Purusha and Prakriti are once again separate from each other, like the lotus flower withdrawn from the mud.
  • 43. Example of a placid lake
  • 44. Purusha and Prakriti Prurusha=Self/spirit/consciousness Perceiver, Seer, Unmanifest Prakriti=Matter/Nature/manifest reality Perceived, Seen Manifest or material world is not unreal Hence Parakrit is false What is real is Purusha
  • 45. Samkhya: Reasoning for Dualism Samkhya literally means “enumeration.” By analyzing and classifying, things can be discriminated from each other, and finally they can be enumerated, identified and qualified.
  • 46. Purusha is eternal, unchanging, inactive, conscious & ontologically identical w/ultimate truth. Prakriti is distinct from Purusha, it’s eternal as Purusha, but is eternally changing, active and unconscious. Prakriti is characterized by three gunas (qualities): sattva (goodness, purity, harmony, centering), rajas (activity, energy, motion, passion), and tamas (dullness, inertia, going out of balance)
  • 47. Prakriti is a cause of all things that are felt by the five senses. The original source of the world of experience is closely related to the concept of nature. In samkhya the effect is logically linked with the cause. Hence the nature of causality and a particular cause is an inherent feature of the material world.
  • 48. Prakriti is female/earth, material or tangible aspect of Purusha (the unseen being, Atman). Purusha is male/sky, spiritual or intangible aspect of the being. In Samkhya, Purusha and Prakriti are equal, but independent in their roles. They complement each other and work in harmony like the Yin and Yang, Shiva and Parvati. Evidence of teleological structure in Nature.
  • 49. Some instinct of Purusha directing in the design of Nature, the way in which the things are arranged as in teleology. Prakriti playing part in the phenomenon of nature of material cause Purusha without Prakriti is inactive while Prakriti without Purusha is undirected Without Purusha there is no soteriological release from the material body, i.e. Prakriti
  • 50. They have to work together to be able to operate in the world, and neither could be the source of the other.
  • 51. SAMSARA & KARMA(N) Vedic concept of heaven. This is where gods live. In the Upanishad, heaven isn’t the goal. Liberation, mokshya is. Liberation from birth and rebirth (samsara) The wheel of life Transmigration—84k life cycles
  • 52. Maha Yugas The smallest cycle. A maha yuga is 4,320,000 human years. Each maha yuga is subdivided into the following four ages: Satya Yuga (also called Krita Yuga) This first age is 1,728,000 human years. Also known as the Golden Age or age of Truth. The qualities of this age are: virtue reigns supreme; human stature is 21 cubits; lifespan is a lakh of years, and death occurs only when willed. Treta Yuga This second age is 1,296,000 human years. Also known as the Silver Age. The qualities of this age are: the climate is three quarters virtue and one quarter sin; human stature is 14 cubits; lifespan is 10,000 years. Dvapara Yuga This third age is 864,000 human years. Also known as the Bronze Age. The qualities of this age are: the climate is one half virtue and one half sin; lifespan is 1,000 years. Kali Yuga The fourth and last age is 432,000 human years. Also known as the Iron Age. This is the age in which we are presently living. The qualities of this age are: the climate is one quarter virtue and three quarters sin; human stature is 3.5 cubits; lifespan is 100 or 120 years.
  • 53. CONCEPT OF TIME IN HINDUISM Hinduism is the only religion that postulates the idea of life-cycles of the universe. It suggests that the universe undergoes an infinite number of deaths and rebirths. Four time cycles: Satya (Krita), Treta, Dwapara, Kali
  • 54. The Hindu Time Cycles is equal to 4.32 billion years, a "day of Brahma" or one thousand Mahayugas, measuring the duration of the world (scientists estimate the age of the Earth at 4.54 billion years). Each Kalpa is divided into 14 Manvantara periods, each lasting 71 Yuga cycles (306,720,000 years). Preceding the first and following each Manvatara period is a juncture (Sandhya) the length of a Satya-yuga (1,728,000) years.
  • 55. Two kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma. A "month of Brahma" is supposed to contain thirty such days (including nights), or 259.2 billion years. According to the Mahabharata, 12 months of Brahma (=360 days) constitute his year, and 100 such years the life cycle of the universe. Fifty years of Brahma are supposed to have elapsed, and we are now in the shvetavaraha-kalpa of the fifty-first; at the end of a Kalpa the world is annihilated.
  • 56. HINDU UNIVERSE “Hinduism is the only religion in which the time scales correspond... to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of the Brahma, 8.64 billion years long, longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang.” - Carl Sagan
  • 57. STAGES OF LIFE (ASHRAMA) There are 4 1. 2. 3. 4. Brahmacharya (celebacy, student) Grihastya (householder) Vanaspratha (retirement, forest dweller) Sanyasa (renouncer)
  • 58. PURSUIT OF LIFE There are 4 1. Dharma 2. Artha 3. Kama 4. Mokshya
  • 59. ATMA(N)=SOUL Because the defiled Atma is subject to negative thoughts and unfulfilled desires, it wants to return to the world to fulfill them by taking another body. If the soul is pure, untouched by any desires, it will be set free to return to the universal soul (Para-Atman)— which is luminous, pure & unstained—from which it originally came from.
  • 60. Atma(n)=soul WHAT HAPPENS TO THE SOUL WHEN THE BODY DIES? Because the soul is trapped into an individual’s body, it is colored or stained by the individual’s negative thoughts and desires. Thus, when the material body dies, the soul (Atman) is not allowed to set free from the Samsara.
  • 61. Sacred Tulsi plant in front of a Hindu house
  • 62. Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, also known as Rajarajeswaram, India's largest temple and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples.
  • 63. Jagannatha Temple in Puri, Orissa, Ratha Yatra
  • 64. The Subrahmanya temple at Saluvankuppam, near Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. The brick shrine dates to the Sangam period and is one of the oldest Hindu temples to be unearthed
  • 65. Chennakesava Temple of Vishnu at Belur, Karnataka, India
  • 66. Kedarnath Temple dedicated to Shiva in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
  • 67. The tower (gopuram) of the Kapaleeswar Temple, a complex in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • 68. Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia, designed as an open-air space for conducting rituals
  • 69. Chandeswari temple, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 70. Janaki Mandir of Janakpur, a center of pilgrimage where the wedding of Rama and Sita as vivaha festival is re-enacted
  • 71. Brahma in Pushkar, Rajasthan
  • 72. Kamakhya, outside of temple
  • 73. Chidambara temple
  • 74. Brahma Saraswati Vishnu Lakshmi Shiva Parvati
  • 75. Three major Hindu gods and their functions: Brahma creates (architect) Vishnu preserves (tenant) Shiva destroys (demolisher) Each god has a female counterpart called Shakti (energy) and is given an animal vehicle to travel. A male god is not complete without his shakti; in her absence, he is like a bulb w/o electricity. Shiva will be Sava (a corpse) without the presence of his energy, Parvati.
  • 76. Only when Shiva is united with Shakti does he have the power to create - Saundaryalahari Shiva w/Parvati Shiva w/Parvati
  • 77. Radha-Krishna
  • 78. Ganesha
  • 79. Cham Cham Museum Danang - Central Vietnam
  • 80. … Vishnu became infuriated, and Shiva, too, with furrowed brows and twisted faces. Then from Vishnu's face, filled with rage, there came forth a great fiery splendor (tejas), and also from the faces of Brahma and Shiva. And from the bodies of all the other gods, Indra and the others, came forth a great fiery splendor, and it congealed into a single form. A stupendously fiery mass like a flaming mountain the gods saw there, filling the firmament with flames. That matchless splendor, born from the bodies of all the gods, came together in a single place, pervading all the worlds with its luster, and it became woman. -Devi Mahatmya (2.8 - 12)
  • 81. Mt. Kailash—the abode of Shiva
  • 82. Durga as Mahishmardini Durga
  • 83. Goddess Siddha Lakshmi with Kali
  • 84. Yakshi
  • 85. Goddess Ganga (Ganges River)
  • 86. Lunar cycle of the Goddess (PMS?)
  • 87. Painting of Kali by James McPartlin
  • 88. The composition & meaning of OM Past A U M OM Brahma Present Vishnu Future Shiva The sound of OM is followed by a silence, and the silence is reconnected with the sound, hence completing a full circle.  Om is composed of three letters, and yet it's not a word. The unique aspect of Om is that it is monosyllabic. It is considered to be the sound of creation, hence it's primordial. Copyright © 2004 by Deepak Shimkhada, Claremont, California
  • 89. Sanctum of a temple Garbha griha (womb chamber) Dark and small No windows Having only one opening like the womb of a woman Pradkshina (circumambulation) Clockwise Eastern orientation (from where the sun rises)
  • 90. PLAN OF A HINDU TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE A temple is the abode of god(s) Designed after the shape of a tall mountain so that it can be seen from distance Points to the heavens Gods descend from the heavens to the earth Stands on a sacred ground Must have presence of water for purification Hence, ideally built on the banks of a river, sea, ocean, or lake. If there is no source of water, then water is brought to the temple precinct
  • 91. TEMPLE It may be dedicated to one god, but a devotee would find other gods as well since many Hindu gods are the manifestation of one God, i.e. Brahman A devotee announces his arrival by ringing the bell hung in front of the temple door Like ringing a door bell when we visit a friend’s home
  • 92. Prambanan, ( also known as Lorojonggrang Temple ) in Indonesia dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva
  • 93. Nagushi temple, Goa
  • 94. Elevation of the Khandesvara temple in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, Central India
  • 95. From ancient times Hindu sages meditated in the Himalayan caves. (The Sanskrit term is guha.) Upanishads refer to caves as shelters where yogis practice, and also use cave imagery in depicting the presence of the sacred in the human heart. The sacred is "the primeval one that is hard to perceive, wrapped in mystery, hidden in the cave, residing within the impenetrable depth.“ Normally our attention is drawn to the world around us, but "entering the cave of the heart, one sees the one who was born prior to heat and waters, the one who has seen through living beings." The nature of this consciousness is described in the Upanishads as Being, Awareness, Consciousness, and Bliss—sat-chit-ananda. Though beyond description, people describe it as "large, heavenly, of inconceivable form; yet it appears more minute than the minute. It is farther than the farthest, yet it is near at hand; it is right here within those who see, hidden within the cave of their heart." In the Upanishadic view the All—the One—is found in the secret recess, in the cave in the heart. There one finds the inner core of sacred being, the Atman (Self) which is one with Brahman (infinite formless consciousness). To experience this inner light and be established in it is the goal, mokshya, of a Hindu.
  • 96. Hindu temple of Greater Chicago
  • 97. Hindu temple on the bank of the Ganges River in Varanasi (Benaras/Banaras)
  • 98. Ritual bathing in Banaras
  • 99. Making of the image Eye opening ceremony Consecration (prana pratistha, infusing life into the image) North Indian vs. South Indian temple style Nagara (N. Indian w/Shikhara) vs. Dravida (S. Indian) w/gopura(m), vimana(m) Assembly hall
  • 100. HINDU TEMPLE N. Indian is based on square plan, whereas Dravida is based on assembly hall (mandapa) and a tall gateway (gopura) South Indian type is more elaborate and is planned as a city than the North Indian temple