One and Many: The Unifying Multiplicity of  “Hindu” Traditions
.  World Distribution of Hinduism
<ul><li>Vast Library </li></ul>University of California at Berkeley: Books on “Hindu Traditions,” Doe Library (2010)
What images and ideas do you associate with India? Hinduism?  “ India” and “Hinduism”
“ Hindu” and “Hinduism” are  words of Persian origin from the twelfth century C.E .; thus, they are not native to India. “...
This concept suggests a  uniformity  that does not apply to the reality it names.  “ Hinduism”
The phrase that more closely approximates what Westerners call Hinduism is  sanatana dharma , which may be translated as “...
It structures and influences every aspect of Hindu life,  including arts, music, medicine, and the like , which may explai...
India is often seen as  exotic, rich, and different , a land of deep spirituality and mysticism. “ India”
  India is a  land of great diversity and extremes, socially, religiously, economically, and geographically — “ India”
India has more than  1 billion people , deriving from a host of racial and ethnic stocks and speaking  16 major languages ...
India is also one of the most  religiously pluralistic  of all places in the world. “ India”
Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians,  Buddhists,  Jains,  Jews, Parsis “ India”
Insider/Outsider Problem
Hinduism is  the world’s oldest living religious tradition  with roots deep in the early cultures of India. “ Hinduism”
The Indus Valley civilization  was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan). “ Hinduism”
Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished  between 2500–1500 B.C.E.  “ Hinduism”
The entire civilization may have spanned as much as  1 million square kilometers , and some cities may have had population...
Their language became “Sanskrit,” which means “well-formed,” and it became the “official” language of the Hindu tradition....
A great  concern with cleanliness  is evidenced throughout the civilization; not only homes, but also municipalities, feat...
Mohenjo-daro  and  Harappa  each had a large central bath with public access, which antedate similar Roman facilities by m...
the opposition of cleanliness and dirtiness, or more technically,  purity and pollution  (Mary Douglas). “ Hinduism”
lingam and yoni
<ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>Fire sacrifices and other rituals  prescribed in the earliest sacred texts called the  ...
<ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>They were performed exclusively by  Brahmins  and promised earthly rewards, such as pro...
<ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>The creative power of sacrifice acquired the name  “Brahman.”
<ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>Language was believed to  embody spirit.
<ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>One Vedic creation myth maintained that the universe was created out of a word— OM, the...
<ul><li>OM: The Creation of the Universe </li></ul>
<ul><li>OM: The Creation of the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>(RECITE NINE TIMES) </li></ul><ul><li>Vedic chant: Rig Veda. 3....
<ul><li>OM: The Creation of the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>Vedic chant: Rig Veda. 3.62.10 “Gayatri Mantra” in Sanskrit. </...
<ul><li>Chant: Bhagavad Gita 18.65-66. in Sanskrit (Track 23: Guy Beck). </li></ul><ul><li>man-mana bhava mad-bhakto </li>...
<ul><li>Chant: Bhagavad Gita 18.65-66. in Sanskrit (Track 23: Guy Beck). </li></ul><ul><li>Think of me, love me, and worsh...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul><ul><li>samsara </li></ul><ul><li>moksha </li></ul><ul><li>Karma </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>karma :  action and its consequences
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>karma :  Good karma  counts toward a favorable rebirth in which one improves ...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>karma :  Bad karma  counts toward an unfavorable rebirth in which one lowers ...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>samsara :  literally means “wandering on” or flowing by”
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>samsara :  the fundamental problem of life—the realm of suffering, sorrow, an...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>samsara :  refers to the vicious cycle of life, death, and rebirth
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>moksha :  meaning “release” or “liberation from” samsara, which all persons m...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>atman :  literally means “self” or “soul”
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>atman :  the divine essence of a human being
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>Brahman :  A concept reworked from the Vedas, Brahman literally means  “that ...
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>Brahman :  the power of all powers, the deepest reality of the cosmos
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>BELIEF:  Brahman and atman are one and the same . The Story of Uddalaka
<ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>moksha :  meaning “release” or “liberation from” samsara, which all persons m...
<ul><li>Four Aims in Life </li></ul><ul><li>First is the good of  dharma , or duty. </li></ul><ul><li>The second is the go...
<ul><li>Trimurti (“The Three Paths”) </li></ul><ul><li>karma-marga , or the way of action </li></ul><ul><li>jñana-marga , ...
<ul><li>Ethical or Legal </li></ul><ul><li>sruti  (that which is heard) </li></ul><ul><li>smrti  (that which is remembered...
<ul><li>Ritual or Practical </li></ul>
Maha Kumbh Mela
Maha Kumbh Mela (2001)
Maha Kumbh Mela
Maha Kumbh Mela The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some  30 million...
Maha Kumbh Mela Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross:  Ganges, Yamuna  and the invi...
Maha Kumbh Mela (2001)
Maha Kumbh Mela The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a  khumb (pitcher)  containing the necta...
Maha Kumbh Mela A huge  mela (fair)  is held  every 12 years  at these holy places.
Maha Kumbh Mela Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges:   Allahabad (Prayag),*  Hardiwar,  Nasik, and  Ujj...
Mythical Background
The Churning of the Ocean
The Churning of the Ocean
The Ganges River: Sacred Site
The Ganges River: Sacred Site
The Ganges River: Sacred Site
Who’s that on top of Shiva’s head?
Who’s that on top of Shiva’s head?
Who’s that on top of Shiva’s head?
Ganga: The River Goddess
The Descent of Ganga
“Bhagiratha's Penace”  Relief at Mahabalipuram
Ganga: The River Goddess
Ganga: The River Goddess Shiva Bearing the Descent of the Ganges River as Parvati and Bhagiratha, and the bull Nandi look,...
The Sacred Geography of Ganga http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGeU350SkRc
<ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><li>If you had to see your life in these Hinduist terms, how would you do so (samsara, mok...
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  • This belief is based on the fact that the great majority of seals portray male animals with emphasized horns and flanks, suggesting an intense interest in sexuality and reproductive function. 2. Depictions of the sexual energies of animals, as we find in the Indus Valley seals, may suggest a human effort to appropriate animal powers that humans lacked or wanted in greater abundance. 3. Whereas male sexuality in this society is symbolized by animals, the discovery of numerous terracotta figurines depicting human females suggests that the reproductive powers of women were revered and regarded as sacred. These figures, and others like them, lead some scholars to theorize the existence of a vast Mother Goddess religion long antedating the worship of male gods. 4. Also indicating interest in sexuality are a great number of stone and clay phallic artifacts, called lingams, found throughout the Indus Valley. Similar images still play a prominent role in the worship of the god Siva, whose creative energies are symbolized by the lingam and its female counterpart, the yoni. 5. Another seal illustrates a man sitting in what appears to be a meditating pose, suggesting that some dwellers on the Indus Valley may have been practitioners of yoga and introspection. The seated figure seems to have three faces pointing in different directions and a headdress of horns, leading many scholars to believe that it may be an early likeness of the god later known as Siva.
  • Worship, Meditation, Pilgrimage, Sacrifice, Rites, and Healing. Example: impermanence (Buddhism); Original Sin (Christianity); interact with previous dimensions; some more strict or rigid than others: e.g., Catholicism more than Quakerism, Buddhism more than African religions, Theravada more than Zen. Stories: Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; Buddha’s life; Muhammad’s life; “founders” of religion. Secular examples: “history” instead of “myth”; history taught in schools is major generator of “national” identity; it enhances pride in our ancestors, our national heroes and heroines Examples: enlightenment of the Buddha, prophetic visions of Muhammad, conversion of Paul, etc. The Vision Quest: Zen, Native American classical religion, the idea of the “holy” (Otto) Torah, legal imperatives; Shari’a; Buddhism: four great virtues; Confucianism: morality: the ideal investment in human behavior. Religious specialists or priests: gurus, lawyers, pastors, rabbis, imams, shamans, etc.) Sacred sites of worship: chapels, cathedrals, temples, mosques, icons, books, pulpits, monasteries, etc.
  • Besides the Hindus, who make up the great majority, there are Muslims in northern India (and Pakistan and Bangladesh) comprising 10 percent of the Indian population; Sikhism, a religious tradition concentrated in the region known as the Punjab, forms 2 percent of the populace; Christians comprise about 2 percent; Buddhists make up a smaller contingent, though the tradition originated and flourished for centuries in India; and other smaller groups include Jains, Jews, and Parsis, practitioners of the ancient Persian religion Zoroastrianism.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • Hinduism is not a part or aspect of Indian life or culture; it is far more encompassing than that.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • one of the few places on earth where diversity is preserved and appreciated.
  • one of the few places on earth where diversity is preserved and appreciated.
  • Besides the Hindus, who make up the great majority, there are Muslims in northern India (and Pakistan and Bangladesh) comprising 10 percent of the Indian population; Sikhism, a religious tradition concentrated in the region known as the Punjab, forms 2 percent of the populace; Christians comprise about 2 percent; Buddhists make up a smaller contingent, though the tradition originated and flourished for centuries in India; and other smaller groups include Jains, Jews, and Parsis, practitioners of the ancient Persian religion Zoroastrianism.
  • Besides the Hindus, who make up the great majority, there are Muslims in northern India (and Pakistan and Bangladesh) comprising 10 percent of the Indian population; Sikhism, a religious tradition concentrated in the region known as the Punjab, forms 2 percent of the populace; Christians comprise about 2 percent; Buddhists make up a smaller contingent, though the tradition originated and flourished for centuries in India; and other smaller groups include Jains, Jews, and Parsis, practitioners of the ancient Persian religion Zoroastrianism.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • Undertaking the study of any religious tradition requires initial reflection on the nature of the subject and the methods by which it is examined. These considerations are especially important when one begins the study of Hinduism, a very old and highly complex religion. This inaugural lecture describes how Hinduism will be studied in this series. We begin by examining the words “Hinduism,” “religion,” and “India,” discussing why they are problematic yet useful for the study of our subject. Then, we set forth the basic approach and scope of the series, which will be both chronological and thematic. Finally, we reflect on the essential qualities of Hinduism and how the diversity of the Indian context has shaped its development.
  • II. The Indus Valley civilization was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan) that had been long forgotten until it was discovered in the 1850s. A. Most evidence we have about the Indus Valley civilization is based on archaeological findings, because the cryptic language of the people has yet to be deciphered. We do not even know what the civilization’s inhabitants called themselves. 1. Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished between 3000–1500 B.C.E. 2. Some seventy cities have been unearthed, displaying a high degree of organization and central planning. The entire civilization may have spanned as much as 1 million square kilometers, and some cities may have had populations of as many as 40,000 inhabitants. 3. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa appear to be the most important cities. Harappa was evidently the capital city, and the civilization is sometimes referred to as the “Harappan culture.” 4. The Indus Valley civilization was a relatively peaceful culture, because few real weapons have been discovered.
  • II. The Indus Valley civilization was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan) that had been long forgotten until it was discovered in the 1850s. A. Most evidence we have about the Indus Valley civilization is based on archaeological findings, because the cryptic language of the people has yet to be deciphered. We do not even know what the civilization’s inhabitants called themselves. 1. Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished between 3000–1500 B.C.E. 2. Some seventy cities have been unearthed, displaying a high degree of organization and central planning. The entire civilization may have spanned as much as 1 million square kilometers, and some cities may have had populations of as many as 40,000 inhabitants. 3. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa appear to be the most important cities. Harappa was evidently the capital city, and the civilization is sometimes referred to as the “Harappan culture.” 4. The Indus Valley civilization was a relatively peaceful culture, because few real weapons have been discovered.
  • This belief is based on the fact that the great majority of seals portray male animals with emphasized horns and flanks, suggesting an intense interest in sexuality and reproductive function. 2. Depictions of the sexual energies of animals, as we find in the Indus Valley seals, may suggest a human effort to appropriate animal powers that humans lacked or wanted in greater abundance. 3. Whereas male sexuality in this society is symbolized by animals, the discovery of numerous terracotta figurines depicting human females suggests that the reproductive powers of women were revered and regarded as sacred. These figures, and others like them, lead some scholars to theorize the existence of a vast Mother Goddess religion long antedating the worship of male gods. 4. Also indicating interest in sexuality are a great number of stone and clay phallic artifacts, called lingams, found throughout the Indus Valley. Similar images still play a prominent role in the worship of the god Siva, whose creative energies are symbolized by the lingam and its female counterpart, the yoni. 5. Another seal illustrates a man sitting in what appears to be a meditating pose, suggesting that some dwellers on the Indus Valley may have been practitioners of yoga and introspection. The seated figure seems to have three faces pointing in different directions and a headdress of horns, leading many scholars to believe that it may be an early likeness of the god later known as Siva.
  • II. The Indus Valley civilization was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan) that had been long forgotten until it was discovered in the 1850s. A. Most evidence we have about the Indus Valley civilization is based on archaeological findings, because the cryptic language of the people has yet to be deciphered. We do not even know what the civilization’s inhabitants called themselves. 1. Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished between 3000–1500 B.C.E. 2. Some seventy cities have been unearthed, displaying a high degree of organization and central planning. The entire civilization may have spanned as much as 1 million square kilometers, and some cities may have had populations of as many as 40,000 inhabitants. 3. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa appear to be the most important cities. Harappa was evidently the capital city, and the civilization is sometimes referred to as the “Harappan culture.” 4. The Indus Valley civilization was a relatively peaceful culture, because few real weapons have been discovered.
  • II. The Indus Valley civilization was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan) that had been long forgotten until it was discovered in the 1850s. A. Most evidence we have about the Indus Valley civilization is based on archaeological findings, because the cryptic language of the people has yet to be deciphered. We do not even know what the civilization’s inhabitants called themselves. 1. Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished between 3000–1500 B.C.E. 2. Some seventy cities have been unearthed, displaying a high degree of organization and central planning. The entire civilization may have spanned as much as 1 million square kilometers, and some cities may have had populations of as many as 40,000 inhabitants. 3. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa appear to be the most important cities. Harappa was evidently the capital city, and the civilization is sometimes referred to as the “Harappan culture.” 4. The Indus Valley civilization was a relatively peaceful culture, because few real weapons have been discovered.
  • II. The Indus Valley civilization was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan) that had been long forgotten until it was discovered in the 1850s. A. Most evidence we have about the Indus Valley civilization is based on archaeological findings, because the cryptic language of the people has yet to be deciphered. We do not even know what the civilization’s inhabitants called themselves. 1. Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished between 3000–1500 B.C.E. 2. Some seventy cities have been unearthed, displaying a high degree of organization and central planning. The entire civilization may have spanned as much as 1 million square kilometers, and some cities may have had populations of as many as 40,000 inhabitants. 3. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa appear to be the most important cities. Harappa was evidently the capital city, and the civilization is sometimes referred to as the “Harappan culture.” 4. The Indus Valley civilization was a relatively peaceful culture, because few real weapons have been discovered.
  • This belief is based on the fact that the great majority of seals portray male animals with emphasized horns and flanks, suggesting an intense interest in sexuality and reproductive function. 2. Depictions of the sexual energies of animals, as we find in the Indus Valley seals, may suggest a human effort to appropriate animal powers that humans lacked or wanted in greater abundance. 3. Whereas male sexuality in this society is symbolized by animals, the discovery of numerous terracotta figurines depicting human females suggests that the reproductive powers of women were revered and regarded as sacred. These figures, and others like them, lead some scholars to theorize the existence of a vast Mother Goddess religion long antedating the worship of male gods. 4. Also indicating interest in sexuality are a great number of stone and clay phallic artifacts, called lingams, found throughout the Indus Valley. Similar images still play a prominent role in the worship of the god Siva, whose creative energies are symbolized by the lingam and its female counterpart, the yoni. 5. Another seal illustrates a man sitting in what appears to be a meditating pose, suggesting that some dwellers on the Indus Valley may have been practitioners of yoga and introspection. The seated figure seems to have three faces pointing in different directions and a headdress of horns, leading many scholars to believe that it may be an early likeness of the god later known as Siva.
  • 1.
  • 1.
  • 1 The sacred words of the Veda came to be regarded as powerful in themselves, because language was believed to embody spirit.
  • 1 The sacred words of the Veda came to be regarded as powerful in themselves, because language was believed to embody spirit.
  • 1 The sacred words of the Veda came to be regarded as powerful in themselves, because language was believed to embody spirit.
  • 1 The sacred words of the Veda came to be regarded as powerful in themselves, because language was believed to embody spirit.
  • Repeated three times a day for Brahmin priests and twice-born Hindu. Sunrise, noon, sunset. Sun worship. Three lines of eight syllables each. Triloka, Aryan: earth, sky, heaven. Three tones: udatta: middle C, anudatta: B flat (whole step below), svarita: D flat (half step above).
  • 1 The sacred words of the Veda came to be regarded as powerful in themselves, because language was believed to embody spirit.
  • Many Hindu chant the Gita regularly as a form of bhakti, or religious devotion. Some believe that regular chanting brings about moksha. Anushtubh meter, four lines of eight syllables each. Krishna is telling Arjuna to surrender himself fully to receive all of God’s blessings. Melodic motifs in three notes.
  • Repeated three times a day for Brahmin priests and twice-born Hindu. Sunrise, noon, sunset. Sun worship. Three lines of eight syllables each. Triloka, Aryan: earth, sky, heaven. Three tones: udatta: middle C, anudatta: B flat (whole step below), svarita: D flat (half step above).
  • Worship, Meditation, Pilgrimage, Sacrifice, Rites, and Healing. Example: impermanence (Buddhism); Original Sin (Christianity); interact with previous dimensions; some more strict or rigid than others: e.g., Catholicism more than Quakerism, Buddhism more than African religions, Theravada more than Zen. Stories: Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; Buddha’s life; Muhammad’s life; “founders” of religion. Secular examples: “history” instead of “myth”; history taught in schools is major generator of “national” identity; it enhances pride in our ancestors, our national heroes and heroines Examples: enlightenment of the Buddha, prophetic visions of Muhammad, conversion of Paul, etc. The Vision Quest: Zen, Native American classical religion, the idea of the “holy” (Otto) Torah, legal imperatives; Shari’a; Buddhism: four great virtues; Confucianism: morality: the ideal investment in human behavior. Religious specialists or priests: gurus, lawyers, pastors, rabbis, imams, shamans, etc.) Sacred sites of worship: chapels, cathedrals, temples, mosques, icons, books, pulpits, monasteries, etc.
  • in older Vedic times, it meant “ritual action,” but in classical Hinduism, it came to include “moral action.” Ways of addressing new issues were combined with older Vedic practices to create classical Hinduism. Two features of classical Hinduism that distinguish it from its Vedic precursor were the concepts of the transmigration of the soul and karma. 1. A fundamental principle of virtually all religions formed in India, reincarnation, or transmigration of the soul, is the belief that human souls are reborn into another physical form after they die. Its origin is uncertain. 2. Modes of reincarnation involve returning in different forms—human, animal, or even demon—and the form is determined by the level of one’s karma. 3. Karma is simply action and its consequences; in older Vedic times, it meant “ritual action,” but in classical Hinduism, it came to include “moral action.” 4. The moral connotation implied that karma can be good and evil. Good karma counts toward a favorable rebirth in which one improves his or her station in the next life. Bad karma counts toward an unfavorable rebirth in which one lowers his or her station in the next life. 5. Karma can be difficult to
  • in older Vedic times, it meant “ritual action,” but in classical Hinduism, it came to include “moral action.” Ways of addressing new issues were combined with older Vedic practices to create classical Hinduism. Two features of classical Hinduism that distinguish it from its Vedic precursor were the concepts of the transmigration of the soul and karma. 1. A fundamental principle of virtually all religions formed in India, reincarnation, or transmigration of the soul, is the belief that human souls are reborn into another physical form after they die. Its origin is uncertain. 2. Modes of reincarnation involve returning in different forms—human, animal, or even demon—and the form is determined by the level of one’s karma. 3. Karma is simply action and its consequences; in older Vedic times, it meant “ritual action,” but in classical Hinduism, it came to include “moral action.” 4. The moral connotation implied that karma can be good and evil. Good karma counts toward a favorable rebirth in which one improves his or her station in the next life. Bad karma counts toward an unfavorable rebirth in which one lowers his or her station in the next life. 5. Karma can be difficult to
  • in older Vedic times, it meant “ritual action,” but in classical Hinduism, it came to include “moral action.” Ways of addressing new issues were combined with older Vedic practices to create classical Hinduism. Two features of classical Hinduism that distinguish it from its Vedic precursor were the concepts of the transmigration of the soul and karma. 1. A fundamental principle of virtually all religions formed in India, reincarnation, or transmigration of the soul, is the belief that human souls are reborn into another physical form after they die. Its origin is uncertain. 2. Modes of reincarnation involve returning in different forms—human, animal, or even demon—and the form is determined by the level of one’s karma. 3. Karma is simply action and its consequences; in older Vedic times, it meant “ritual action,” but in classical Hinduism, it came to include “moral action.” 4. The moral connotation implied that karma can be good and evil. Good karma counts toward a favorable rebirth in which one improves his or her station in the next life. Bad karma counts toward an unfavorable rebirth in which one lowers his or her station in the next life. 5. Karma can be difficult to conceptualize. Jainism thinks of karma as a fine, imperceptible substance that clings to the soul. In classical Hinduism, the notion of karma is less materialist and more akin to a form of energy. 6. Karma is a principle of absolute justice that occurs ineluctably and impersonally, like the law of gravity acting on physical bodies. The principle of karma means that eventually everyone gets what he or she deserves, because the consequences of action always return to the agent. C. The world just described, a cycle of transmigrations governed by the laws of karma, is called samsara, which means, literally, “wandering,” and this condition is the essential problem of life for Hindus.
  • This concept implies the possibility of returning to life in forms that are not especially conducive to pleasure, given that many kinds of life, both human and animal, experience great amounts of suffering.
  • Worship, Meditation, Pilgrimage, Sacrifice, Rites, and Healing. Example: impermanence (Buddhism); Original Sin (Christianity); interact with previous dimensions; some more strict or rigid than others: e.g., Catholicism more than Quakerism, Buddhism more than African religions, Theravada more than Zen. Stories: Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; Buddha’s life; Muhammad’s life; “founders” of religion. Secular examples: “history” instead of “myth”; history taught in schools is major generator of “national” identity; it enhances pride in our ancestors, our national heroes and heroines Examples: enlightenment of the Buddha, prophetic visions of Muhammad, conversion of Paul, etc. The Vision Quest: Zen, Native American classical religion, the idea of the “holy” (Otto) Torah, legal imperatives; Shari’a; Buddhism: four great virtues; Confucianism: morality: the ideal investment in human behavior. Religious specialists or priests: gurus, lawyers, pastors, rabbis, imams, shamans, etc.) Sacred sites of worship: chapels, cathedrals, temples, mosques, icons, books, pulpits, monasteries, etc.
  • Even returning to a life of privilege and pleasure would eventually become tedious and distasteful because forever is a long, long time.
  • Even returning to a life of privilege and pleasure would eventually become tedious and distasteful because forever is a long, long time.
  • Even returning to a life of privilege and pleasure would eventually become tedious and distasteful because forever is a long, long time.
  • Uncreated, deathless, immortal
  • A concept reworked from the Vedas, Brahman literally means “that which makes great.” During the evolution of classical Hinduism, Brahman came to refer to the power of all powers, the deepest reality of the cosmos. 2. The concept of Brahman became increasingly abstract and difficult to grasp; although Brahman is removed from the world of everyday experience, the Upanisads assure us that it is closer to us than we are to ourselves. 3. Brahman transcends all human categories and images. It is nirguna, without qualities. Because its only quality is that of not having qualities, Brahman is often discussed by referring to what it is not, an approach known as negative theology, or via negativa.
  • A concept reworked from the Vedas, Brahman literally means “that which makes great.” During the evolution of classical Hinduism, Brahman came to refer to the power of all powers, the deepest reality of the cosmos. 2. The concept of Brahman became increasingly abstract and difficult to grasp; although Brahman is removed from the world of everyday experience, the Upanisads assure us that it is closer to us than we are to ourselves. 3. Brahman transcends all human categories and images. It is nirguna, without qualities. Because its only quality is that of not having qualities, Brahman is often discussed by referring to what it is not, an approach known as negative theology, or via negativa.
  • A concept reworked from the Vedas, Brahman literally means “that which makes great.” During the evolution of classical Hinduism, Brahman came to refer to the power of all powers, the deepest reality of the cosmos. 2. The concept of Brahman became increasingly abstract and difficult to grasp; although Brahman is removed from the world of everyday experience, the Upanisads assure us that it is closer to us than we are to ourselves. 3. Brahman transcends all human categories and images. It is nirguna, without qualities. Because its only quality is that of not having qualities, Brahman is often discussed by referring to what it is not, an approach known as negative theology, or via negativa.
  • Even returning to a life of privilege and pleasure would eventually become tedious and distasteful because forever is a long, long time.
  • Worship, Meditation, Pilgrimage, Sacrifice, Rites, and Healing. Example: impermanence (Buddhism); Original Sin (Christianity); interact with previous dimensions; some more strict or rigid than others: e.g., Catholicism more than Quakerism, Buddhism more than African religions, Theravada more than Zen. Stories: Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; Buddha’s life; Muhammad’s life; “founders” of religion. Secular examples: “history” instead of “myth”; history taught in schools is major generator of “national” identity; it enhances pride in our ancestors, our national heroes and heroines Examples: enlightenment of the Buddha, prophetic visions of Muhammad, conversion of Paul, etc. The Vision Quest: Zen, Native American classical religion, the idea of the “holy” (Otto) Torah, legal imperatives; Shari’a; Buddhism: four great virtues; Confucianism: morality: the ideal investment in human behavior. Religious specialists or priests: gurus, lawyers, pastors, rabbis, imams, shamans, etc.) Sacred sites of worship: chapels, cathedrals, temples, mosques, icons, books, pulpits, monasteries, etc.
  • These paths are seen as providing suitable spiritualities for persons of different temperaments or proclivities. Ritual action, fire sacrifice Philosophical scripture: Upanishads Love, heartfelt devotion to the god of your choosing. (most popular). Elite traditions of ascetics, or sadhus. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of TM
  • Worship, Meditation, Pilgrimage, Sacrifice, Rites, and Healing. Example: impermanence (Buddhism); Original Sin (Christianity); interact with previous dimensions; some more strict or rigid than others: e.g., Catholicism more than Quakerism, Buddhism more than African religions, Theravada more than Zen. Stories: Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; Buddha’s life; Muhammad’s life; “founders” of religion. Secular examples: “history” instead of “myth”; history taught in schools is major generator of “national” identity; it enhances pride in our ancestors, our national heroes and heroines Examples: enlightenment of the Buddha, prophetic visions of Muhammad, conversion of Paul, etc. The Vision Quest: Zen, Native American classical religion, the idea of the “holy” (Otto) Torah, legal imperatives; Shari’a; Buddhism: four great virtues; Confucianism: morality: the ideal investment in human behavior. Religious specialists or priests: gurus, lawyers, pastors, rabbis, imams, shamans, etc.) Sacred sites of worship: chapels, cathedrals, temples, mosques, icons, books, pulpits, monasteries, etc.
  • The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 60 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February. The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality. Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad, Hardiwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places. The Khumb at Allahabad is the largest and most significant of all. Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati. The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam. On the 24th of January an incredible 30 million people are believed to have made the holy bath.
  • Grad Pitcher Festival: The Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, takes place every 12 years in Northern India and sees millions of devotees bathe in the Ganges to purify their sins. The Kumbh is held at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, where Hindu scriptures say the gods spilt a drop of the elixir of immortality. The Hindu pilgrimage occurs four times every twelve years and rotates between four locations: Prayag(Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. http://www.shehjar.com/content/1198/1.html Over 15 million Hindus from all over the world are expected to take a dip in the holy Ganges during the current Kumbha Mela being held at Haridwar from January 14 to April 28, 2010, the second largest in the new millennium. The previous festival held at the same venue in 1998 managed about 10 million pilgrims. Even then, this figure was five times the 2 million pilgrims who journeyed to Mecca for the Haj the same year. January 14, 2010 (Thursday) - Makar Sankranti - First Snan:
This was the first of the big bathing days, considered very auspicious in view of the entry of the Sun in the zodiac sign of Capricorn.

January 15, 2010 (Friday) - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) - Second Snan:
For holy men and women this was the main bathing day where they participated in gilded and naked processions. It was also the day when new members of various monastic orders receive their first initiation.

January 20, 2010 (Wednesday) - Vasant Panchami - Third Snan:
This was the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month and was the beginning of spring in North India-a day when people pray for a good bumper harvest. Traditionally people wear yellow on this day.

January 30, 2010 - (Saturday) Magha Purnima - Fourth Snan

This was the full moon in the lunar month of Magha (Jan- Feb).

February 12, 2010 (Friday) - Mahashivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath
This was the great night of Shiva from whose locks the Ganges flows. He married Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, on this day.

March 15, 2010 (Monday)- Soma-Amavasya - Dvitiya Shahi Snan - Royal Bath for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects:
The no-moon day on a Monday is held as very auspicious, equivalent to the auspiciousness of a solar eclipse. On this day, worship, japa, or meditation is believed to receive exceptional spiritual benediction. The benefits of taking a holy dip, performance of charitable acts and Shraddha (giving oblations in the name of manes) and observance of vow of silence on this day are considered perennial and everlasting.

March 24, 2010 (Wednesday) - Ram Navami - Fifth Snan
The day marked the birth of Lord Rama,.

March 30, 2010 (Tuesday) - Chaitra Purnima Tritiya Shahi Snan: Royal Bath for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects:
The full moon day of the lunar month of Chaitra month is particularly sacred to the Chitra Guptas, the recording angels of the Hindu pantheon. A special worship is offered to these celestial representatives of the god of death, and an offering of spiced rice is prepared and later distributed as prasad or holy sacrament.
The day also marked the birthday of Hanumanji, who symbolizes strength, unparalleled devotion, and selfless service.

April 14, 2010 (Wednesday) - Amavasya of the lunar month of Vaishakha - Pramukh Shahi Snan: This will be the main royal bath for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects:
The no-moon day in the month of Vaishakh is the festival of Vata Savitri Vratam. Hindu married women observe fast for their husbands&apos; good health and longevity. Savitri is worshipped and fruits offered to the goddess

April 28, 2010 (Wednesday) - Vaishakha Purnima – Snan
This full moon day is the last auspicious bathing date of Kumbha Mela 2010. Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam is observed and Vishnu Pujas are performed on this day. The day also marks three major events in the life of Lord Buddha-his birth, enlightenment and death.
  • The Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, takes place every 12 years in Northern India and sees millions of devotees bathe in the Ganges to purify their sins. The Kumbh is held at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, where Hindu scriptures say the gods spilt a drop of the elixir of immortality. The Hindu pilgrimage occurs four times every twelve years and rotates between four locations: Prayag(Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik.
  • The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 60 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February. The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality. Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad, Hardiwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places. The Khumb at Allahabad is the largest and most significant of all. Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati. The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam. On the 24th of January an incredible 30 million people are believed to have made the holy bath.
  • The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 60 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February. The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality. Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad, Hardiwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places. The Khumb at Allahabad is the largest and most significant of all. Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati. The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam. On the 24th of January an incredible 30 million people are believed to have made the holy bath.
  • Grad Pitcher Festival: The Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, takes place every 12 years in Northern India and sees millions of devotees bathe in the Ganges to purify their sins. The Kumbh is held at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, where Hindu scriptures say the gods spilt a drop of the elixir of immortality. The Hindu pilgrimage occurs four times every twelve years and rotates between four locations: Prayag(Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. http://www.shehjar.com/content/1198/1.html Over 15 million Hindus from all over the world are expected to take a dip in the holy Ganges during the current Kumbha Mela being held at Haridwar from January 14 to April 28, 2010, the second largest in the new millennium. The previous festival held at the same venue in 1998 managed about 10 million pilgrims. Even then, this figure was five times the 2 million pilgrims who journeyed to Mecca for the Haj the same year. January 14, 2010 (Thursday) - Makar Sankranti - First Snan:
This was the first of the big bathing days, considered very auspicious in view of the entry of the Sun in the zodiac sign of Capricorn.

January 15, 2010 (Friday) - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) - Second Snan:
For holy men and women this was the main bathing day where they participated in gilded and naked processions. It was also the day when new members of various monastic orders receive their first initiation.

January 20, 2010 (Wednesday) - Vasant Panchami - Third Snan:
This was the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month and was the beginning of spring in North India-a day when people pray for a good bumper harvest. Traditionally people wear yellow on this day.

January 30, 2010 - (Saturday) Magha Purnima - Fourth Snan

This was the full moon in the lunar month of Magha (Jan- Feb).

February 12, 2010 (Friday) - Mahashivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath
This was the great night of Shiva from whose locks the Ganges flows. He married Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, on this day.

March 15, 2010 (Monday)- Soma-Amavasya - Dvitiya Shahi Snan - Royal Bath for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects:
The no-moon day on a Monday is held as very auspicious, equivalent to the auspiciousness of a solar eclipse. On this day, worship, japa, or meditation is believed to receive exceptional spiritual benediction. The benefits of taking a holy dip, performance of charitable acts and Shraddha (giving oblations in the name of manes) and observance of vow of silence on this day are considered perennial and everlasting.

March 24, 2010 (Wednesday) - Ram Navami - Fifth Snan
The day marked the birth of Lord Rama,.

March 30, 2010 (Tuesday) - Chaitra Purnima Tritiya Shahi Snan: Royal Bath for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects:
The full moon day of the lunar month of Chaitra month is particularly sacred to the Chitra Guptas, the recording angels of the Hindu pantheon. A special worship is offered to these celestial representatives of the god of death, and an offering of spiced rice is prepared and later distributed as prasad or holy sacrament.
The day also marked the birthday of Hanumanji, who symbolizes strength, unparalleled devotion, and selfless service.

April 14, 2010 (Wednesday) - Amavasya of the lunar month of Vaishakha - Pramukh Shahi Snan: This will be the main royal bath for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects:
The no-moon day in the month of Vaishakh is the festival of Vata Savitri Vratam. Hindu married women observe fast for their husbands&apos; good health and longevity. Savitri is worshipped and fruits offered to the goddess

April 28, 2010 (Wednesday) - Vaishakha Purnima – Snan
This full moon day is the last auspicious bathing date of Kumbha Mela 2010. Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam is observed and Vishnu Pujas are performed on this day. The day also marks three major events in the life of Lord Buddha-his birth, enlightenment and death.
  • The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 60 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February. The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality. Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad, Hardiwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places. The Khumb at Allahabad is the largest and most significant of all. Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati. The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam. On the 24th of January an incredible 30 million people are believed to have made the holy bath.
  • The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 60 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February. The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality. Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad, Hardiwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places. The Khumb at Allahabad is the largest and most significant of all. Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati. The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam. On the 24th of January an incredible 30 million people are believed to have made the holy bath.
  • The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 60 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February. The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality. Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad, Hardiwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places. The Khumb at Allahabad is the largest and most significant of all. Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati. The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam. On the 24th of January an incredible 30 million people are believed to have made the holy bath.
  • The Asuras were older than their half-brothers the Gods. They acquired great possessions in the three worlds, but because they did not sacrifice to each other, because they did not visit holy places, they did not acquire great powers within themselves. But the Gods who did not have great possessions went on making sacrifices, went on dealing truthfully with each other, went on visiting holy places until they had greater and greater powers within themselves.The Gods and the Asuras knew that they could gain the Amrit, the Water of Life, if they churned up one of the seven oceans that, ring beyond ring, encircles the worlds. They came down to the Ocean of Milk. They took the Mountain Mandara for a churning-pole and the hundred-headed serpent Vāsuki for a churning-rope. They wound the serpent around the mountain, and pulling it this way and that way they splashed and dashed the, Ocean up and down and to and fro. And the Ocean of Milk frothed and bubbled as they churned.For a thousand years the Gods and the Asuras churned the Ocean of Milk. All that time Vāsuki, the serpent, from his hundred heads spat venom. The venom bit into the rocks and broke them up; it flowed down, destroying the worlds of Gods and men. Then all creation would have been destroyed in that flood of venom if it had not been for the act of one of the Gods.Shiva took up the venom in a cup and drank it. His throat became blue with that draught of bitterness. But by his act, the Gods won to more powers than the Asuras had.Still they churned. Then out of the Ocean of Milk came the wish-bestowing cow, Surabhi. Gods and Asuras rejoiced at the prosperity that came with her. Then appeared the Apsarases, the heavenly nymphs, and the Gods and the Asuras sported with them. The moon was churned up, and Shiva took it and set it upon his forehead.But now the Asuras wearied in their toil, and more and more they sported with the Apsarases. The Gods, their powers increased through Shiva&apos;s deed, laboured at the churning, and the whole Ocean of Milk foamed and bubbled. Then was churned up the gem of gems, Kaustubha, and then white Uccaibhsravas, the best of steeds.Now the Gods grew in strength as they laboured, and they laboured as they grew in strength, while the Asuras abandoned themselves more and more to pleasures, and they fought amongst themselves on account of the pleasures that all of them sought. And then, seated on a lotus and holding a lotus in her hand, a lovely Goddess appeared. She went to Vishnu; she cast herself on the breast of the God, and, reclining there, she delighted the Gods with the glances she bestowed on them. All knew her for Shrī, the Goddess of Good Fortune. And the Asuras, in despair because Good Fortune had gone to the side of the Gods, stood around, determined to seize by force the next good thing that came out of the churning.And then, behold! there appeared the sage Dhanvantari, and in his hands was the cup that held the Amrit, the Water of Life. The Asuras strove to seize it; they would drink it all themselves, or else they would fling the Amrit where the serpent&apos;s venom was dripping on the rocks. Almost they overpowered the Gods in their efforts to seize the Amrit. Then Vishnu changed himself into a ravishing form; he seemed to be the loveliest of the nymphs of Heaven. The Asuras went towards where the seeming nymph postured for them. Even then they fought amongst each other. And the Gods took the cup, and, sharing it, they drank of the Amrit.And now they were filled with such vigour that the Asuras could not overpower them. Many they drove down into hell where they became the Daityas or Demons. That was the beginning of the wars between the Gods and the Daityas--the wars that went on for ages.The Gods were triumphant and the three worlds became filled with radiance and power. Indra, king of the Gods, seated upon his throne, made a hymn in praise of Shrī. She granted him his wish, which was that she should never abandon the Gods.And so they lived upon that most holy mountain which is round like a ball and all made of gold. The birds there have golden feathers. Indra stays there. The steed which he gained at the Churning of the Ocean grazes near him. Beside him is his thunderbolt winged with a thousand plumes: Tvastir made it for him from the bones of the seer Dadhica: it is hundred-jointed, thousand-pointed. With the thunderbolt is his spear and his conch. Vishnu is near. But he broods upon the waters, resting upon a serpent, and Shrī, his bride, is beside him and over him the bird Garuda hovers. Shiva dwells in a lovely wood that is filled with flowers. Near him is the spear with which he will destroy the worlds at the end of an age. And beside him is his bow, his battle-axe, and his trident. Once, in jest, his wife Umā covered Shiva&apos;s eyes with her hands. Then was the world plunged into darkness, men trembled with fear, and all that lived came near to extinction. But to save the world a third eye appeared in Shiva&apos;s forehead: when it blazed forth the darkness vanished, men ceased to tremble, and power once more pervaded the worlds. And always Shiva&apos;s throat will be blue from the bitterness of the venom that he drank when he saved creation. Above the most holy mountain is the golden palace of the Lord of All-Brahma--a palace that is built on nothing that is substantial.
  • The Asuras were older than their half-brothers the Gods. They acquired great possessions in the three worlds, but because they did not sacrifice to each other, because they did not visit holy places, they did not acquire great powers within themselves. But the Gods who did not have great possessions went on making sacrifices, went on dealing truthfully with each other, went on visiting holy places until they had greater and greater powers within themselves.The Gods and the Asuras knew that they could gain the Amrit, the Water of Life, if they churned up one of the seven oceans that, ring beyond ring, encircles the worlds. They came down to the Ocean of Milk. They took the Mountain Mandara for a churning-pole and the hundred-headed serpent Vāsuki for a churning-rope. They wound the serpent around the mountain, and pulling it this way and that way they splashed and dashed the, Ocean up and down and to and fro. And the Ocean of Milk frothed and bubbled as they churned.For a thousand years the Gods and the Asuras churned the Ocean of Milk. All that time Vāsuki, the serpent, from his hundred heads spat venom. The venom bit into the rocks and broke them up; it flowed down, destroying the worlds of Gods and men. Then all creation would have been destroyed in that flood of venom if it had not been for the act of one of the Gods.Shiva took up the venom in a cup and drank it. His throat became blue with that draught of bitterness. But by his act, the Gods won to more powers than the Asuras had.Still they churned. Then out of the Ocean of Milk came the wish-bestowing cow, Surabhi. Gods and Asuras rejoiced at the prosperity that came with her. Then appeared the Apsarases, the heavenly nymphs, and the Gods and the Asuras sported with them. The moon was churned up, and Shiva took it and set it upon his forehead.But now the Asuras wearied in their toil, and more and more they sported with the Apsarases. The Gods, their powers increased through Shiva&apos;s deed, laboured at the churning, and the whole Ocean of Milk foamed and bubbled. Then was churned up the gem of gems, Kaustubha, and then white Uccaibhsravas, the best of steeds.Now the Gods grew in strength as they laboured, and they laboured as they grew in strength, while the Asuras abandoned themselves more and more to pleasures, and they fought amongst themselves on account of the pleasures that all of them sought. And then, seated on a lotus and holding a lotus in her hand, a lovely Goddess appeared. She went to Vishnu; she cast herself on the breast of the God, and, reclining there, she delighted the Gods with the glances she bestowed on them. All knew her for Shrī, the Goddess of Good Fortune. And the Asuras, in despair because Good Fortune had gone to the side of the Gods, stood around, determined to seize by force the next good thing that came out of the churning.And then, behold! there appeared the sage Dhanvantari, and in his hands was the cup that held the Amrit, the Water of Life. The Asuras strove to seize it; they would drink it all themselves, or else they would fling the Amrit where the serpent&apos;s venom was dripping on the rocks. Almost they overpowered the Gods in their efforts to seize the Amrit. Then Vishnu changed himself into a ravishing form; he seemed to be the loveliest of the nymphs of Heaven. The Asuras went towards where the seeming nymph postured for them. Even then they fought amongst each other. And the Gods took the cup, and, sharing it, they drank of the Amrit.And now they were filled with such vigour that the Asuras could not overpower them. Many they drove down into hell where they became the Daityas or Demons. That was the beginning of the wars between the Gods and the Daityas--the wars that went on for ages.The Gods were triumphant and the three worlds became filled with radiance and power. Indra, king of the Gods, seated upon his throne, made a hymn in praise of Shrī. She granted him his wish, which was that she should never abandon the Gods.And so they lived upon that most holy mountain which is round like a ball and all made of gold. The birds there have golden feathers. Indra stays there. The steed which he gained at the Churning of the Ocean grazes near him. Beside him is his thunderbolt winged with a thousand plumes: Tvastir made it for him from the bones of the seer Dadhica: it is hundred-jointed, thousand-pointed. With the thunderbolt is his spear and his conch. Vishnu is near. But he broods upon the waters, resting upon a serpent, and Shrī, his bride, is beside him and over him the bird Garuda hovers. Shiva dwells in a lovely wood that is filled with flowers. Near him is the spear with which he will destroy the worlds at the end of an age. And beside him is his bow, his battle-axe, and his trident. Once, in jest, his wife Umā covered Shiva&apos;s eyes with her hands. Then was the world plunged into darkness, men trembled with fear, and all that lived came near to extinction. But to save the world a third eye appeared in Shiva&apos;s forehead: when it blazed forth the darkness vanished, men ceased to tremble, and power once more pervaded the worlds. And always Shiva&apos;s throat will be blue from the bitterness of the venom that he drank when he saved creation. Above the most holy mountain is the golden palace of the Lord of All-Brahma--a palace that is built on nothing that is substantial.
  • The Asuras were older than their half-brothers the Gods. They acquired great possessions in the three worlds, but because they did not sacrifice to each other, because they did not visit holy places, they did not acquire great powers within themselves. But the Gods who did not have great possessions went on making sacrifices, went on dealing truthfully with each other, went on visiting holy places until they had greater and greater powers within themselves.The Gods and the Asuras knew that they could gain the Amrit, the Water of Life, if they churned up one of the seven oceans that, ring beyond ring, encircles the worlds. They came down to the Ocean of Milk. They took the Mountain Mandara for a churning-pole and the hundred-headed serpent Vāsuki for a churning-rope. They wound the serpent around the mountain, and pulling it this way and that way they splashed and dashed the, Ocean up and down and to and fro. And the Ocean of Milk frothed and bubbled as they churned.For a thousand years the Gods and the Asuras churned the Ocean of Milk. All that time Vāsuki, the serpent, from his hundred heads spat venom. The venom bit into the rocks and broke them up; it flowed down, destroying the worlds of Gods and men. Then all creation would have been destroyed in that flood of venom if it had not been for the act of one of the Gods.Shiva took up the venom in a cup and drank it. His throat became blue with that draught of bitterness. But by his act, the Gods won to more powers than the Asuras had.Still they churned. Then out of the Ocean of Milk came the wish-bestowing cow, Surabhi. Gods and Asuras rejoiced at the prosperity that came with her. Then appeared the Apsarases, the heavenly nymphs, and the Gods and the Asuras sported with them. The moon was churned up, and Shiva took it and set it upon his forehead.But now the Asuras wearied in their toil, and more and more they sported with the Apsarases. The Gods, their powers increased through Shiva&apos;s deed, laboured at the churning, and the whole Ocean of Milk foamed and bubbled. Then was churned up the gem of gems, Kaustubha, and then white Uccaibhsravas, the best of steeds.Now the Gods grew in strength as they laboured, and they laboured as they grew in strength, while the Asuras abandoned themselves more and more to pleasures, and they fought amongst themselves on account of the pleasures that all of them sought. And then, seated on a lotus and holding a lotus in her hand, a lovely Goddess appeared. She went to Vishnu; she cast herself on the breast of the God, and, reclining there, she delighted the Gods with the glances she bestowed on them. All knew her for Shrī, the Goddess of Good Fortune. And the Asuras, in despair because Good Fortune had gone to the side of the Gods, stood around, determined to seize by force the next good thing that came out of the churning.And then, behold! there appeared the sage Dhanvantari, and in his hands was the cup that held the Amrit, the Water of Life. The Asuras strove to seize it; they would drink it all themselves, or else they would fling the Amrit where the serpent&apos;s venom was dripping on the rocks. Almost they overpowered the Gods in their efforts to seize the Amrit. Then Vishnu changed himself into a ravishing form; he seemed to be the loveliest of the nymphs of Heaven. The Asuras went towards where the seeming nymph postured for them. Even then they fought amongst each other. And the Gods took the cup, and, sharing it, they drank of the Amrit.And now they were filled with such vigour that the Asuras could not overpower them. Many they drove down into hell where they became the Daityas or Demons. That was the beginning of the wars between the Gods and the Daityas--the wars that went on for ages.The Gods were triumphant and the three worlds became filled with radiance and power. Indra, king of the Gods, seated upon his throne, made a hymn in praise of Shrī. She granted him his wish, which was that she should never abandon the Gods.And so they lived upon that most holy mountain which is round like a ball and all made of gold. The birds there have golden feathers. Indra stays there. The steed which he gained at the Churning of the Ocean grazes near him. Beside him is his thunderbolt winged with a thousand plumes: Tvastir made it for him from the bones of the seer Dadhica: it is hundred-jointed, thousand-pointed. With the thunderbolt is his spear and his conch. Vishnu is near. But he broods upon the waters, resting upon a serpent, and Shrī, his bride, is beside him and over him the bird Garuda hovers. Shiva dwells in a lovely wood that is filled with flowers. Near him is the spear with which he will destroy the worlds at the end of an age. And beside him is his bow, his battle-axe, and his trident. Once, in jest, his wife Umā covered Shiva&apos;s eyes with her hands. Then was the world plunged into darkness, men trembled with fear, and all that lived came near to extinction. But to save the world a third eye appeared in Shiva&apos;s forehead: when it blazed forth the darkness vanished, men ceased to tremble, and power once more pervaded the worlds. And always Shiva&apos;s throat will be blue from the bitterness of the venom that he drank when he saved creation. Above the most holy mountain is the golden palace of the Lord of All-Brahma--a palace that is built on nothing that is substantial.
  • These paths are seen as providing suitable spiritualities for persons of different temperaments or proclivities. Ritual action, fire sacrifice Philosophical scripture: Upanishads Love, heartfelt devotion to the god of your choosing. (most popular). Elite traditions of ascetics, or sadhus. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of TM
  • Hum40-Podcast-F11-W5-Hinduism

    1. 1. One and Many: The Unifying Multiplicity of “Hindu” Traditions
    2. 2. . World Distribution of Hinduism
    3. 3. <ul><li>Vast Library </li></ul>University of California at Berkeley: Books on “Hindu Traditions,” Doe Library (2010)
    4. 4. What images and ideas do you associate with India? Hinduism? “ India” and “Hinduism”
    5. 5. “ Hindu” and “Hinduism” are words of Persian origin from the twelfth century C.E .; thus, they are not native to India. “ Hinduism”
    6. 6. This concept suggests a uniformity that does not apply to the reality it names. “ Hinduism”
    7. 7. The phrase that more closely approximates what Westerners call Hinduism is sanatana dharma , which may be translated as “eternal religion.” “ Hinduism”
    8. 8. It structures and influences every aspect of Hindu life, including arts, music, medicine, and the like , which may explain the lack of a specific self-referential term. “ Hinduism”
    9. 9. India is often seen as exotic, rich, and different , a land of deep spirituality and mysticism. “ India”
    10. 10. India is a land of great diversity and extremes, socially, religiously, economically, and geographically — “ India”
    11. 11. India has more than 1 billion people , deriving from a host of racial and ethnic stocks and speaking 16 major languages and hundreds of dialects for an estimated 850 languages in daily use. “ India”
    12. 12. India is also one of the most religiously pluralistic of all places in the world. “ India”
    13. 13. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Jews, Parsis “ India”
    14. 14. Insider/Outsider Problem
    15. 15. Hinduism is the world’s oldest living religious tradition with roots deep in the early cultures of India. “ Hinduism”
    16. 16. The Indus Valley civilization was a highly sophisticated ancient society in North India (now Pakistan). “ Hinduism”
    17. 17. Archaeological evidence indicates that the civilization flourished between 2500–1500 B.C.E. “ Hinduism”
    18. 18. The entire civilization may have spanned as much as 1 million square kilometers , and some cities may have had populations of as many as 40,000 inhabitants. “ Hinduism”
    19. 19. Their language became “Sanskrit,” which means “well-formed,” and it became the “official” language of the Hindu tradition. “ Sanskrit”
    20. 20. A great concern with cleanliness is evidenced throughout the civilization; not only homes, but also municipalities, featured sophisticated bathing and toilet facilities. “ Hinduism”
    21. 21. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa each had a large central bath with public access, which antedate similar Roman facilities by many centuries. “ Hinduism”
    22. 22. the opposition of cleanliness and dirtiness, or more technically, purity and pollution (Mary Douglas). “ Hinduism”
    23. 23. lingam and yoni
    24. 24. <ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>Fire sacrifices and other rituals prescribed in the earliest sacred texts called the Vedas.
    25. 25. <ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>They were performed exclusively by Brahmins and promised earthly rewards, such as prosperity, health and longevity, and reproductive success.
    26. 26. <ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>The creative power of sacrifice acquired the name “Brahman.”
    27. 27. <ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>Language was believed to embody spirit.
    28. 28. <ul><li>Vedic Sacrifices </li></ul>One Vedic creation myth maintained that the universe was created out of a word— OM, the Pravnava , or most potent of mantras.
    29. 29. <ul><li>OM: The Creation of the Universe </li></ul>
    30. 30. <ul><li>OM: The Creation of the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>(RECITE NINE TIMES) </li></ul><ul><li>Vedic chant: Rig Veda. 3.62.10 “Gayatri Mantra” in Sanskrit (Track 21: Guy Beck). </li></ul><ul><li>Om Bhur B-hu-vah-a-Svah-a </li></ul><ul><li>Tat sa-vi-tur varen-yam </li></ul><ul><li>Bh-argo deva-sya dhi-ma-hi </li></ul><ul><li>Dhi-yo yo nah-a-pra-cho-da-yat </li></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>OM: The Creation of the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>Vedic chant: Rig Veda. 3.62.10 “Gayatri Mantra” in Sanskrit. </li></ul><ul><li>Om! Earth, Sky, Heaven. </li></ul><ul><li>We meditate on the brilliant light of the Sun. </li></ul><ul><li>May it illuminate our minds. </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>Chant: Bhagavad Gita 18.65-66. in Sanskrit (Track 23: Guy Beck). </li></ul><ul><li>man-mana bhava mad-bhakto </li></ul><ul><li>mad-yaji mam namaskuru </li></ul><ul><li>mam ev’aishyasi satyam te </li></ul><ul><li>pratijane priyo ‘si me </li></ul><ul><li>Sarva-dharman parityajya </li></ul><ul><li>Mam ekam saranam vraja </li></ul><ul><li>Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo </li></ul><ul><li>Mokshayishyami ma sucha </li></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><li>Chant: Bhagavad Gita 18.65-66. in Sanskrit (Track 23: Guy Beck). </li></ul><ul><li>Think of me, love me, and worship Me. </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice and offer submission to Me: </li></ul><ul><li>Thus you will come to me; </li></ul><ul><li>I promise you in truth, for you are very dear to me. </li></ul><ul><li>Renounce all types of religious duties and </li></ul><ul><li>Simply surrender to Me. </li></ul><ul><li>You will thus achieve liberation from all sins. </li></ul><ul><li>Of this there is no doubt. </li></ul>
    34. 34. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul><ul><li>samsara </li></ul><ul><li>moksha </li></ul><ul><li>Karma </li></ul><ul><li>atman </li></ul><ul><li>Brahman </li></ul>
    35. 35. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>karma : action and its consequences
    36. 36. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>karma : Good karma counts toward a favorable rebirth in which one improves his or her station in the next life.
    37. 37. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>karma : Bad karma counts toward an unfavorable rebirth in which one lowers his or her station in the next life.
    38. 38. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>samsara : literally means “wandering on” or flowing by”
    39. 39. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>samsara : the fundamental problem of life—the realm of suffering, sorrow, and ennui.
    40. 40. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>samsara : refers to the vicious cycle of life, death, and rebirth
    41. 41. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>moksha : meaning “release” or “liberation from” samsara, which all persons must eventually achieve
    42. 42. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>atman : literally means “self” or “soul”
    43. 43. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>atman : the divine essence of a human being
    44. 44. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>Brahman : A concept reworked from the Vedas, Brahman literally means “that which makes great.”
    45. 45. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>Brahman : the power of all powers, the deepest reality of the cosmos
    46. 46. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>BELIEF: Brahman and atman are one and the same . The Story of Uddalaka
    47. 47. <ul><li>Doctrinal or Philosophical </li></ul>moksha : meaning “release” or “liberation from” samsara, which all persons must eventually achieve
    48. 48. <ul><li>Four Aims in Life </li></ul><ul><li>First is the good of dharma , or duty. </li></ul><ul><li>The second is the good of artha , or wealth and material acquisition. </li></ul><ul><li>The third is the good of kama , or pleasure and enjoyment of the sense </li></ul><ul><li>4. Moksha is the fourth and highest good. </li></ul>
    49. 49. <ul><li>Trimurti (“The Three Paths”) </li></ul><ul><li>karma-marga , or the way of action </li></ul><ul><li>jñana-marga , or the way of wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>bhakti-marga , the way of devotion </li></ul>
    50. 50. <ul><li>Ethical or Legal </li></ul><ul><li>sruti (that which is heard) </li></ul><ul><li>smrti (that which is remembered) </li></ul>
    51. 51. <ul><li>Ritual or Practical </li></ul>
    52. 52. Maha Kumbh Mela
    53. 53. Maha Kumbh Mela (2001)
    54. 54. Maha Kumbh Mela
    55. 55. Maha Kumbh Mela The Khumb Mela of 2001 is believed to be the largest congregation of humanity in history. Some 30 million pilgrims visited this Hindu festival between the 9th of January and 21st of February.
    56. 56. Maha Kumbh Mela Pilgrims from all over India mass to bath where the three holy rivers cross: Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible, mythological river of Saraswati . The holy confluence of the three rivers is called Sangam.
    57. 57. Maha Kumbh Mela (2001)
    58. 58. Maha Kumbh Mela The Hindu belief is that gods and demons once fought a battle for a khumb (pitcher) containing the nectar of immortality.
    59. 59. Maha Kumbh Mela A huge mela (fair) is held every 12 years at these holy places.
    60. 60. Maha Kumbh Mela Four drops were spilled at four towns along the Ganges: Allahabad (Prayag),* Hardiwar, Nasik, and Ujjain. *largest fair of all
    61. 61. Mythical Background
    62. 62. The Churning of the Ocean
    63. 63. The Churning of the Ocean
    64. 64. The Ganges River: Sacred Site
    65. 65. The Ganges River: Sacred Site
    66. 66. The Ganges River: Sacred Site
    67. 67. Who’s that on top of Shiva’s head?
    68. 68. Who’s that on top of Shiva’s head?
    69. 69. Who’s that on top of Shiva’s head?
    70. 70. Ganga: The River Goddess
    71. 71. The Descent of Ganga
    72. 72. “Bhagiratha's Penace” Relief at Mahabalipuram
    73. 73. Ganga: The River Goddess
    74. 74. Ganga: The River Goddess Shiva Bearing the Descent of the Ganges River as Parvati and Bhagiratha, and the bull Nandi look, folio from a Hindi manuscript by the saint Narayan, circa 1740
    75. 75. The Sacred Geography of Ganga http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGeU350SkRc
    76. 76. <ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><li>If you had to see your life in these Hinduist terms, how would you do so (samsara, moksha, karma, maya, dharma, kama, etc.)? </li></ul><ul><li>Which “paths” do you identify with the most (action, wisdom, devotion)? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Which forms of Hinduist belief do you disagree with? Why? </li></ul>

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