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Lecture 8: Part 1

This week« 

Hindu Practice (Part 1) 

What is Dharma?, What is Ashrama, Varna/Jati ? Ashrama, Varna/Jati What is Hindu soteriology? soteriology? 

Hinduism in context (Part 2)

can be seen as ³duty´. But it also involves:  Playing one¶s personal and social role according the principles of the divine. . and according to the relationship between Atman and Brahman.Practice: Dharma  Dharma.

But is not merely about following certain commandments and precepts. For example. it conditions people¶s perception of social relations and class. It could also condition perceptions of violence. We shall see examples of this in the next part of the lecture .Practice: Dharma  Often this is understood as one¶s µreligious duty¶. Dharma also conditions certain ways of perceiving the world.

Practice  Samsara: Samsara: cycles of rebirth  Unlike the Ambrahamanic faiths. . Rather. one¶s earthly existence does not merely cease upon death. one¶s essence transcends the expiration of the physical body such that conscisuoness is transferred to another form.

Practice: Dharma  Karma: one reaps what one sows in the next life  Samsara is affected by the ways in which one lives one¶s life. . If one has been righteous and virtuous in fulfillment of one¶s Dharma. one can expect to gain favourable conditions in the next cycle of rebirth.

Practice: Dharma  Moksha: the final. The ultimate goal is a release from rebirth. as described in the Upanishads. . The final ultimate goal is when Atman and Brahman are united. ultimate goal or release Moksha:  That is not to say that humans are just engaged in endless cycles of rebirth.

one lifetime. How? Follow one¶s Dharma. as Brahman infuses and transcends all things.Practice: Hindu soteriology      What: Moksha. observe the responsibilities of one¶s caste When? Cyclic states of samsara. Unity of Atman and Brahman Moksha. practices acts of sacrifice and yoga. Everywhere. but is also reunited with Brahman in a state of Moksha . more than samsara. Where? Not a place. but a state. Who? Atman as ³I´ transcends cycles of rebirth.

   In the next section on the Bhagavad Gita. Gita. reflect on these two questions: How is one to fulfill one¶s dharma? Is µdivine intervention¶ necessary? .

who is torn between Arjuna. the Deity Gita. for battle in this case is consistent with one¶s Dharma. Krishna counsels Prince Arjuna.Bhagavad Gita   In this scene from the Bhagavad . spiritual duty«Why does Arjuna eventually agree to go to battle? WATCH: http://www. going to battle against his Krishna reminds Arjuna that he must detach himself from the consequences of battle.

manifested in outward form. Both of them involve the regulation and maintenance of inner states of consciousness. and is a fundamental element in piety.Bhagavad Gita  After having seen the clip. compare Dharma with Jihad  Both of these describe one¶s religious duty. Can you think of how they might be different? .

military action is justified Gita. Think back to our lecture on Islam. What is important is that one must detach oneself from the consequences of one¶s actions. What is the rationale for violence in Jihad? What are the conditions under which violence is permissible? What are the rewards for violence? What kind of internal subjectivity must one have to engage in violence? . by Dharma.Bhagavad Gita  Religion as a rationale for violence   In the Bhagavad Gita.

132)  Humans go through different stages in life. They are:  Celibate student. retiree dwelling in the forest. p.. wandering renunciant .Practice: Caste and Society  Ashrama: Ashrama: Life Stages (there are 4) (Patterns. married householder.

Dalits. shudra (laborers and peasants) Untouchables. are not a caste per se. WE shall examine Dalits in the second part of the lecture . or Dalits. and they must not intermingle with the other castes for the sake of maintaining purity. kshatriya (rulers and warriors). They exist outside of the caste system.Practice: Caste and Society  Varna/Jati: Varna/Jati: Life Status (there are also 4)   Brahmana (priests and scholars). vaishya (merchants and artisans).

Caste and Society  Why is the observance of one¶s caste important? Your textbook suggests a rationale for caste (see next slide): .

not through the advancement of individuals but through the harmonious relations of groups.Caste and Society  ³If all social groups fulfill their role. then all of society will find harmony and stability. caste is not so much hierarchial privilege as it is a heightened responsibility within a particular social group´ (Patterns 146) . In this case.

caste is not about hierarchy. and discuss this. but about each social grouping having particular roles and duties to fill for the maintenance of social harmony.Caste and Society  According to the previous passage. I¶m Dalit´ in the Dalit´ second part of the lecture. Watch the film called ³Hello. .

Hinduism Lecture 8: Part 2 .

For this part of the lecture«  Contextualise Hinduism in relation to µmodern¶ life: Technology and Love   Yoga Arranged marriage  Contextualise Hinduism in relation to issues of social class .youtube.

health/fitness? How did yoga become devoid of its religious significations?  http://www. such as social interaction. There are four primary types. Is yoga a religious activity from the perspective of yuppies (Young Urban Professionals)? Or is it more about other http://www. Jnana.pureyoga. . Wars   Yoga is program of discipline and liberation. Karma. P. Raja (Patterns. 132) Bhakti..

both with and without the complicity of the man and woman themselves: How are Hindus supposed to love?  http://www.hindu-singles. these marriages are arranged via online. http://www. which is not uncommon among Hindus.Marriage    Patterns P.hindu- . 147 Think about the concept of µfalling in love¶ in the context of an arranged marriage.

Caste and Society  ³If all social groups fulfill their role. caste is not so much hierarchial privilege as it is a heightened responsibility within a particular social group´ (Patterns 146) . then all of society will find harmony and stability. In this case. not through the advancement of individuals but through the harmonious relations of groups.

com/watch?v=WBxy1R0j itM Think about caste in terms of modern day notions of class. equality and social relations. I¶m dalit    http://www. Remember how we asked whether democracy was compatible with Islam? This we ask is Human Rights compatible with Caste? . human rights.