Some Lecture Notes and Key Hindu Terms

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  1. - Wayang - shadow puppet play - seeing beyond the veil of Maya

  2. - "It is obtuse to confuse Hinduism's images with idolatry, and their multiplicity with polytheism."  (Smith p. 29)

  3. - Brahman - Godhead; the Infinite and Ultimate Divinity in all phenomena; inclusive of the trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu -  the Trimurti
    - Brahma - the Creator
    Vishnu - the Preserver
    - Lakshmi - consort of Vishnu; goddess of good fortune and wealth
    - Rama - one of Vishnu's earthly incarnations (one of ten avatars of Vishnu)
    - Krishna - one of Vishnu's earthly incarnations (one of ten avatars of Vishnu)
    - Shiva - the Destroyer
    - Kali - one of Devi's incarnations; consort of Shiva; mother of all other Gods
    - Kamadeva - god of love and the Apsaras
    - Ganesha - step-son of Shiva, elephant-headed god of wisdom and business success
    - Hanuman -  god of strength, humility and loyalty

    - Charvaka School of Hinduism - Founded by Brihaspati around 600
    BCE.   A atheistic form of Hinduism, dying out sometime after 1400 CEAs a religious following, Carvaka dies out after 1400 CE.

  4. - Expressions of devotion:

    - tirtha - a crossing place, a ford" - a scared place

    - tirthayatra - "journey to a ford" - a pilgrimage

    • Example of Varanasi - (Benares, City of Light, City of Shiva, City of Dead)

    • darshan - seeing and experiencing - "sacred sight seeing" - goal is journey itself

    • ritual activities include: bathing, ritual offerings and prayer  (puja), and repeating of God's name (japam), and cremation



  •  Story of Goat-Tiger