Monday, March 30, 2009

India lecture notes

Some History:

Major influential invasions-

Aryan 1500 BC

-Brought sanskrit language

-Brought Vedas (hindu scripture)

-Caste System

3 major Islamic Invasions: only the last held influence

-1st-Arabs 8th century

-2nd-Turks, Afghans, Persians 13th century

-3rd-Moguls 16th century- actually succeeded, Taj Mahal was built

by a Mogul



-enfolds other religions (believes Christ and Buddha were avatars* of vishnu)

*avatars are reincarnations of Gods


-3 Major Gods: Brahma(creator), Shiva (destroyer: like summer to fall),

Vishnu (the preserver like spring from winter)

-3 Popular Gods: Krishna (blue), Parvati (mother goddess {name of character in

Harry Potter}), Ganesh (elephant god)

-Varna or Caste System {5 levels}


-Brahman-priestly, intellectuals (highest)





-Cycle of death and rebirth=samsara

-Getting reborn into different caste (after living only one caste in

per life) is based on the total Karma collected in the proceeding life

- Moksha/Mukti- "release" liberation from the cycle, when one has

reached the highest level, reunite with Brahman

{Painting of Krishna, is NOT believed to have multiple arms they just

represent different personality traits}

Hindu Temple

3 major tiers representing different levels of glory

-1st is decorated with human and carnal figures representing the level

of the natural man (can be painted and brightly colored)

-2nd- less carvings of figures and what carvings there are of Gods (?)

-3rd is decorated with only geometric tessellation as they are considered

the purest form of art, no figures to make into idols, {same reasoning as

Islam's for using only tessellation and calligraphy in their art}


-Monotheistic-one god Allah

-Everyone is equal as they submit to Allah

-Started by Mohammed

-believed to be the last great profit in the line of Adam, Noah, Abraham

-Orphaned at a young age, raised by family

-As a young man help resolve a major issue of the black rock stollen

from mecca, each leader from all the different tribes in the area

wanted to be the ones that brought back the rock, source of

contention, Mohammed's solution was to carry back the rock on a

cloak which was lifted by each leader at a corner.

-Then started to become influential religious leader

-Last part of his life became a war lord conquering and creating the

-After Mohammed died Islam population divided

-Sunni- believe that the rule of the religion follows with whom the

latest prophet designates ( much like LDS take on presidency of the

church after Joseph Smith died) make up 90% of islam population

-Shi 'ite- believes that the religion should be ruled only by descendants

of Mohammed (Much like RLDS take on who should be president

of the church after JS died) Make up 10% of population

-Religious Scripture

-Qur'an/Koran- passages written down in poetic form of what

Mohamad said, Mohammed did not write it, Official cannon,

moral guidance and legal instruction

-Sunnah- "way and manners of the prophet", official cannon

-Hadith- not official cannon, actual content disputed and changing

-The 5 pillars of the faith

-Shahadah- creed, excepting Allah as god, testifying of Mohammed

-Salah- Prayer, 5 times a day, facing mecca,

-Zakat- alms -giving

-Sawm- fasting during month of Ramadan (only eating when it is dark)

-Hajj- pilgramage to mecca, must walk around the Kaaba (black cube

housing the black rock) 7 times

**only a minority of conservative sunni population believes Jihad to

be a sixth piller of Islam

-Jihad- "to struggle" defined as "exerting one's utmost efforts

to contend with an object of disapprobation" definitions of

such "objects" differ whether it be aspects of ones own self or

a visible enemy. This difference is important when discussing

the motivations of groups such as al-Qaeda.

{Love the motion blur of the groups circling the Kaaba}


-Started by Siddhartha Gautama- Hindu prince in Nepal saddened by

the poverty he was seeing set out to find a way to reach enlightenment

without having to go through all the castes

-Buddhism caught on very fast as it taught that everyone could reach


-Traveled to China where it caught on fast but didn't last long due to

overpowering governments (hmmmm, I wonder if there is any connedtion

to there being 5 stories on buddist pagodas and there being 5 castes in

the Hindu religion....arent they both showing how many levels there are

in the progression to enlightenment?) (If any of you know for sure there

really is a connection, please post about it)


(Kitch has by now taken back her lecture notes so I cant refer to them

so I will outline what I remember but Ill try to get her to edit this post

and fill in some blanks)

Hindustani: India's classical music

Qawwali:known for its highly ornamental singing, use of harmonioum

Filmi: Baliwood musicals. Usually very escapest and unrealistically

happy. Huge productions of singing and dancing. Kissing and

romantic gestures usually not allowed and considered

offensive (reason why Richard Gear got all that flack for

kissing the indian actress that presented his award), but

suggestive dance moves make up for some of that lost sex appeal.

Other Facts:

Bindis and other forehead marks-

-Bindis- Mark usually red placed on the 6th chakra (seat of wisdom)

stared out being a mark worn by married woman only, color red

chosen for being auspicious and believed to bring fortune

-Marks that are associated with caste

Henna- paste painted on the skin in intricate designs, traditionally
for weddings, believed that beauty brings fortune, some brides
henna decoration can be so intricate and need so many re-applications
that it can take up to 4 days to be ready for the event, grooms will get
henna as well

Notice traditional saris are always draped over the left shoulder.

As you may have noticed, I started loosing my
steam towards the end of this post. If any of you have
any more information or interesting facts please feel 
free to post them.

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