India Quiz 3

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  1. Darsan
    auspicious seeing

    a. The prominent role of the eyes in apprehending the sacred – must make eye contact with the image

    b. Iconic and aniconic images

    c. is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight”

    d. One could "receive darshana" of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru.

    e. By doing darshan properly a devotee develops affection for God, and God develops affection for that devotee

    f. Touching the feet is a way of showing respect and is an integral part of Darshan

    g. Not simply a matter of viewing the deity in the temple, but to one who is spiritually realized it is a matter of experiencing the deity and entering into a personal, reciprocal exchange with the Supreme Personality in the form of a Deity

    h. When the devotee views the deity with all pure feelings and adoration, the deity is also believed to gaze at the devotee. Then there is a spiritual exchange wherein the god begins to reveal his personality to the devotee.
  2. Murti:
    • iconic images of the gods
    • a. an image which expresses a Divine Spirit
    • b. The Divine might actually descend into the image as a gift to humanity and the faithful
    • c. Embodiment of the deity: from formlessness to form
    • d. murti is defined in Sanskrit as “anything which has definite shape and limits; a form, body, figure; an embodiment, incarnation, or manifestation
    • e. murti is considered to be more than a mere likeness of a deity, but rather a manifestation of the deity itself
  3. Puja:
    • rites of worship and honor
    • a. Divine-human reciprocity
    • b. Worshipers bring offerings to the gods, which are offered to the gods, who take what they want of the offering, and it is returned to the worshiper.
    • c. Although traditionally in Hinduism food is polluted if eaten of by another (except in very intimate relationships) the food returned to the worshiper that the god has partaken of is blessed
    • d. Puja is modeled on the idea of giving a gift or offering to a deity or important person and receiving their blessing
    • e. The two main areas where puja is performed is in the home and at public temples. There are many variations in scale, offering, and ceremony
  4. Aniconic:
    · symbolic or suggestive rather than literally representational
  5. iconic:
    literally representational
  6. Prasad
    • offerings of food
    • Food (or other gift) that is first offered to the diety or saint, then, having the deity’s blessing residing in it, is redistributed to the worshipers.
    • Some temples offer Prasad meal to all who come to the temple.
  7. Who/what gives darsan and who receives it?

    One could "receive darshana" of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru.
    The god takes form by entering into the icon, and performs darsan on pure worshipers
    • One could "receive darshana" of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru.
    • The god takes form by entering into the icon, and performs darsan on pure worshipers
  8. Describe the theology of “embodiment” in the murti.
    • a. The Divine might actually descend into the image as a gift to humanity and the faithful
    • b. Embodiment of the deity: from formlessness to form
    • c. murti is defined in Sanskrit as “anything which has definite shape and limits; a form, body, figure; an embodiment, incarnation, or manifestation
    • d. murti is considered to be more than a mere likeness of a deity, but rather a manifestation of the deity itself
  9. Mandir:
    • a. Hindu Temple
    • b. A characteristic of most temples is the presence of murtis (images) of the Hindu deity to whom the temple is dedicated, and other subordinate deities associated with the main deity. However, some temples are dedicated to several deities, and others are dedicated to murtis in an aniconic form.
    • c. Many temples are located in key geographical points, such as a hill top, near waterfalls, caves and rivers, because some "the gods always play where groves are near rivers, mountains, and springs
  10. Murti:
    depictions of the deities in a temple
  11. Circumabulation :
    • a) devotees to go around the temple in clock wise fashion circumambulation as a mark of respect.
    • b) temple structure reflects the symbolism of the Hindu association of the spiritual transition from daily life to spiritual perfection as a journey through stages.
    • c) Ambulatory passageways for circumambulation are present through which worshipers move in a clockwise direction, starting at the sanctuary doorway and moving inward toward the inner sanctum where the deity is enshrined.
    • This is a translation of the spiritual concept of transition through levels in life into bodily movements by the worshipers as they move inwardly through ambulatory halls to the most sacred centre of spiritual energy of the deity
  12. Mandapas:
    Series of higher porches on a temple (northern?)
  13. Shikhara
    – highest spire of the temple. Also means mountain peak. Culminates in sun disk
  14. Amalaka:
    Sun disk. Symbol of the celestial world. Crowing ring stone at the top of the sikara
  15. Northern Temple (9)
    • a. Nagara style
    • b. The tower is beehive shaped
    • c. Exterior teaming with intricately carved ornamentation and bas relief figures
    • d. Interior sanctum is dark and windowless
    • e. Said to be the architectural likeness of a mountain
    • f. Exterior is a series of successively higher porches (mandapas)
    • g. Highest peak (Sikara) is directly over the inner sanctum
    • h. Top is the amalaka, sun disk, symbol of celestial world
    • i. Circumambulting the murti : devotees to go around the temple in clock wise fashion circumambulation as a mark of respect.
  16. Nagara style (9)
    • a. Northern style
    • b. The tower is beehive shaped
    • c. Exterior teaming with intricately carved ornamentation and bas relief figures
    • d. Interior sanctum is dark and windowless
    • e. Said to be the architectural likeness of a mountain
    • f. Exterior is a series of successively higher porches (mandapas)
    • g. Highest peak (Sikara) is directly over the inner sanctum
    • h. Top is the amalaka, sun disk, symbol of celestial world
    • i. Circumambulting the murti : devotees to go around the temple in clock wise fashion circumambulation as a mark of respect.
  17. Dravidian style
    • Southern style
    • The tower consists of progressively smaller stories of pavilions.
    • They consist primarily of pyramid shaped temples which are dependent on intricate carved stone in order to create a step design consisting of many statues of deities, warriors, kings, and dancers.
  18. Southern Indian Temples
    • Dravidian style
    • The tower consists of progressively smaller stories of pavilions.
    • Pyramid shaped temples which are dependent on intricate carved stone in order to create a step design consisting of many statues of deities, warriors, kings, and dancers.
  19. Garbha Griha
    • Inner sanctum or "womb chamber"
    • Directly below the sankara innermost sanctum of a Hindu temple where resides the murti (idol or icon) of the primary deity of the temple
  20. Tirtha
    • means 'ford' or 'crossing place'
    • Common term for a place of pilgrimage, often on the banks of sacred streams of water.
    • As pilgrimage places they are also symbolic and spiritual fords, where one may cross the flood of samsara.
    • The far sore has become the predominant Indian image of the final spiritual destination, so the “crossing place has become a important image of the means of getting there.
  21. Divine Axis
    • The divine axis is the axis along which the divine descends to earth in order to be present to human beings.
    • The highest spire of the nagara style temple is an example
  22. What are the differences between the northern and southern temple styles?
    • North in Nagara style. South is Dravidian Style.
    • Towers: northern are beehived shaped, southern towers consist of progressively smaller stories of pavilions.
    • Southern temples tend to be more elaborate, and hold more elaborate rituals, possibly because the north came under frequent attack by Muslims during the time of temple development (500 CE for Nagara, 700 CE for Dravidian)
  23. Describe the main components of a temple (7)
    • an entrance, often with a porch;
    • one or more attached or detached mandapas or halls;
    • the inner sanctum called the garbagriha, literally ‘womb chamber’;
    • and the tower build directly above the garbagriha.
    • Movement towards the sanctuary, along the east-west axis and through a series of increasingly sacred spaces is of great importance and is reflected in the architecture.
    • Icon of temple’s diety in chamberIntricately carved images on exterior of temple.
  24. How are temples constructed? (9)
    • The construction and consecration of a temple is very much like the shaping and consecration of an image
    • The ground is chosen on the basis of its auspicious situation.
    • Local genii loci are invited to leave and go live elsewhere (demons, gods, spirits)
    • At the end of the construction process the eyes of the temple are openend by the master architect and the priestly architect. They ascend to the top of the temple in the middle of the night and pierce open the yes of the temple with a golden needle
    • In building a temple, theunivers in microcosm is reconstructed.
    • The divine ground plan on which the temple is based is called the vastu-purusa mandala
    • At the center of the temple is the sanctum where the image will be installed.
    • Follows careful canon of building and is a ritual activity.
    • The principal shrine should face the rising sun and so should have its entrance to the east.
  25. Avatara
    • Means "descent” is a deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth, mostly translated into English as "incarnation", but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation
    • The term is most often associated with Vishnu, though it has also come to be associated with other deities
    • The ten best known avatars of Vishnu are collectively known as the Dasavatara
  26. Dasavatara
    The ten best known avatars of Vishnu.
  27. The ten best known avatars of Vishnu.
    Dasavatara
  28. Visnu (5)
    • Visnu is ‘he who enters’ or pervades the universe.
    • benevolent, solar deity, often coupled with warrior god Indra
    • Visnu has, traditionally, 10 avatara, or “descent forms” including Krishna and Rama
    • Each story of the avataras of Visnu describes Visnu as taking a particular form to come down to earth and save all from evil.
    • the creator and destroyer of all existence
    • The blue color indicates his all-pervasive nature, blue being the color of the infinite space as well as the infinite ocean on which he resides.
  29. Name three of the ten avatara of Visnu and summarize the story of each

    Rama – the prince who was banished from his kingdom for 14 years. Wife Sita and brother Laxmana went with him. Sita was abducted by the demon king Ravana. Rescued by Rama and his armies but later tested for her fidelity.
    Krishna: They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being. The child version of Krishna is a model for worshipers to express the love of a parent. The youth is considered extremely beautiful.
    Vamana, the dwarf-avatar, who subdued the king Maha Bali. Story can be found in the Vamana Purana.
    • Rama – the prince who was banished from his kingdom for 14 years. Wife Sita and brother Laxmana went with him. Sita was abducted by the demon king Ravana. Rescued by Rama and his armies but later tested for her fidelity.
    • Krishna: They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being. The child version of Krishna is a model for worshipers to express the love of a parent. The youth is considered extremely beautiful.
    • Vamana, the dwarf-avatar, who subdued the king Maha Bali.
  30. Rama
    – the prince who was banished from his kingdom for 14 years. Wife Sita and brother Laxmana went with him. Sita was abducted by the demon king Ravana. Rescued by Rama and his armies but later tested for her fidelity. .
  31. Krishna:
    They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being. The child version of Krishna is a model for worshipers to express the love of a parent. The youth is considered extremely beautiful.
  32. Vamana
    the dwarf-avatar, who subdued the king Maha Bali. Story can be found in the Vamana Purana
  33. Sivling:
    • Representation of Shiva – phallice
    • Combination of phallice and yoni Center of divine energy, creativity, power
    • Some say image represents the state of god, just before the manifestation of Universe
  34. Ganesha
    • god with an elephant head.
    • Son of Siva and Parvati
    • One story: Was put in charge of watching the door when Nataraja was bathing. Wouldn’t let Shiva in, who cut his head off. Nataraja made Shiva get him a head, and the closest was an elephant head. Remover of Obstacles
  35. Nataraja (15)
    • a. literally means “Lord/King of Dance”
    • b. Lord Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer representing the rhythmic movement of the entire cosmos
    • c. Usually made of 5 metals: copper, bronze, zinc/lead, gold, silver
    • d. Secondary image – not usually main temple image
    • e. Destroys then creates – cyclical
    • f. Creation drum, fire destroys
    • g. Fire ring obscures – so in awe of dance lose sight of what is important
    • h. Arm is an allusion to elephant – might be about his son
    • i. He is crushing the demon of ignorance
    • j. Base is flowered – lotus flowers. Form within formlessness
    • k. Hair out – moving a lot. Shiva’s face is serene despite chaotic movement. More of the contrast of Shiva. Chaos and order
    • l. Thread is brahmans thread – more contrast renouncer/ Brahman
    • m. Skulls in hair sometimes or snakes
    • n. Upper right hand – no fear
    • o. Foot symbolizes salvation
  36. Dancing Shiva
    Nataraja
  37. Five Aspects of the Nataraja
    • A. Creation – Creation arises from the drum (damaru), link to primordial sound described in the vedas
    • B. Preservation/protection- Comes from the abhaya mudra, or no-fear gesture
    • C. Destruction – symbolized by the fire Siva holds, cleansing of universe/spirit
    • D. Refuge – Sivas raised foot, and hand pointing towards it represents salvation/refuge
    • E. Obscuration- the flaming circle (mandorla) around Siva represents the cycle of samsara and illusion
  38. Arms/Legs of Nataraja
    • 1. Upper left hand: hold either a container of fire or the fire in his hand which symbolizes destruction and cleansing of the soul/universe.
    • 2. Upper right hand: holds a drum (damaru) symbolizing creation
    • 3. Lower left hand: gajahasta, points towards foot across the body. Resembles an elephant trunk suggesting tie to Ganesh. Indicating devotee to take refuge and find salvation on his foot
    • 4. Lower right hand: Abhaya mudra, “no fear gesture” 5.
    • Left leg- Lifted up and turned towards right left, signifying refuge and liberation from the cycles of samsara
    • 6. Right leg- bent slightly and placed upon the back of Apasmara, the dwarf.
  39. How does the mythology of Shiva recapitulate the "lively tension" in Hinduism? What, if anything, does it bring to this age-old tension that is new?
    • Tension between householder and renouncer Shiva meditated until his fire burned so hot it might destroy the world.
    • Then Parvati came and seduced him, so his fire was released and the world was saved.
    • Illustrates the needed balance between householders and renouncers.
    • Shiva is pictured as both, and is the ideal of both the family man and the ascetic.
    • Traditionally in Hinduism there has been a tension between the traditional dharma as pursued by early vedic religion, and the renuncients from the Upanishad era. Shiva acknowledges the value in both.
  40. Laxmi
    • is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.
    • Wife of vishnu
    • Each time Vishnu descends on earth as an avatar, He is accompanied by an avatar of Lakshmi.
  41. Parvati
    • Wife of Shiva
    • Name means she who dwells in mountains
    • she extends Shiva's circle of activity into the realm of the householder, where his stored-up energy is released in positive ways
  42. Shakti
    • the female aspect of the divine The Goddess as “power” or “energy”
    • the core form of every Hindu Goddess
    • Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as 'The Great Divine Mother' in Hinduism.
    • On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.
  43. Shakta
    • A practitioner of shaktism
    • One of the oldest and most widespread religions in the world
    • Shaktism is a division of hindism that focuses on the worship of the divine mother, Shakti as the ultimate godhead
    • One of the most female oriented religions in history
  44. Sarasvati
    • is the goddess of knowledge, music and the arts.
    • She is the consort of Brahma.
    • considered to be the "mother of the Vedas".
    • In the Rigveda, Saraswati is a river as well as its personification as a goddess, but she began to lose her river status in post vedic times
  45. Durga
    • meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible";
    • supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having ten arms, riding a lion or a tiger, carrying weapons and a lotus flower, maintaining a meditative smile
    • exists in a state of self sufficiency
    • Durga is the warrior aspect of the Divine Mother.
    • Each of her weapons was given to her by various gods
  46. Kali
    • goddess associated with eternal energy.
    • Kali means "the black one" "the Time" or "Death" (as in time has come).
    • considered the goddess of time and change.
    • sometimes presented as dark and violent,
    • Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman.
    • She wears a necklace of heads
  47. Give examples of various goddess and how they express the positive or negative potentials of Sakti
  48. Varna
    • the categorization of the Hindu society into four castes, hypothesized by the Brahmins and their sacred texts.
    • The four varnas,
    • the Brahmins: Scholars, teachers and fire priests the
    • Kshatriyas: Kings and soldiers warriors the
    • Vaishyas: Agriculturists and merchants the
    • Shudras: Service providers and artisans
    • They are also divided into two groups, the Arya (comprising the first three classes) and the Shudra (śudrārya),[3] the Shudra generally being excluded from Vedic rituals.
  49. Jati
    • Smaller groups within a caste system.
    • Unlike Varna a jati is geographically and linguistically located
    • Classification by occupation varies from place to place - You might find agricultural jatis of all four castes
    • A jati is self governing, being responsible for the behavior of its own members
  50. Great and Little traditions
    • Differences between Indian village religion and the Sanskritic textual tradition
    • Vara vs. Jati is a reflection a two-way influence: local practices had been historically promoted into the Sanskrit and ideas and practices already contained in this canon were locally adapted
  51. How do varna and jati relate to the great and little distinction made by anthropologists
    It is possible that when the Aryans came to India the indigenous people already had something like the jati system, while the Aryans had a loosly structured three class system resembling the upper three classes. Mixed with the jati system and with a fourth class added so that the conquerers could assimilate the natives into the lowest class, the varna system emerged. The jati system is still, however primarily practiced in villages.
  52. What distinguishes one jati from another?
    • a) geographically and linguistically located
    • b) Classification by occupation varies from place to place - You might find agricultural jatis of all four castes
    • c) Characteristics of a large kin group with distinctive customs, dress, diet, and behavior
    • d) There are over two thousand jatis in India today

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