Understanding Hinduism Sanjay Sampath, M. S, M. B. A, B. S. (Chem. Engg) Location: Woodlands Hindu Temple January 24, 2010 Contact Information: krishnasown@yahoo. com Website: www. urbanhindu. com This presentation is for free distribution
Prayer oṃ saha nāvavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai tejasvināvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai oṃ śāntiḥ OM Let both of us protect each other together May both of us enjoy together May both of us work together Let our study become radiant, let there be no hatred between us OM Peace, Peace.
Learning/Discussion Goals Who is a Hindu? What are the Vedas? When were the Vedas written? What is their relevance in today’s day and age? Why are Vedas are relevant and important? How are Hindu scriptures classified? Understanding major Sampradayas in Hinduism And if time permits which it usually doesn’t…. . Importance of Hindu festivals Importance of Hinduism and India to the world Note: A side effect may be additional clarity to better understand the Katopanishad
Vedic thoughts are becoming more popular worldwide!! Yoga and Meditation “The Biology of Belief” - Dr. Bruce Lipton “Avatar” “Messages from water” by Masuru Emoto Oprah’s series with Eckhard Tolle
Vedas - Breakdown Each of the 4 Vedas is divided into these parts Part 1: Samhita Collection of mantras or hymns and prayers in praise of Deities for attaining prosperity and happiness. Mainly meant for Brahmacharis, those who are in the first stage of their lives. Part 2: Brahmana Guides people in the performance of Vedic Karmas or rituals; Brahmana is suitable for the householders, those belonging to the second stage in life.
Vedas - Breakdown Part 3: Aranyaka Methods of meditation based upon symbolical interpretations of sacrificial rites The Aranyakas are intended for the Vanaprasthas or people who prepare themselves for the last stage. Part 4: Upanishads Concluding portions which discuss philosophical issues. They are the essence of the Vedas containing their knowledge aspects. Roughly speaking, the Samhitas and Brahmanas constitute Karma Kanda, the Aranyakas the Upasana Kanda and the Upanishads the Jnana Kanda
Classification Rig Veda - Hymns whose function was to invoke the deities. Yajur Veda - Defines actions to be performed during Yagnas or sacrificial rites. Sama Veda - Collection of all the musical chants. Atharva Veda - Contains mantras to ward off evil/hardship.
Shaka is a branch of Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad
Some Vedic Terms Sookta Number of Riks or mantras constitute a Sookta Examples: Purusha Sooktam, Narayana Sooktam, Sri Sooktam etc. Sootras are aphorisms or declarations. Using minimum words to project a maximum dimension of thought. Examples: Brahma Sootra, Patanjali Yoga Sootra, Narada Bhakti Sootra, Ashtadhyayi of Panini etc. Bhashyas Because of their cryptic nature, Bhashyas or commentaries are necessary to understand Sootras. Sri. Bhashya by Ramanuja on the Bramhasutras
Rig Veda: Interesting facts “Rik” means hymns in praise This Samhita contains masterpieces of poetic compositions like the famous Purusha Sooktam and the morning prayers to Ushas, the goddess of dawn. It was said to have 21 Shakhas but now only five of them are known to exist 10, 552 mantras ‘ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti’ meaning ‘Truth is one, sage’s call it by various names’
Yajur Veda: Interesting facts Yajur Veda Samhita is in two parts viz. Krishna Yajurveda and Shukia Yaiurveda. Krishna Yajurveda - Vaishampayana. Shukla Yajurveda Samhita - Yajnavalkya from Vaajasani which means the Sun God. Only 2/17 Shakhas of this Samhita exist. ( Kanva and Madhyandina Shakhas). Sri Rudram is from the Yajur Veda. Also has its own version of Purusha Sooktha.
Sama Veda: Interesting facts The word Saama also means that which brings peace to the mind. Of 1000 shakas, only 3 are available now. The mantras of Samaveda are known as Saman. Have seven svaras or musical scales. Basis of the seven svaras Sri Krishna says in the Gita (Ch. 10 Verse 22) ‘vedaanaam saamavedosmi’ meaning ‘among the Vedas I am the Sama Veda’ Lalita Sahasranama, one of the epithets used to describe the Divine Mother is ‘Saama Gaana Priye’ meaning one who is pleased with the recital of Saman.
Atharva Veda: Interesting facts It deals more with things here and now. This Veda contains many types of mantras designed to ward off evils and hardship as also to destroy enemies. Also deals with diseases and their cure, rites for prolonging life, for fulfilling one’s desires, construction activities, trade and commerce, statecraft, defense systems of the country etc. Only 2 of the 9 Shakhas are available now. They are Pippalada and Saunaka. Only one Brahmana called Gopatha Brahmana has been discovered. The three well known Upanishads viz. Prasna, Mundaka and Mandukya as also the Kaivalya Upanishad belong to this Veda.
Auxiliaries to Vedas VEDANGA – Limbs of Vedas Title Subject Dealt With 1. Siksha Science of phonetics or pronunciation and intonation. 2. Vyakarana Science of the grammar of language 3. Nirukta Etymology or the science of origin, meaning and explanation of the Vedic words. 4. Chandas Prosody or science of composition of the hymns like meter, rhyme, paada etc. of the mantras 5. Jyotisha Astronomy and astrology mainly directed towards fixing up of auspicious moments for the performance of the Vedic sacrifices 6. Kalpa Science or manual of sacrificial rituals, both Vedic and domestic.
Auxiliaries to Vedas Veda Upaanga Remaining Vidyas Meemaamsa Deeper Analysis of Vedas Nyaya Science of logic and expediency Puranas Vedas magnifying glasses Dharma Shastras Road to realize Puranic goal Saankya* Description of 24 Tattwas Yoga* Yoga for union with ishwara * Not considered Upaanga in Some Classifications
Auxiliaries to Vedas UPA VEDA Or Subsidiary Vedas Title Subject Dealt with Veda to which attached Ayurveda Science of life, of sound health including the art of Rig Veda preventing and curing diseases Gandharva Veda Science of fine arts like Sama Veda. music and dance Artha Veda Known as Artha-sastra science of economics, politics and statecraft Dhanurveda Science of archery and Yajurveda. warfare Atharva Veda
Major Hindu Sampradayas Very simplistically put – Advaita – Atma and Paramatma become one and the same Vishistadvaita – Surrender to Lord Narayana (Many Sesis (Atmas) who carry out service of the Sesa (Paramatma)) Dvaita – Ultimate realization is Atma and Paramatma are different.
Adi Sankara (788 AD - 820 AD) Adi Sankara was one of the foremost Acharyas of the Hinduism. He is considered by devotees to be an avatar of Lord Shiva. He only lived to be 32 years but till date his influence in Hinduism is unmistakable. Belonged to the Advaita tradition
Sri Ramanujacharya (1017 AD - 1137 AD) Ramanuja was a devotee of Vishnu par excellence. Granting entry into temples for the Harijans (Dalits) a thousand years back when caste still ruled the roost in India. He initiated the distribution of holy food (Prasadam) to all devotees without discrimination. He introduced worship in local languages at the temples (Previously done only in Sanskrit). He advocated total surrender (Prapatti) as the easiest way to god.
Madhvacharya (1238 AD - 1317 AD) The most well known guru in the Dvaita tradition. The main icon (vigraha) in Udupi of Lord Krishna was established by Madhvacharya. The 8 monasteries (ashta mathas) of Udupi have been following his philosophy since then. Sunil is the most well known follower of this tradition in our group.