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FSU CLT 3378 - Rig Veda

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Rig Veda

Rig Veda

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Oedipus

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Rig Veda (India) Rig Veda- Oldest Literary work of India c.1700-1100 BCE- Early form of the Sanskrit - Preserved orally for centuries then written down.- Rig “Praise” + Veda “Knowledge”; Knowledge in the praise of gods. - Came to become a sacred text to Hindus.- 1028 hyms to gods, in 10 booksSanskrit- Indo-European Language- (Hinduism) an ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism)- Related to English, ancient Greece, Latin, and German. - The Rig Veda was the earliest form of Sanskrit language. Vedic people- Composed the Rig Veda- Think they called themselves Aryans. Agni “Fire” (Heat/Light)- Vedic god of Fire - Bi-natural God (Thing + God) - Natural Fire = Fire, Lighting, Sun- Domestic = Hearth - Ritual Fire = Sacrifice - Funeral = Cremation, use fire to cremate the dead. - Poetry (Light) Soma- Deified sacred drink who is also a god - Bi-Natural (Thing + God) - Hallucinogenic properties- Unknown plant that made up the drink, but it grew high up in the mountains- Drank by Gods and Priests. - By drinking Soma it reinforces their immortality, Vitality. - Effects: It can actually Cause fear & exultationIndra - Storm God- King of the Gods- God of thunder and war - Connected to rain and fertility - Is an avid drinker of Soma because Soma enables him to do what he needs to do. - Indra is kept in the womb; her mother does not want her born.- Bursts out of her mothers side - Kills father when bornVritra- Dragon/Serpent who seems to be male- Holds back all the fresh water in the world. - Is attacked by Indra and is defeated by the thunderbolts. - All rivers are released to the world. Tiamat- Sea god who battles a storm god and her waters are released to create rivers similar to Vritra. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are created out of her eyes.Sarama- Indra’s Dog and loyal companion - Tracks down the cattle that Panis has stolen, obeying the orders of her master. - Does not give into the bribe given by Panis. Panis- Demon that lives beyond the river Rasa.- Stole cattle from Angirases (Family of sages) - Tries to bribe Sarama to not tell. River Rasa- Encircles heaven and earth where gods and humans live, Panis, or Demons live beyond it. - Cf. Okeanos. Golden Embryo- Unknown creator god. Given the title, not the name, as theGolden Embryo. Referred to as Hiranyagarbha. There are a lot of internal contradictions with the golden embryo.- “Gold” (Hirany) - “Womb/seed/embryo/egg” (Garbha)- Creator God arises from the Primordial waters, but then the creator god creates the waters. Internal contradictions, how can you rise from and create waters? - Creator God separates earth and sky, but then creates earth and sky. Hiranyagarbha- Unknown creator God referred to by this name- A.K.A golden embryo Prajapati (Creator God) - God named this, but some scholars think it was a later addition to assist the question on who is the creator god. Purusha- Cosmic Giant/Medieval Male, which is not a human being. - Dismembered by the creator god.- His body is used to create the universe, which shows just how big he really was. - Earth, sky, gods, human’s animals. - When the creator god kills him he becomes the first sacrifice. Aditi- Female creative force connected to infinity. - Gives birth to earth which holds up the sky.- We believe she is the mother of Indra. - Bears Gods (8 Gods)Daksha- Male creative force- Aditi gives birth to him and he gives birth to AditiMartanda (Sun) - Is one of the 8 sons of Aditi, but is rejected because apparently he dies every night so Aditi shuns him. - In this poem to sun is found in water.Yama- King of the dead- First mortal to reach the death realm in heaven - Is a path maker for humans; you want to be like Yama because you want to make it to the death realm as well. - Has two four-eyed dogs, which guard the path to the death realm. Three Days of Soma- After death there is cremation, then there is fire burning for 3 days, and then Soma is offered to the gods. - For those 3 days, that’s how long it takes your souls to travel the path to the afterlife realm. Chinese Creation and FloodChinese- Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China. Distinguished by its high level of internal diversity.- From earliest historical period (Shang/Yin)Our sources= from later periods- Sources influenced by philosophical viewsShang (or Yin) Dynasty- Earliest historical periodChou Dynasty- Second historical period in Chinese history. Divided into two dynasties, West Chou and Eastern Chou, which was divided into the spring and autumn Era, Warring States Era, Ch’in Dynasty, and the Han Dynasty. Han Dynasty- Part of the Eastern Chou Dynasty, which is a split of the Chou Dynasty. Is the Golden age of Chinese history. Questions of Heaven- Part of the Ch’u Tz’u- Consists of 186 Poetic verses. - Warring states era (Chou Dynasty).- Earliest comprehensive collection of chinese myths- Poses question about creationCh’u Tz’u (Songs of Ch’u)- Poses questions about creation Ch’u Yuan- Author of the Ch’u Tz’u.- First named Chinese poet (c. Homer). Not sure if they even existed. - Was possibly a high ranking Official of the Ch’u court? Ch’u- Is a state in the Ch’u dynasty. - Ch’u is a region. Hun Tun (First element in the creation of the cosmos)- Reading 1: Empty Space, Dark, and wet. - Reading 2: Images, no forms; Dark, Misty. - Reading 3: Shapelessness and Chaos. - Empty space – Chaos = Hun Tun - Originally Hun Tun meant “Empty Space”, but later over time meant “Confusion/Disorder” - Cf Wonton Soup (Dumpling) = Hun Tun- Hun Tun = Primordial Soup- Imagined as a cosmic egg with Yin(earth) and Yang (sky) in the egg along with P’an Ku.Yin (Heavy & Female) - Yin becomes the earth - Also associated with darkness- Yin and Yang are a pair of oppositesYang (Light & Male)- Associated with the light, light colors- Becomes the SkyP’an Ku- Primeval Giant/God/Man- “Coiled antiquity”- Grows for 18,000 years until earth and sky fully form- Body of P’an Ku becomes part of the universe when P’an Kudies. - Left eye becomes the sun; Right eye = Moon- Blood/Semen = Rivers, water- Flesh = Land of earth - Hair/Beard = Stars - Body Hair = Trees, plants - Mites on body = HumansNu Kua- Chinese creator goddess- Creates humans just like Mami, Nintu.- Aristocrats = starts out by creating out of yellow earth to create the best people but runs out.- Commoners = so creates people out of mud for normal people. Fu His-


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