Lecture 3
The Vedic World: The Body-Cosmos

1. The Vedas: Veda as Wisdom





(collections, hymns) (ritual texts) (teachings)
Rig Veda Aitareya Brahmana Aitareya, Kaushitaki
Sama Veda Jaiminiya Chandogya, Kena
Yajur Veda Shatapatha Brah. (W) Brihadar.,Isa,Katha
Atharva Veda   Mundaka

Veda, "wisdom"; Sruti, what is "heard"
"Fifth Veda"

2. Gods of the Vedas

Max Mueller: Kathenotheism, Henotheism
"That which is one, the sages name it in various ways." (Rig Veda I.164.46)
Varuna -- rta, dharma
Indra - Destroyer of Vrtra
Soma -- Sacred Plant, Immortal Nectar
Agni -- Fire

3. Yajna : Ritual, "Sacrifice"

Agnichayana, "Altar of Fire"
Yajur Veda
Yajamana (sponsor of yajna)
Diksha (initiation)

4. Creating a World

samsara, "this world," course, passage
srishthi, pouring forth, emitting, creating
Brahmanda, "the universe," "Brahma's egg"
[ Brahma, Prajapati -- creator gods]
[ Brahman -- reality, the real ]
[ Brahmana --ritual texts ]
[ Brahmin -- priests ]

It is an organic whole
It is systemic, interrelated

A. Nasadiya: Rig Veda X.129

Sat what is, being existence
Asat what is not, non-being
Tapas the "heat" of ascetic austerities
Kama desire

B. Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Embryo: Rig Veda X.121

"A Golden Embryo evolved in the beginning. . . ."
Ka - "Who"
Prajapati - Lord of Creatures
C. Chandogya Upanishad 3.19;
D. Aitareya Upanishad
E. Purushasukta, The Cosmic Person: Rig Veda X.90
"Purusha alone is all this. . . ."
Purusha literally "person"