Lecture 3
The Vedic World: The Body-Cosmos

1. The Vedas: Veda as Wisdom

 

Samhitas

Brahmanas

Upanishads

(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"