SYLLABUS

N.B. You should come to class having completed the assigned reading indicated for (i.e., on the date of) each class meeting, except, of course, at the first class meeting.

**For additional bibliographic information, see the List of Readings**

Abbreviations: HRT = Hopkins, The Hindu Religious Tradition.

MHB = A.K.Coomaraswamy and Sister Nivedita, Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists. SIT= W.T. De Bary, ed., Sources of Indian Tradition.

I Early Thought, Practice, Texts

1.Mon September 11

No reading. Maps and readings on Indian civilization and chronology given out as background for entire course. Introductory lecture on Hinduism,slides, clips from the video "Altar of Fire" (on Vedic sacrifice).

2. Wed September 13 The Vedas, Ritual, Brahmans and Mantra

(Background: For an introductory overview of Hinduism, read Kinsley, Hinduism, Chapter 1. and ch.2, p.11-25).

For class, read, on the Vedas. Hopkins, The Hindu Religious Tradition (henceforth HRT), Ch. 2. Focus on Vedic sacrifice and creation hymns (p.14-27). "Hymns from the Rig Veda". Selections from W.D. O'Flaherty, Rig Veda and De Bary, Sources of Indian Tradition (henceforth SIT), Class discussion of hymns of creation and the primeval sacrifice of Purusa, the cosmic being.

3. Mon September 18 The Upanishads: Early Indian speculative texts

"Upanishads". Text selections from De Bary, SIT, Upanisads; and Hume, Thirteen Principal Upanishads . Read Hopkins, HRT, chapter 3.

4. Wed. September 20 The Buddha and Buddhism

"Buddha" . from A.K.Coomaraswamy and Sister Nivedita's Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists (henceforth MHB), pp. 245 -286 . For class discussion:MHB 252-258 (Jataka stories) and "Buddhist texts", selections from De Bary, ed., SIT.

5. Mon, September. 25 The Ramayana: Sacred Epic of the Hindus

"Ramayana", introduction: P.Richman, synopsis and E.C. Dimock, The Literatures of India. In Coomaraswamy, MHB, read the narrative of the Ramayana, pp. 28-71 and 93-103, focusing on the behavior of Rama and Sita and in the episodes concerning Rama's exile and Sita's fire-trial, and Hanuman in his search and discovery of Sita: for class discussion.

*

Sept. 27 -October 7: Navaratri-Dussera, the festival of the Goddess.

 

6. Wed. September 27. Dharma interpreted: The living Ramayana

Complete Ramayana, MHB, 104-17.- B.Gargi , "Ramlila" ( from The Folk Theater of India). M.Jaffrey, "A Total theater (Kathakali)" , and P.Lutgendorf, excerpt from "All in the Raghu Family" . Discuss dharma in the Ramayana.

Film shown in class:"The God with the Green Face": Ramayana performed in Kathkali dance-theater style.

7. . Mon October 2 Men, women and Dharma; caste and the goals of life

Kinsley, Hinduism, ch. 8, (Hindu social structure) 152-161 (on caste: jati and varna), Hopkins, HRT, p.73 -86. (caste and stages of life."Savitri" , MHB, pp. 345 -352.

8. Wed. October 4. The synthesis of the Bhagavad Gita; Yoga.

Hopkins, HRT, ch.5, p.64 -73 (Yoga), 87-95 (Gita) . B.S. Miller, trans., The Bhagavad Gita, Books 2,3, 6, 11; and "Yoga: Techniques and goals", from M.Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom.

* By October 4, and no later than October 6, please submit by e-mail a paragraph outlining your paper topic and the issues you will treat in the paper, with a brief list of sources you will use in writing the paper. I will respond to your outline with suggestions and comments.

Mid-semester break -- Sat.Oct. 7 - Tue. Oct. 10

II Hinduism in Practice

*We will try to organize a trip to the Hindu temple in Ashland, MA.

9. Wed October 11 Renouncers, ascetics, the goal of philosophy

Kinsley, Hinduism, Chapter 5 (Central Hindu Beliefs) p. 84-96 ( Dharma and Moksha) chapter 2, the saints Ramana Maharishi and Chaitanya. and Ch. 7 "Women's spirituality", the woman guru Anandamayee Ma, 141- 151

Film in class: Four Holy Men

10. Mon October 16. Gurus, Swamis and holy persons.

(For further information on holy persons, see chapters from M.Harper, Gurus, Swamis. On holy women (e.g., Sarada Devi) see "Four holy mothers". For the psychology of devotion to gurus, see, P.Brent, Godmen of India, pp.283-305. All readings on reserve)

In class: discussion of readings for October 11 and the film Four Holy Men. See Guide to the film (Four Holy Men) (library reserve)

11. Wed. October 18 Theism and Popular Religion

Eck, Darsan, Chapter 1. Hopkins, HRT, chapter 6, 87-89 (Siva and Visnu in the epics), also ch.6, Visnu Purana, the Yugas, pp.99 -102.

89 -90. 99 - 101. C.Dimmitt and J.A. B. van Buitenen, Hindu cosmologies, ch.1 from Classical Hindu Mythology, and " The avataras of Visnu".

*First paper due on Friday, October 20.

12. Mon October 23. Puja: Worshipping the divine image; Festivals

Eck, Darsan, ch.2. Hopkins, HRT, ch.7, 110 -115 Puja, etc.. On Festivals, see P.Thomas, "Festivals and holidays of India" (on reserve). Film in class: "How a Hindu worships at the home shrine."

13.. Wed. October 25 Women's Rites

Read S.Wadley, "Women in the Hindu Tradition , sections on women's roles and rites; Oscar Lewis, "Women's festivals". From A North Indian village, "The Festival Cycle" (the festivals of Silono, Niortha-Dasahra, Tij, Karva Chauth). S.Kramrisch, "The Art Ritual of Women". ( Kinsley, chapter 7, treats women's vrats.)

DIVALI, Festival of Lights: October 27. *You will have the opportunity of participating in the Mount Holyoke Hindu community's celebration of Divali, "the festival of lights". Resource: the campus group Shree. Date and time to be announced. Also of interest: On Tue. 9/26 Satyajit Ray's film Devi (The Goddess) (Bengali) (127 mins) will be shown at Ciruti 9, at 7.30 p.m.

14. Mon October 30 Krishna, Child-god and Cowherd-lover

"Krishna" , chapter from MHB, and "Krishna Myths and Poems" , from . W.O'Flaherty, Hindu Myths, E.C. Dimock and D.Levertov, In praise of Krishna, and K.Bryant, Poems to the Child god. On Krishna in painting, see Kinsley, Hinduism, ch.4, 79-82. For further images of Krishna in Indian art, see W. Archer, The Loves of Krishna, on reserve in the art library.

15. Wed. Nov. 1 Siva, the Ascetic and Cosmic Dancer

Hopkins, HRT, chapter 5, 69-71 (Theism in the late Upanishads), and ch.6, 87 -89 (Siva and Visnu in the epics). Dimmitt, Classical Hindu Mythology, Introduction to chapter on Siva. A.K. Coomaraswamy, "The Dance of Siva" and Indira Peterson, Poems to Siva.

Special event! Saturday, November 4: "Divali: Festival of Lights." Asian Dance and Music Program, U.Mass. Bowker Auditorium,. 8 p.m. The Angkor Dance Troupe performs the Cambodian Ramayana (Ramakien) and Ranjanaa Devi and the Nataraj Dancers perform the myths of Devi, the Goddess

Student tickets: $6. Call 413-577-2486. For further information on this and other events, see: www.umass/edu/fac/asian and www.civic.uml.edu/angkor

16. Mon. Nov. 6 The Goddess: Shakti and Tantra.

Consult Wadley, "Women and the Hindu Tradition" section on goddesses, Dimmitt, Classical Hindu Mythology Introduction to the Goddess, Kinsley, "Durga" and "Kali: Blood and Death out of place". Nathan and Seely, Trans. 'Poems to Kali by Ramaprasad Sen'.

17. Wed. Nov. 8. The Hindu Temple as Mandala.

Eck, Darsan, Chapter 3. Kinsley, Hinduism, ch.4, 67 -78, and,chapter 4, on the temple as mandala from G. Michell, The Hindu Temple .

*Topic and outline for second paper due by Nov. 8

18. Mon. Nov. 13 The Bhakti saints and their songs of devotion

Hopkins, HRT, "The new devotionalism", ch. 6, p.117-118 and "emotional devotion", p.123-26. Kinsley, Hinduism, ch.3, 59 -63 (Virashaivas). " Indira Peterson, Introduction to Bhakti poetry, Mirabai and Mahadeviyakka. 'Kabir' and songs of Mirabai: from Hawley and Juergensmeyer, Songs of the Saints of India. "Mahadeviyakka, Basavanna and the Virasaiva poets": selections from A.K. Ramanujan, Speaking of Siva.

19. Wed. Nov. 15. Pilgrimages, saints, sacred centers.

In Kinsley, Hinduism, ch.8, "Pilgrimage to Pandharpur".

Irawati Karve, "On the Road: A Maharashtrian Pilgrimage"

III Hinduism in the Modern World

20. Mon November 20 Reform and refashioning in the 19th century

The Renascence of Hinduism". Readings from SIT, about and from Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayananda, Swami Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda; Life-sketches of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Hopkins, HRT, ch.8.

*Second paper due by Tuesday, November 21.

THANKSGIVING BREAK Wed. Nov. 22 - Sun. Nov. 26.

21. Mon. November 27 Nineteenth - century movements.

Continue discussion of readings for Nov. 20.

22. Wed. November 29 Mahatma Gandhi 's Truth

Kinsley, Hinduism, chapter 5, pp. 102 -110 (Gandhi). Excerpts from Gandhi's An Autobiography: My Experiments with Truth.

23. Mon. December 4. Rabindranath Tagore's religion

Tagore, "Creative Unity", Essay, 1922. *Topic and outline for 3rd paper due.

24. Wed. December 6. Hinduism and encounter with other religions: past and present

Madhu Kishwar, "In Defence of Our Dharma" , Manushi, vol. 60, 1990 .

25 and 26. Mon. December 11 and Wed.. December 13. Discussion:What is Hinduism today? Developments in India and abroad.

See Eck, Darsan, Afterword, on temples in America. Class discussion with practitioners of Hinduism. *Final essay due no later than noon, Thursday, December 21.