REL 340-02

*** MIDTERM STUDY SHEET – MIDTERM NEXT TUE! ***

Mahabharata

  • Great tale of Bharata clan  (Bharata = legendary foundational family of India, used as name of country indigenous)
  • Not part of sruti like Vedas
  • Itihasa (epic literature)
    • Mahabharata
    • Ramayana
    • “thus it was” — sacred history, like Old Testament
  • ~400BCE – 200 CE
  • martial legends?
  • Ksatriya caste (nobility)
  • war with Kuruksetra kingdom (modern-day Delhi)
    • kuru = capital  ksetra = fields
  • Brahmin-Ksatriya alliance
    • priestly-kingly tension, appears similar to Egyptian (possible caste/literacy question; patronage system?)
  • Moksha (implied connection to Brahmins)
    • knowledge
    • withdrawal
    • asceticism
  • Dharma (implied connection to Ksatriyas)
    • expands upon, replaces Rta (universal order)
    • root word dhr = to uphold
      • implies caste/gender/age distinctions within societal roles & duties

*** HANDOUT: GENEALOGY OF BHARATAS ***  (Rework in Visio for clarity, it’s a mess)

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