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Forthcoming lectures

Elementary Sanskrit, Session Seven

Prof. Gavin Flood
Friday, 6 March 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

The course continues an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of the Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the story of Nala. The course book is Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language

Hinduism 2, Hindu Traditions (Paper 21), Session Seven

Prof. Gavin Flood
Friday, 6 March 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Exam Schools

Beginning with the early medieval period, this paper traces the development of Hinduism in devotional (bhakti) and tantric traditions. The paper examines the development of Śaiva, Śākta, and Vaiṣṇava traditions along with ideas about liberation, ritual, asceticism, yoga and devotion. There will be some exploration of Hinduism and Modernity and there may also be reference to major schools of Hindu philosophy such as Vedānta.

Elementary Sanskrit, Session Eight

Prof. Gavin Flood
Monday, 9 March 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

The course continues an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of the Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the story of Nala. The course book is Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language

Veda-stuti (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.87) with the commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī, Session Eight

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is undoubtedly the most popular and most sophisticated of the Purāṇas. Written in ornate prose and verse, and infusing Purāṇic narratives with Vedic, Vedānta, and Pāñcarātra thought, this monumental text influenced artists, architects, poets, and theologians for centuries. The Veda-stuti ("The Vedas' prayers of praise") is one of the Bhāgavata's most significant theological passages, which offers an easy introduction to the Bhāgavata's nondual theism and its Vedānta. In this reading class, we will read these verses with the commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī (thirteenth century), the most celebrated commentator on the text and an important Advaitin Vaiṣṇava author who profoundly influenced the development of Hindu thought in pre-modern South Asia.

This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the poetry of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the method and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries, as well as the intersections of Advaita and Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Readings in the Netra Tantra, Session Eight

Prof. Gavin Flood
Thursday, 12 March 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

The Netra Tantra is an important early medieval Śaiva text. We will read and discuss sections of the text based on the two manuscripts in the NGMPP Library and compare these with the published KSTS edition. Apart from reading the text we will discuss its meaning.

Readings in Phenomenology and Religion, Session Eight

Prof. Gavin Flood
Thursday, 12 March 2015 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. The reading group seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology that underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion.  This term we will continue reading Paul Ricoeur Oneself as Another (University of Chicago Press, 1992).

Elementary Sanskrit, Session Eight

Prof. Gavin Flood
Friday, 13 March 2015 - 10:00am
OCHS Library

The course continues an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper in Elementary Sanskrit. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the basics of the Sanskrit grammar, syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the course students will have competency in translating simple Sanskrit and reading sections of the story of Nala. The course book is Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language

Hinduism 2, Hindu Traditions (Paper 21), Session Eight

Prof. Gavin Flood
Friday, 13 March 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Exam Schools

Beginning with the early medieval period, this paper traces the development of Hinduism in devotional (bhakti) and tantric traditions. The paper examines the development of Śaiva, Śākta, and Vaiṣṇava traditions along with ideas about liberation, ritual, asceticism, yoga and devotion. There will be some exploration of Hinduism and Modernity and there may also be reference to major schools of Hindu philosophy such as Vedānta.

Understandings of Bhakti and Tantra in Balinese Hinduism

IK Foundation Lecture
Prof. June McDaniel
Monday, 30 March 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

Balinese Hinduism is a tradition that emphasizes dharma rather than bhakti. Still, esoteric bhakti can be found in Bali, especially in the experiences of the pedandasor brahmin high priests. They are primarily Saivite, though there are a few Buddha-Siva priests remaining. Bhakti is combined with the daily ritual identification with Siva/Surya, the surya-sevana ritual, involving tantric mantras, mudras, pranayama, nyasa, and bhutasuddhi. The priests transform ordinary water into the holy water which is needed for virtually all other Hindu rituals in Bali, and in doing so they not only ritually identify with the god, they also develop a devotional relationship to him. The surya-sevana ritual includes both bhakti and tantra. This paper will describe the roles of bhakti and tantra from field interviews with practitioners, primarily Balinese pedandas.

This paper will argue that the concept of bhakti is known in Balinese Hinduism, but it is not primarily associated with emotion. It is associated withsannyasa, with dharma, with jnana, karma, and with yajna. It is almost anythingexcept emotion. The concept of tantra is also known, and found primarily in four areas. There is priestly tantra, in which the pedanda identifies himself with the gods and with the universe, and ritually merges his identity with the god Siva. There is magical tantra, both black and white, in which mantras, mudras, yantras and amulets are used to supernaturally influence the world. There is architectural tantra, in which the layout of temples, and indeed the island of Bali itself, is an expression of the mandalas of deities. And there is bodily tantra, in which the Kanda Empat are both deities and biological entities which develop along with the human souls, spiritually evolving from physiological organs to divine beings.