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CULTURE. Literature: history The earliest - canonical Hindu sacred writings, the Veda in Sanskrit Later additions - prose commentaries, the Brāhma ṇ as.

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Presentation on theme: "CULTURE. Literature: history The earliest - canonical Hindu sacred writings, the Veda in Sanskrit Later additions - prose commentaries, the Brāhma ṇ as."— Presentation transcript:


2 Literature: history The earliest - canonical Hindu sacred writings, the Veda in Sanskrit Later additions - prose commentaries, the Brāhma ṇ as and the Upani ṣ hads Time span: 1400 BC to AD 1200; at its highest - in the 1st to 7th centuries AD the Sanskrit epics: -the Mahābhārata -the Rāmāya ṇ a, -the Bhāgavata-Purā ṇ a Other literary languages: in Buddhism – Pāli; in Jainism - Ardhamāgadhī A separate branch of literature in Tamil (Dravidian background) Separate branches of literature in Urdu and Sindhi (Islāmic background) The 19 th century saw the impact of the British and Western literature in general: vernacular prose, realism, novel and story, psychological description

3 Mahabharata The development of Hinduism between 400 BCE and 200 CE The present form – around 400 CE Size – 100,000 couplets, or shlokas Divided in 18 parvans (=sections) Supplement – Harivamsha (“Genealogy of the God Hari”=Vishnu) Authorship is ascribed to the sage Vyasa About dharma (=moral law) and itihasa (=a history, “that's what happened”) The struggle for sovereignty between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarashtra, the descendant of Kuru) and the Pandavas (sons of Pandu) Date of the war – 1302 BCE, or later Marks the beginning of Kali Yuga

4 Lineage

5 Synopsis The older generations The Pandava and Kaurava princes Lāk ṣ ag ṛ ha (The House of Lac) Marriage to Draupadi Indraprastha The dice game Exile and return The battle at Kurukshetra The end of the Pandavas

6 Parvans 1.Maya Danava erects the palace and court (sabha), at Indraprastha. Life at the court, Yudhishthira's Rajasuya Yajna, the game of dice, and the eventual exile of the Pandavas. 2.The twelve years of exile in the forest (aranya). 3.The year spent incognito at the court of Virata. 4.Preparations for war and efforts to bring about peace between the Kurus and the Pandavas which eventually fail (udyoga means effort or work). 5.The first part of the great battle, with Bhishma as commander for the Kauravas and his fall on the bed of arrows. (Includes the Bhagavad Gita) 6.The battle continues, with Drona as commander. This is the major book of the war. Most of the great warriors on both sides are dead by the end of this book. 7.The battle again, with Karna as commander. 8.The last day of the battle, with Shalya as commander. Also told in detail is the pilgrimage of Balarama to the fords of the river Saraswati and the mace fight between Bhima and Duryodhana which ends the war, since Bhima kills Duryodhana by smashing him on the thighs with a mace. 9.Ashvattama, Kripa and Kritavarma kill the remaining Pandava army in their sleep. Only 7 warriors remain on the Pandava side and 3 on the Kaurava side. 10.Gandhari, Kunti and the women (stri) of the Kurus and Pandavas lament the dead. 11.The crowning of Yudhisthira as king of Hastinapura, and instructions from Bhishma for the newly anointed king on society, economics and politics. 12.The final instructions (anushasana) from Bhishma. 13.The royal ceremony of the Ashvamedha (Horse sacrifice) conducted by Yudhisthira. The world conquest by Arjuna. The Anugita is told by Krishna to Arjuna. 14.The eventual deaths of Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti in a forest fire when they are living in a hermitage in the Himalayas. Vidura predeceases them and Sanjaya on Dhritarashtra's bidding goes to live in the higher Himalayas. 15.The infighting between the Yadavas with maces (mausala) and the eventual destruction of the Yadavas. 16.The great journey of Yudhisthira and his brothers across the whole country and finally their ascent of the great Himalayas where each Pandava falls except for Yudhisthira. 17.Yudhisthira's final test and the return of the Pandavas to the spiritual world (svarga). 18.This is an addendum to the 18 books, and covers those parts of the life of Krishna which is not covered in the 18 parvas of the Mahabharata.

7 Portrayal Vyasa narrating to Ganesha – Angor Wat, a temple complex in Combodia the battle of Kurukshetra A relief sculpture of the five Pandava brothers and their wife, Draupadi in the Dashavatara Temple at Deogarh

8 Bhagavat-Gita An episode, occupying chapters 23 to 40 of book 6 of the Mahabharata Composed in the 1st or 2nd century CE a 700-verse scripture a Sm ṛ iti text or "that which is remembered" – unlike Śruti texts is fallible A dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Krishna (Vishnu), where Krishna displays his Vishvarupa (Universal Form) to Arjuna on a variety of theological and philosophical issues Krishna, through the course of the Gita, imparts to Arjuna wisdom, the path to devotion, and the doctrine of selfless action “Do not yield to unmanliness, O son of Prithâ. It does not become you. Shake off this base faint-heartedness and arise, O scorcher of enemies!” the setting of the Gita in a battlefield is viewed by commentators as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life

9 Ramayana in Sanskrit probably not before 300 BC by the poet Vālmīki 24,000 couplets divided into seven books, or kā ṇḍ as explores human values and the concept of dharma written in a 32-syllable meter called anustubh Treta Yuga The characters: -Rama -Sita -Lakshman -Bharata -Hanuman -Ravana

10 Kandas 1. The origins and childhood of Rama, born to King Dasharatha of Ayodhya and destined to fight demons. Sita's swayamvara and subsequent wedding to Rama. 2. The preparations for Rama's coronation in the city of Ayodhya, his exile into the forest, and the regency of Bharata. 3. The forest life of Rama with Sita and Lakshmana, his constant companion. The kidnapping of Sita by the demon king Ravana. 4. Rama meets Hanuman and helps destroy the monkey people's king, Vali, making Vali's younger brother, Sugriva, king of Kishkindha instead. 5. Detailed accounts of Hanuman's adventures, including his meeting with Sita. 6. The battle in Lanka between the monkey and the demon armies of Rama and Ravana, respectively. After Ravana is defeated, Sita undergoes the test of fire, completes exile with Rama, and they return to Ayodhya to reign over the Ideal State. 7. Rumors of impurity lead to Sita's banishment, during which she gives birth to and raises Lava and Kusha. Rama and Sita reconcile. The twin boys later ascend the throne of Ayodhya, after which Rama departs from the world.

11 Karnatak music a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu the main emphasis - on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in gāyaki (singing) style the foundation of improvisation and composition is formed on the basic elements of - śruti (the relative musical pitch), - swara (the musical sound of a single note), - rāga (the mode or melodic formulæ), - tala (the rhythmic cycles) a small ensemble of musicians, consisting of -a principal performer (usually a vocalist), -a melodic accompaniment (usually a violin), -a rhythm accompaniment (usually a mridangam), -a tambura, which acts as a drone throughout the performance.

12 Hindustani music Shāstriya Sangīt originated in Vedic ritual chants Influenced by the ancient Persian tradition of Musiqi-e assil evolving since the 12th century CE primarily in North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and to some extent in Nepal and Afghanistan Instruments: * the veena, the sitar and the sarod – string instruments * the surbahar, sursringar, santoor, slide guitar – other plucked or struck string instruments * the sarangi, esraj and violin – bowed instruments * the bansuri, shehnai and harmonium – wind instruments * the tabla, pakhavaj – the percussion

13 Indian theatre Sanskrit theatre – 1-9 centuries AD Bharata’s detailed description of Indian theatre A Treatise on Theatre (Nātyaśāstra) Two main types of Sanskrit theatre: -nataka (“heroic”) -prakarana (“social”) Plays range from 1 to 10 acts. One-act plays: -bhana (“monologue”) -prahasana (“farce”) three structural types of classical theatre: -oblong -square -triangular two types of Hindu productions: -the lokadharmi, or realistic theatre -the natyadharmi, or stylized drama

14 Folk theatre the jatra of Bengal, the nautanki, ramlila, and raslila of North India, the bhavai of Gujarat, the tamasha of Maharashtra, the terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, the yakshagana of Karnataka, the putliwalas (“puppeteers”) of Rajasthan

15 Next class Test: Literature. Music. Theatre. Lecture: Culture: Painting. Architecture. Cinema. Presentations: Indian Temples Bollywood Discussion: The impact of India on the British culture

16 Credit Regular tests, final test scores within 70% = 1/2 credit Final test: based on facts from the documentaries on India (the links can be found on the website) Presentation = 1/2 credit Essay (argumentative or analytical, original; 500 words) = 1/2 credit -India – a home to one religion with many faces -India – a country of contrasts -History of India – a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma -Culture of India – an onion with endless layers -Culture of India – the impact on Britain

17 Architecture

18 Indus Valley civilization(3300 BC- 1300BC) City plan Citadel Pool

19 Post Maha Janapadas period (1500 BC—200 AD) Stupa at Sanchi Fortified cities with stupas = viharas Stepwells Cave temples (Ajanta and Ellora)

20 Early Common Era—High Middle Ages (200 AD—1200 AD) Ancient university cities (Nalanda and Valabhi) Southern temples: Nageshvara (near) and Chennakeshava (far) temples at Mosale

21 Structure of a northern temple

22 Late Middle Ages (1100 AD—1526 AD) Virupaksha Temple – example of Vijayanagara Architecture Bucisvara Temple – example of Hoysala architecture

23 Mughal Era (1526 AD-1857 AD) Red Fort in Agra Qutub Minar Columns in Delhi

24 British Colonial Era: 1615 to 1947 St Andrews Kirk in Madras The Victoria Memorial in Calcutta

25 Colonial India French Architecture in Pondicherry Portuguese Architecture in Goa

26 Sculpture

27 Sculpture: the Indus Valley civilization (3300-1700 BC) Seals (soapstone/steatite) Figurines (terra-cotta) Statuettes (stone and bronze) Proto-Shiva (Pahupati “the Lord of Animals”) Animals (bull, ‘unicorn’, bison, elephant, rhinoceros, tiger) Dancing girl from Mohenjo-daro Bearded man from Mohenjo-daro (Priest King)

28 Sculpture Formulation of Buddhist and Hindu imagery around the 1 st century CE Folk beliefs and cults influenced much of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain iconography Emphatic plasticity The sculptor’s function – to make the qualities more manifest Form is carved from without rather than modelled from within

29 Sculpture: monumental sculpture Pillars of Ashoka (270-232 BCE) Relief sculptures in stupas The Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara (2-1 c BCE) The pink sandstone sculptures of Mathura (1-3 C CE) and the classical period of Gupta (4-6 c CE) The bronze statues of Chola dynasty The granite carvings of Mahabalipuram (7 c CE)


31 Painting

32 the Sadanga or Six Limbs of Indian Painting Rupabheda The knowledge of appearances. Pramanam Correct perception, measure and structure. Bhava Action of feelings on forms. Lavanya Yojanam Infusion of grace, artistic representation. Sadrisyam Similitude. Varnikabhanga Artistic manner of using the brush and colours.

33 Painting schools Murals of Ajanta caves Mughal miniature Mysore procession painting Pattachitra painting

34 Next class Final Test: Documentaries on India Lecture: Culture: Cuisine. Language Impact of Indian culture on Britain Presentations: Cuisine Impact of Indian culture on Britain Discussion: My incredible India

35 Essential documentaries The Lost Temples of India The Story of India The Secrets of Taj Mahal Rat Temple Matam Cremation Aghoris Living in slums

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