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1.

Brahmin

HELMUTH

V.

GLASS APP

THE HINDUISM RELIGION AND SOCIETY

IN TODAY'S INDIA

.^

WITH

43

ILLUSTRATIONS

KURT WOLFF VERLAG



MUNICH

Copyright 1922 by Kurt Wolff Verlag A.-G. Munich. The text was printed by the G. Kreysing printing house. Printing of the pictures by F. Bruckmann A.-G. Munich.

MY PARENTS To

blessing

Dess'

To do

Of life

The

is

those born on earth

sounds good in his father's ears. aims

are given to

his parents are dear as his life.

Tulsldäs.

FOREWORD ,, In

India

everything

is

Religion."

Brahmano briefly characterize during my Bonn

and

The lifeblood of the Indian people,

barely

everything

Student days said to me, cha-

clearly the peculiar position of the Indians

and takes over the world. The religion

of the world

how

These words that a learned

in

you

the

is

dominates to an extent

another country, all thinking and regulating the

Act.

much tangled

Threads of life are

for the Hindu the last visible offshoots of one

supernatural power above and behind him,

mysterious in towering,

yourself

in the

the,

ge ^ -

World of earthly appearances

the

natural

and

moral

World order

disclosed.

The perfect primacy of religion in the spiritual life of the Hindus

is

was recognized early on by westerners.

A hundred years ago the Abbe Dubois wrote: “During the long years that I have studied the customs of the Hindus,

got to

I never find a use

and

be him

even so

insignificant and simple and, I must add, so filthy

and

self

still

disgusting to have found who is not on

to the

founded this or that religious principle. Nothing remains

Rules set, and the basis and simple religion. For this reason their manners and customs are inviolable;

Left to the case: everything is clear in all your manners

hold the Hindus all

because, there

her deepest

Characteristics are religious, be \

consider them as sacred as religion itself. "^)

J.

A. Dubois

,

i)

Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies ",

P. 31.

IX

Although

since

that time the scientific exploration of the

Religions of India has made great strides and interest in them has been widespread

is

encountered

misconceptions. This is undoubtedly in German

multiple

in this,

that is missing

Deal with India.

Around

that gives

Indian past, den

Vedism and Buddhism, in works

reason

Language probably a number of excellent books

which the religions of the

lich

you do

treat it so that it is almost entirely

with the

living beliefs

to remedy this deficiency, it appeared

command to finally bring that religious-social system together

to show comprehensively which of its spiritual significance and the number of its confessors is in the first place in India today

In

the



Hinduism.

this book, the attempt should be made

den, a larger readership, although not exhaustive, but

but in the basic lines a complete picture of religious and social beliefs and institutions

and customs of the Hindus

and in this way to stimulate a deeper penetration into this vast area.

In my work I had multiple support

Mei-

which I would like to commemorate at this point.

a father

I owe the poetic rendering of most of them

the verses communicated without naming a translator (cf.

in the index under "Verse"). Messrs. Privy Councilor Grünwedel, Privy Councilor Jacobi, and Consul Neuenhofer examined individual parts of the manuscript, Professor R. read one

Correction,

all supported

beats. The gentlemen

and G. G. Krohs

Franz Koenigs, Helmuth

allowed

me

the

Simon

me with valuable advice.

Reproduction of

Frill in

her

Owned hand paintings; but above all I owe them

Administration of the Prussian Museum for Ethnology, thanks for the great willingness with which they gave me pictures and other objects

Recordings

X

in rich

to disposal

posed.

Dimensions

for photographic

Finally be too

the

Ver

lay

and the editors of the "New Orient"

spoken for permission to read some of my articles that first appeared in the columns of this journal

and remodeled shape

in the present

to the

Part extended

Book again

to be allowed to. Berlin,

at the

2l \.

December 1921. Dr. Helmuth

v.

Glasenapp,

Private Lecturer in Indian Philology at the University.

XI

Content page

IX

Preface

XV

To pronounce the Indian words I.

THE BASICS.

1.

India and the Indians

i

2.

The essence of Hinduism

6

3.

Overview of the historical development of Hinduism

IL THE

OBJECTS OF RELIGIOUS THINKING. A.

1.

2.

3.

1.

3.

The inanimate.

Inanimate nature works by human hands sacred words, signs and symbols

The plant world The animal world The human world

74

2.

3.

Nature spirits and

The ghosts.

Demons

D. The gods. The individual deities a) The village deities b) The lower gods of the Veda c) The world guardians d) Skanda imd Ganesha e) The three great gods

XII

83

88 105

109 109 112

114 116 117

Brahma

117

ß)

Vishnu

119

Y)

Shiva

a)

f)

53

62

C.

I.

51

66

The spirits of the deceased heroes and saints

1.

39

The living beings of the earth.

B.

2.

23

.

The mother goddesses and women of gods

131

135

Page 2.

The essence of the gods a) The relationship of the gods to one another b) The properties of the gods and their relationship to other beings E.

1.

2. 3.

148

148

150

Overcoming polytheism.

Atheism. Monotheism. Acosmism

154 157

169

THE RELIGIOUS LITERATURE.

III.

Preliminary remark

176

Holy Revelation.

A. 1.

2. 3.

The four Sanhitäs of the Veda The Brahmanas and Upanishads The meaning of the Veda in the spiritual life of today's India B.

5.

1.

The

2. 3.

4.

G.

190 193

197 198 201

The rest of the literature.

2.

Basic feature of secular literature in India, hymns of the gods and mythological tales

3.

Seals of ethical and didactic content

religious

IV. A. 1.

2.

182

187

The sacred tradition.

The textbooks The Mahabharata The Rämäyana The Puranas The Agamas and Tantras

1.

178

THE WORLD-

....

206 208 221

AND LEARNING VISION.

The natural philosophical views.

The world view The ideas of body and soul B.

227

233

The ethical beliefs.

2.

The Law of Eternal Retribution The three goals of worldly life

3.

The redemption

1.

historical overview

272

2.

Skeptics and materialists

275

1.

G.

239 253 262

The philosophical systems.

XIII

Page 3.

4.

1.

2. 3.

4. 5.

6.

The six orthodox systems a) Vaisheshika and Nyäya

277

277

b)

Sankhya

284

c)

289

d)

Yoga mimosa

e)

Vedanta

300 302

Indian philosophy and western thought

V. SOCIAL LIFE The caste system Religion in daily life Temples and sacrifices

.

.

.

.

311

AND THE CULTUS. 318

329 339

The festival calendar priests and penitents Superstition and sorcery

351

357 368

VL THE SECTORAL. 1.

2.

The position of the sects within Hinduism The worshipers of a supreme god a)

378

384

The Vaishnavas

384

b) The Shaivas

390

c)

The Shaktas

395

d)

The Brahmas, Sauras, Ganapatyas

398

3.

The smärtas

400

4.

Monotheistic reformers who are hostile to images

401

1.

The influences of the west

406

2.

The awakening of the new spirit

408

3.

Social reform effortsji

414

4.

The national movement

418

5.

The revival of religiosity

VIL

a)

c)

d) e)

.........

Union The defense against Christianity The sects and their propaganda Religious new formations The Vedanta and its mission in the east and west

The

b)

THE INFLUENCE OF THE EVENING COUNTRY.

all-hindu

432 432 435

440 443 .

.

.

455 463

End literature

465

To the

477

Images

index

485

Timeline

505

XIV

ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE INDIAN WORDS The Indian words are used in general in this book.

mine is

given in the style of writing that is customary among the Indians themselves

if

serve and who

they follow the Latin script

differs from scientific transcription only in that it does not use diacritical marks. speak:

j

It

to

is

something like "j" in English "just", like a white

in the

ches "dsch"; c like "ch"

English "child", so how

"Y" in English "young", ie German "j"; v for sounding "w"; sh as in German "seh";

a soft "tsch"; y something like

as a

So sh represents the two Indian sh sounds, the palatal

as in Shiva and the cerebral

s

s

(q)

as in Vishnu.

to speak sharply, z like soft German "s". The various n-sounds of Indian (n, n, n, n, m) are represented by n; before gutturals and sibilants they are always s is

to nasalize.

The h

in indian kh, gh, ch, jh, th,

ie, ph,

bra

is

as a

audible breath to speak (ie "kh" like German "Blockhaus" etc.). clear

H

in the middle

of words

(e.g.

B. in "Braihmä")

Chest sound, it must therefore neither be used as a

is

in the

a pure one

Extension consonant (as in

German "framework") remain unspoken, as is often the case

naturalized as a ch (like

in German words

"Dach"). The difficulty of making the h audible before consonants leads many Indians to use it after the following consonants when pronouncing it

Speak "Bramhä". The so-called Visarga h is a weak one

she z.

put,

by doing

B.

going vowel or the

h, at

last part of a

which of the previous

previous diph-

XV

thongs

quietly

echoes

agnih

so

= agnihS

gauh = gauh "

(Bühler).

The stress is regulated in Sanskrit words according to the quantity of the vowels. Long vowels are

ä, i, ü, e, o, ai, au. The tone is withdrawn if possible, up to the fourth from last if the penultimate and third from last syllable are short (dühitaram),

so far syllable,

as

if

up to the third last,

the penultimate one is short (Varuna, Saras-

by nature or by position, d. H. through the following double consonance, long, it carries the tone (Kubera, Govinda). dad); is the penultimate syllable

In summary teinischen stresses

can be determined

if

will never go wrong

and

in them the

danger like in english,

that one in general

Words like

the indian

Consonants

j, c, y, v, s,

the la-

sh un-

other sounds roughly as in

all

Germans, but the rules about h must be observed.

According to Indian usage ter

do I write Indian words

usually in the Sanskrit form in which

them in the

New Indian languages ​​(especially the Hindi language) have passed over.

There,

Where

the new indians

has been

Forms the

Sanskrit not

Given Sanskrit root form. In some cases the usual New Indian form was used (e.g. "Dayänand" instead of Sanskrit, "Dayananda", "Dev Samäj" instead of Sanskrit, "Deva Samäja", "Singh" (often written like this in Gurmukhi today)

correspond,

the

ben) instead of Sanskrit "Sinha

*).

Words that have become good German language, such as

mane

(Sanskrit:

z.

B. Brah-

Brahmana) were written without length characters-

ben; Place names, which are with us in a certain

shape

a-

have become citizens, such as Benares (Varänasi, Banäras), Calcutta (Kalikäta) etc. appear in this form,

while otherwise

as far as possible the correct Indian spelling, averaging, was retained,

z.

Where

you

to

B. Panjäb (not "Punjab" or

"Pendschab"), Lakhnau (not "Lucknow") etc.

3

o ^

I.

BASICS

THE I.

INDIA

is

the

INDIA AND THE INDIANS

Country of countries,

Our rose garden

is

the most beautiful

Land of

all.

we are in it the nightingales.

is it,

Our heart stays in the home, whether we are driven out of it. You should know that we are where our hearts stayed.

O

you

holier

Stream the Ganga, may you still remember the day.

When my people came down to you to drink in your flood?

See the mountain, the sky neighbor, greatest of all mountain giants;

Our shield and our guard, blessed be our keeper. Mountain, in whose green lap thousands of rivers play, mountain whose beauty all peoples must envy us.

Romans and Egyptians dwindled

had to give way, marks and signs. Name is given, our tribe Will God, that we feud, we children of a country? India is my home and all of us, we are Indians! Isn't it a miracle that v ^ r are still alive today, I have to ask. Since the sky has been so hostile to us for gray days? IkbäJ, we have no friend on earth far and wide; Lonely we bear our deep heartache inside. Greeks,

there and

Our

These verses

Mohammed

Ikbäls, one of the most important

indulgent poets of India, give in brief

Trains rustle 1

a picture of the

wonderful land that the Ganges runs through

imd the Himalayas

V. Glasenapp,

time-

and vivid

Hinduism

crowns,

and

of the strange people, I.

Conscious of his own greatness endures the depressing present with sadness and longs for a better future in the memory of a glorious past. Ikbäl entdas

comes from a Hindu family,

to Islam hold in

transgressed

few generations

which just before

and took while

a longer stay

Europal) the occidental education

thus united in itself

in itself.

in a way the multiple

He

in India

existing, religious, social, running side by side and intersecting each other

and

cultural elements that existed in the past

have fought against each other so often.

The future of India

but will depend on whether it will be possible to use these elements,

as the poet hopes to continually reconcile and merge, and with it the entire population of a continent

to unite permanently to common feeling and wanting.

Because

in truth, India is a continent.

mighty mountains

and seas

is it

Framed by

ge

has always been a clearly

bordered geographical unit. Almost as big as Europe

with the exception of the former Russian Empire, it harbors the greatest geographical areas

and climatic contrasts: mountains

with eternal snow and hot plains, fields of lush fruit

Forests and barren deserts. Life is just as varied as the design of the soil,

availability, impenetrable

that thrives here: the plants, the animals, the people. The three-

one hundred million inhabitants of the vast country fifth of all humanity





d. H. So a

show each other the

Iranians are living in the northwest. Afghans and Balucans, above average

greatest differences

Tribes like

the

tall, fair-skinned people with broad skulls, black hair, dark eyes, long noses, and profuse beards.

in the

Himalayan area and in Assam we find Mongols, small ones

People with yellow skin and sparse facial hair, with protruding cheekbones, sunken ones

roots of the nose and slanted eyelids. In Kashmir,

in Panjäb,

in Rajputana, in short

live all over the north

in front-

^) Mohammed Ikbäl studied in Heidelberg, which he glorified in a beautiful poem. (This song is translated in the "Correspondence sheet of the news center for the Orient *, Volume II, p. 118.)

Predominantly tall, light brown Indo-Aryans with an elongated skull shape and a narrow nose. In the south, on the other hand, we encounter the smaller dark brown Dravids with long heads, broad,

and

In addition to these four main types, Risley distinguishes between three mixed types: a flat nose

wavy hair.

Mongol-Dravidian in Bengal, an Ario-Dravidian in the United Provinces

bay and

in

and another

in the West Indies, in

the adjacent areas, the

as

or alpine.All of these different types

just

seldom found in complete purity; find anywhere

and mixing,

the the

Hamites, Europeans

i.a. so

Bomb

Scytho-Dravidian

come

we transitions

through the immigration of Semites,

manifold

designed picture that the

Population of India in anthropological and ethnographic relationships

offers,

If

make it even more varied.

we of the inhabitants of the peripheral countries and of the

hikers refrain, are

there are two in the first place

Language stems,

to which the bulk of the Indian population belongs: the

Dravids and the Indo-Aryans. The Dravids belong to those human races whose origins have not yet been unanimous among scholars

been

is.

While

wanting to attribute and bring others, keep them

some they of the Caucasian race they

in connection with the Turanians

some again for

a self-employed

People-

group. The Dravids inhabited most of India in prehistoric times; if

you,

as some assume, the Indian primitive

population represent, or whether this is not rather in the semi-wild

Look for tribes

and dwell in the woods,

is

the

still today

in

the mountains

but the Dravids themselves only to India

have immigrated, stands there. fact

is

at least it

that

you

formerly populated a larger part of the Indian continent

and that they were pushed further south by the Aryan invasion. The approximately 63 million Dravids fall into a number of peoples who use different languages ​​as today,

talk. The most important of these languages ​​are Tamil (18 million

Speakers), Malayälam (7 million), Canarian (10 ^ / 2 and Telugu (231/2 million).

Millions)

The Indo-Aryans belong to the Indo-European language group.

to which, as is well known, the Teutons, Celts, Romans, Slavs

The language of which

ven, Iranians, etc. can be expected.

Languages ​​of these Indian peoples are derived, is the Sansdas was spoken by the Aryans, which thousands of years before the beginning of our era from Iran to northwest India

critical,

invading and then fighting, colonizing and mingling with the previous inhabitants,

south

yourself

always

continue after

Sanskrit, which had become grammar at an early stage, has continued to grow up to the present day

spread out.

table fixed

retained as the language of literature and scholars. Even before the Buddha's time, mouths that were close to Sanskrit were used in

arten used, the so-called precrit dialects that make up

then

modern Indo-Aryan languages ​​have developed. These Aryan languages ​​are spoken by more than 280 million people today: the most important of these are: Punjabi (16 Mildie

lions), Rajasthani (14 million),

Hindi in the narrower sense (4o

Million), East Hindi (22 million), Bihäri (35 million), Oriyä

(ig MilUonen), Bengali (48 million), Gujarati (11 million) and Maräthi (20 million). But it would be a mistake, all the peoples

who speak these languages ​​are therefore to be regarded as pure Aryans. Rather, the Aryans have become involved with the other peoples of India

to a high degree

mixed up and much of them accepted, them

but even hers

Language and culture imprinted, so that the

in

linguistic affiliation

to Arierum

not an anthropological

needs to conform.

Nice

the brief overview given here shows how

nigfach the population of India

is

and how big

man-

the number of

If one adds the large number of the less widespread ones mentioned here, which we have ignored here, as well as the Iranian, Mongolian, Tibetan-Burmese, Malay, Kolaric, etc. dialects, the promises that are used there.

turn

find so

one can get an idea of ​​the

vast differences that exist within the Indian people

exist and which stand in the way of the emergence of a unified national idea, as the great minds of the present yearn for it. The languages ​​of the Indian peoples will be just as diverse

also their manners and their thinking. The diversity of Indian intellectual life is also revealed most clearly in that area in which, as Hegel says, “all manifold structures

and other interweaving of human conditions, activities, enjoyments, everything that has value and respect for the human being



Fame,

seeks his pride

in religion.

No other people

where he finds his happiness, his center "



the earth has such diverse religious views

spawned and so

foreign beliefs absorbed as the Indians. This is partly explained by a special metaphysical disposition and a lot by the versatility

of the ethnic elements that came together here was undoubtedly greatly favored by the geographic and climatic conditions. The great generosity with which

Mother Nature had endowed most of India with,

possible OS here

the man, with

less

To gain food and necessities while

Trouble

of the body

which are often very strong

tropical heat invited him to carefree contemplation

and

the constant

his imagination to see the inexhaustible richness of nature

always

stimulated anew.

the classic

him

as

Rightly can

man

India therefore

as

Designate the country of religious studies and an

learn from an unsurpassable example how

various

and how evolvable the figures think of humanity according to expression

in which the religious

The religions of India fall into two groups:

i.

are wrestling.

in the one

indigenous religions that arose on Indian soil and

foreign religions that were introduced from abroad. The first group includes the religions of the primitive 2. in the

Primitive peoples who still live today in remote areas in an almost uncultivated state, as well as Hinduism and Jainism

and Buddhism; to the second group of Parsism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The numerical ratio of the followers of the various ReAndamans and Ceylon) to one another results from the following table, which is based on the information of the "Census of India" * of 1911 ligions in the Middle East (excluding Burma, the

are.

9589716 220194004 1247687

primitive

Hindus

(including Sikhs)

Jainas

Buddhists

.äM ^ ??

Parsis

99 796 19954

Jews

Mohammedans

66221942 3j565 556

Christians

86985

Other

With its 220 million followers, Hinduism has among the

at the

Religions of India

most confessors, there

him two

Third of all

Belonging to Indians. The Hindus form the absolute majority in most parts of India: in

Make madras

you

89 0/0, in the

united provinces 85 0/0, in Bihar, Orissa, the central provinces

and Berär 82 0/0, kerung

in

Bombay 70 0/0 and

in

Assam

54 ^ / 0 of the population

out.

THE ESSENCE OF HINDUISM

2.

Hinduism is one of the great religions of the world

The fourth number of its adherents is Buddhism

Followers

around

Job;

and rally Islam

himself as him.

sth ^ a a seventh of that

only Christianity,

a bigger one

a lot of

Despite the fact that the Hindus

Make up humanity,

is

the

Majority of

Educated about no religion so poorly informed,

ge

This is due to the fact that he is not an actual

rade over him. World religion

like ^ ie

is

but rather its field of activity (if I

and South Africa, Ame and Australia) limited to India, and then has

Danish branches in East Asia, East Asia

and especially

his reason

three religions

that

he himself

and most of the others

of the named

in peculiar

wise

differs.

The European

is

Essentially through

inherently accustomed to every religion theirs

a few distinctive keywords as

mono-

theistic or polytheistic, nature religion or morality religion, as

6

world-affirming or world-negating,

as national

or universa-

cunning

to characterize.

With Hinduism

every failure fails

seek such a classification. Considered

and

libet

contradicting ideas

him

in this regard not as

talk but

got to

man

him on his

as a

"Desolate quod-

Superstitions ''.

One can from

Doctrines of faith, it appears rather

of a uniform religion

downright from an encyclopedia of the whole

Talking about religion. Some Hindus worship fetishes, heavenly bodies, plants and animals, star,

you

pray to good ones

to heroes and adored saints,

that of richness

barely

you

and evil spirits

have a pantheon,

can be surpassed, and others

worship only one spiritual God again. theopanistic ^) as one with the

world

Some face God and others deny it

in front,

the existence of a supreme world leader in general. Some offer bloody sacrifices to the object of their worship,

and shy away from others

oneself

Killing vermin. The one

orgiastic lust emerges, and others seek to kill their senses through frenzied asceticism. Overview of the

To shape,

in which the

man

the multiform

Hinduism voices, then

is

"Pantheism" takes the view: The universe is God, ie the bearer and object of the relationship of religious-aesthetic feeling. Here being God is a function of the world. The world itself is elevated to the absolute. The most conceivable contrast to pantheism is that which is usually equated and confused with it: "Theopanism". It says here: i God is all. All-being is here a function of the deity. This is the diametrical contradiction to: t) as all is GodX The Godhead is the real, the world only its secondary function. This view, in sharpest contrast to pantheism, has the tendency to diminish the world and finally let it perish, namely in the deity. There are different degrees in this. The outermost level of this theopanism is then acosmism. To speak of pantheism at this stage is absurd, but thoughtless at the earlier stages. "In accordance with these apt remarks by R. Otto (" Vishnu-Näräyana ". Texts on Indian mysticism of God. I, (Jena 1917) p. 59f. ) In this book, instead of the commonly used but, as Otto has shown, erroneous expression "pantheism", the term "theopanism" was always used, because pantheism in the sense of the Stoics or Giordano Bruno's does not exist in India, but there is a comparable theopanism that of the Christian mystics, a theopanism which, in Shankara's teaching, increases to the point of complete denial of the reality of the world, to acosmism. 1)

it is itself

t

1

it as

would find

man

there all the stages united which the religious

Consciousness of humanity has passed from animism and

Demon cult of the savages and the polytheistic natural religions up to

the spiritualistic-ethical revelation religions mo-

notheistic

If

and

theopanistic stamp.

Hindus harbor such different beliefs and pursue cultic ideals, can one even speak of Hinduism as such? Gives

and

the

so disparate ethical

it something

that connects all of these contradicting ideas

and

put a common stamp on all of them? The unifying

unites into a whole, is not the common belief in certain gods or the acceptance of certain religious teachings, but a complex of certain generally recognized socio-ethical basic views. All over the world an eternal law is revealed to the Hindu,

Tape that

the

they all

Dharma.

This

Dharma

manifests itself as a law of nature in

the properties which are peculiar to a thing or a being, provided that it is a real representative of its z.

B.

in the downward flow

of the water,

Be genus

should,

in giving milk to the cows.

However, it also manifests itself as a moral law, as the norm, the sum of the ethical and legal regulations, commandments and duties that a being must obey in order to correspond to its natural destiny. The Dharma is infinite; it can therefore only ever be applied to finite beings to a limited extent. The innumerable beings who populate the world are subject to the Dharma to varying degrees. The relative level of the obligations to be fulfilled by them corresponds to a greater or lesser state of moral and ritual purity. For the Hindu, people are also broken down into a large number of categories who seek to realize a more or less extensive part of the Dharma from birth and accordingly themselves at a higher or lower level of purity.

Over three thousand such classes of people are believed to be the so-called castes, i.e. H. endogamous

are located. in India

Groups of people who have the same traditional occupation and who are linked into a whole by fixed, inherited rights, duties and beliefs. These boxes are 8

the

under

four

Brahmins or priests, Vaishyas or farmers and commercial

Categorized stands,

Kshatriyas, or warriors, driving

and

finally as Shüdras, as the plebeians who supported the three

across from

Booths

upper

as

are considered impure and inferior.

as

Still standing among the Shüdras

People who are not the ones from

all

follow these purity laws that have yet to be fulfilled, i.e. all non-

Hindus, the natives, the Mohammedans, Christians, etc. The highest position on this social ladder

manen

a,

to take

the

Brah-

since this is physical and ethical as well

also with regard to their employment, in theory most of them

the

Purity ideal of

Hindu match.

appointed guardians of the law because

Dharma on

with the sources of the

you

are best familiar. Knowledge of the divine

draw human rights

you

and

from the eternal revelation

Vedas. The Veda,

fonts, from the

at the

You are the

large collection of

a

religious scriptures, at different times, long before

the

Beginning of our era, emerged

applies to everyone

fallible treasure of everything earthly

and unearthly knowledge. On

Hindus

this authority or on the theoretically on their tion are supposed to last

In the end

all of them

as

the un-

based tradi-

different views,

and rites are based, which are in force within the various classes of society, some of which are like the Laws

honoring certain gods, believing in transmigration of souls, celebrating certain festivals, performing certain ceremonies

Killing cattle and eating their meat that

nien, the prohibition, custom,

to burn the dead, that

Initiation formula

(Guru)

(Mantra)

by

i.a. are so general

Receive

one

a religious one

hindu

Teacher

that there is often a character in them

teristic of Hinduism is seen.

Decisive for the affiliation half the affiliation to a general

to Hinduism

as

is

of-

Link of Hinduism

recognized caste, the fulfillment of the religious, ritual, and moral caste customary in this

and

social duties, of

Enjoyment

that of her

rights granted, the recognition of the primacy of the Brahmins as the privileged priesthood

Infallibility of

Veda

as

and

the

Conviction of the

of holy revelation.

Anyone who has these points, even if it is just theoretical

and external

lent, corresponds, is a

Hindu,

like

he his

Believe in a

Be an animist, polytheist, monotheist, theopanist, or atheist. the membership of a caste as a rule

man

There

only through birth

Hindu just be born. Since belonging to Hinduism consists in observing certain regulations and tacitly not denying the authority of the Yeda and the Brahmins, a Hindu is not

can be obtained, can

as

;

someone who believes what the Hindus (or most of them) believe, but someone who

of them) This

does

What

the

Hindus (or most

t \ m. \

Delimitation of belonging to Hinduism

now

is

but not a fixed one, but a flowing one. You probably hit the main

towards most of the Hindus, but doesn’t let himself go

all

apply.

In the Census Report by

191

1,

Volume X,

S.

78

shares J.

T. Märten

Investigation of 82 Hindu castes in the central provinces, the individual strength of which exceeds 1% of the total population and a total of 92% of the total population.

that

he at the

do,

noted

With,

they do not apply.

that a whole series of these points on In his calculation we find the following

the information:

Members of caste, a)

who deny the supremacy of the Brahmins, 28/401 ^ 2 persons 190/0

b) which none

c)

Brahmins

employ as a priest,

Ao2 56i Persons who do not receive the mantra from Brahmins or others

Alles-

receive commonly recognized Hindu gurus,

6809716 persons 43 0/0 d) who the

do not worship great Hindu gods,

3300692 people 22 0/0 e)

who do not recognize the authority of the Veda,

f)

who are not allowed to enter Hindu temples

3 Ol 4 023 people 200/0 is,

8769338 people

2 5 0/0

g) which by their contact with members of the upper castes

10

(including the better ones

Shüdras)

ritual

Cause impurity,

3060282 people 20 0/0 4888570 people 33 0/0 1649 959 people

h) which beef eat,

who bury their dead

i)

Do not like

The numbers reported to Märten are correct

those of

- prove in their entirety

she, however,

be or

how hopeful

Find Hinduism. Some researchers have therefore made the suggestion that every delimitation of the term it is should be lost, a definition of the that is satisfactory in all respects

Refrain from Hinduism, and every Indian who does not clear

evident

Hinduism by standing applicable religious community is referred to as Hindu. So one wrote generally as outside of the

who was unable to define his by any other name than that of some recognized religion or of a sect of some such religion, was held to be and classed as a Hindu. "i) Sir Denzil Ibbetson: ,, Every native

creed, or described

it

This delimitation of the term Hinduism

from practical considerations like that

dictated.

Word hindu

self.

is

completely

you

came

x \ ls

namely the

then invaded North India

the same way they do the

Moham

local loading

residents, who are very different from them, especially

total on

as

all

,,

Hindus "and later also expanded this name

The word Hindu is apparently the word Sindhu, the Indian name of the river

other Indian out. The

rumps out

Indus, from which the Greeks used the term "Indian"

Over time, this word also became common

had derived.

the Indians themselves

eiui,

so

that even modern pandits tried

have to show it through artificial interpretations and

services

(e.g.

from "Hin"

him

as Sanskrit

to give a religious meaning.

B. from "Ayendu", a

and "you" pain

Names

to

This derivative

the goddess Durgä, or

expelling) but are of course willing-

natural artifacts.

The Hindus did not have a name for themselves because they did not need one.

you

came to one

actual awareness of their peculiarity only at the time when the 1)

Census 1881, Panjäb,

S.

101.

II

Mohammedans and later the Portuguese Christians demonstrated to them with fire and sword that they formed a special group of people for themselves. Until then, as they still do in theory today, the Indians had themselves as the real representatives of the

with whom

ker,

Considered humanity, and

Came into contact

you in

as

other vol-

all

Yavanas (Greeks),

Hünas (Huns), Mlecchas (barbarians), which only with regard to their customs, but not essentially of

of their purity

would be different from them.

There

The Hindus could not delineate these views as firmly by a creed as the Christians and Mohammedans. The orthodox Hindus rather refer to their religion as the "Sanatana Dharma", as the eternal law that was transmitted through the Veda and the sacred tradition that followed it, their religious ones

ric personality traced back

(Shruti-smriti-puränädi-pratipäditah Sanätanadharmah), a law,

the

always existed and for

all

People

applies

like

it

from

the Shüdras, caste still lower than the relatives

and not from barbarians

Dharma

This

the.

in its full

Expansion can be detected

but refers to

different

all of them

Castes and life stages in the same way (hence Varnäshrama-

dharma); The following Sanskrit verse gives its characteristics:

"Pramänya-buddhir vedeshu, sädhananam anekata, upasyänam aniyama etad dharmasya lakshanam."

“The mark of Dharma authority

is

is:

the conviction,

that the Veda

the multiplicity of remedies and the unlimited

Diversity of objects of worship. "!)

This definition

is

so elastic,

that

it last

End whole

in

the subjective discretion of the assessor is made as to whether he

the

as

Veda

Hindu count

as an authority

want

or not, because the recognition of the

in truth only has a purely formal meaning,

because the vast majority of all Hindus

does not know the Veda written in Sanskrit, as it is understandable to them 1)

is.

The

completely

U.N-

essential difference between the indi-

Census 1911, XVI, Baroda,

P. 63.

see and the European

On f cissing of belonging to

Hinduism is shown in German by the Indian Shridhar V. Ketkar when he writes in his "Essay on Hinduism *" p. 33: "The European understands a Hindu to be a person who has certain beliefs and customs that are common to the Hindus find or be licensed by them. Hindus define a Hindu as a man who has not fallen away from Hinduism, i.e. H.

who did not become a member of a community who did not

Community

as a Hindu

applies

.

.

.

The distinction

between a Hindu and a non-Hindu therefore only pro-

can change at any time. Hinduism's future will also include Christians, Mohammedans and Buddhists. Hinduism is always a visionary validity.

you

can possibly

in

changing community, which has the opportunity to express

stretch and take in races and peoples regardless of their religious beliefs. What kind of religious communities it will absorb depends entirely on the circumstances. ** This peculiar conception of the nature of Hinduism

and the way in which he becomes misHindu, how to become a Christian or a Muslim, d. H. by simply converting and accepting certain doctrines. It is therefore incorrect when European writers say they have converted to Hinduism or when it is said that Mrs. Annie Besant has become a Hindu. One does not become Hindu by sharing certain metaphysical views of the Hindus, but only by conforming as a fellow member of a Hinduism to the characteristic species

One can

sioned.

Not

considered social community, i.e. a Hindu caste, one is therefore only either by birth, or because the previous (actual or alleged

or sect, is recognized. Hindu liche)

There is,

Affiliation

to Hinduism

is restored.

the Hinduism of the Sanatanadharma, the "eternal religion"

got to

every person who is not too

fallen away from him default

be,

his

him

heard, either yourself

or his ancestors have to get through

Purity regulations

renounced from him

so that he or she sank to a level that

and therefore outside

of

Hinduism

lies.

Will i3

by performing a special purification ceremony (Shuddhi) a person becomes clean again, so he becomes a Hindu



what special

valid,

That

Christians or

Hindutums again

religious ideas him

Mohammedans on

these

move.

Way the status of the

comes primarily with people's ancestors from Hinduism to Christian

to reach,

before that themselves or theirs

or Islam had been converted. That non-Indians in a way

into a Hindu caste

rarer, but is

these

or find sect entrance,

is

but has been the case several times, especially with

Reform communities such as the Arya or Brahma Samaj, where Europeans or Muslims became members. On the other hand

it has been since

always

it was common for people to become Hindus who belonged to a religion that was not so clear in their minds

contrast

to Hindu tum

posed.

The many foreign immigrants who invaded India, such as the Greeks, Scythians, Gurkhas, etc., are Hinduized in this way

been.

In the present, Hinduism expands that

Number of his followers mainly through taking in people

man

from those primitive peoples who

their religious beliefs

inquiries with a convenient but not entirely accurate expression

as

Called animists.

ten years are the aspirations to

Namely in the

last

Conversion of animists

methodically operated by organizations such as AU-India

Shuddhi Sabha, in which members of various reform sects, especially the Arya-Samaj, are interested. The persons who are to be made Hindus have to fast and bathe before the Shuddhi ceremony and then become more holy with recitation

— 1910

claims

solemnly declared clean.

Panjab

In the years

70,000 people were accepted into Hinduism in this way, including 2,000 Christians and 4,000 Muslims. i) igoi

supposed to be in the province

More important

alone

than organized missionary work of that kind

one that's only recently

and apparently

in

imitation

Ver

Christian-

Licher propaganda societies have emerged has always been the

and get more random admission from Aboriginal people.

gradual, not uniformly organized

train that Hinduism by

1)

Census 1911, XIV, Panjäb,

i4

S.

150.

In contact with their higher-ranking Hindu neighbors, the less civilized peoples are gradually influenced by their religious ideas and customs.

By

you

the

perceive that

the

Hindus

them as lower

consider them to be unclean

and

Gradually

impose with them a great reserve. the

Outlook which the Hindus have about

even with; you

strive

you

Being in traffic

standing

therefore

Splits

yourself

have, the Aborigines

therefore seek to become like them. This

come

the Hindu teachers, let it be

now Brahmins

lower ranks or Gosäins, members of monastic orders, who are looking for a suitable livelihood in these areas

wander around. Catch this

on, among them

to preach and to help them with their magic spells in need and

As a result, they gain influence alongside the local pastors and often push them into the background. The use of Hindu priests raises the social standing of the Aborigines in the eyes of the Hindus and causes urgent assistance.

hence, over time, their less advanced relatives also decided to follow suit.

Without

Ritual or a regular one

a formal swapping of the

Conversion has taken place

would have,

who-

so every year more and more Aborigines become Hindus. This absorption into Hinduism is made much easier because

by that the animists the Hindus

People are considered to be whose

as

go once were Hindus, but who sank from this condition so that it is not theirs

around

admission

a new acquisition, rather

ren property.

around

in the

Hinduism

a re-annexation early

The way this theory is in

the practice is implemented, be here on

the

Example of Assamese

Tribes illustrated. The kings of the Kocs were told by the Brahmins that they were descended from Shiva, who assumed human form as the Haria Mandal. As are their people

you

hundreds of years ago who lived

Members of the warrior caste who many years ago

the despised tribe to the wrath of Parashurama

as

fled and the year of the Kocs in

Assam ge

but now through a purification ceremony their old position

lung would have regained.

Since then you have worn the holy one again

Cord and are considered Kshatriyas. i5

Tribe managed to get into such a high caste straight away. While the Kacari kings of Hiramba are considered to be descendants of the hero Bhima and, like their people, have been raised to the rank of Kshatriyas, since their two chiefs Krishna and Govind Gandra, after having performed the necessary ceremonies in 1790 AD Belly of a Ni (^ ht allen

cow

large copper

got out, the kacaris of the Brah-

maputra tales not in this high position

part.

"If

one of the-

kind Kacari himself first under the spiritual guidance of a Gosain

At this stage, Hinduism is more than a name. He continues to eat pigs and chickens and continues to enjoy strong liquor drinks. After a while he changes his way of life and becomes a Modahi. A few generations later, when he has given up or hidden his preference for all forbidden food and drink and outwardly at least a ceremonially pure Hindu, his name is a Saraniya.

represents,

For

around

not much

become

The

is

then

Kamtäli or Bar Koc. ** ^)

he is considered

Conversion of an animist

to Hinduism

so does not require any

significant change in his religious beliefs.

Hinduism

is

The

yes to the beliefs of his

connoisseur "all tolerant,

compliant,

Alles

sorbing "(Monier- Williams)

.

Alles

comprehensive,

Alles

from-

The old gods will continue quietly

but are brought into relation by the Brahmins to the great gods of the Hindu pantheon, in that they are worshiped for incarnations or manifestations of Vishnu, Shiva's, Durga's, etc.,

be explained.

Of

very many Aborgins who became Hindus in this way

his tiver

should, it is very

hard to say if

Consideration really yes

as such

man

they at

object-

can see there

you

their practical behavior can hardly be distinguished from their animistic tribal comrades. For the time being, Hinduism is still an externally applied varnish and may only become a real power with their descendants. J. Mc. Swiney in

reports about it:

"In the Brahmaputra valley 1)

1891 census,

16

1,

Assam,

is it

P. 84.

difficult to determine when the

^^^^^^^^^^^

3

o CO

3 Hm

5^

,)

.

yJJJ ^^^ XKk ^ AAJJ ^ JJ ^^^ J.XKK ^^ J ^ JJJ.A.

new converts become truly Hindus, as many of them still cling to their old ways of eating and drinking. I remember meeting some Miris in the east of Darrang who told me to eat

and alcohol too

drink,

although

you

to lead

continued to poultry too

be a Gosain their pastor.

But they carefully avoided this in his presence

Guilty of wrongdoing. If I

she asked,

Become bhakats (followers) of a Hindu Gosin

Why

you

if

you

be

disobeying his diet, said

you,

you

be

agreement

Strangers in a strange land, and if so

you

with the gods of the place or with theirs

Deputy would meet, so

could

man

do not know what evil would befall them.

Therefore would have paid

him

not a

you yourself

placed under the care of a Gosain and

around

an annual fee,

so definitely safe too

walk. No doubt these people will be in a few generations

Orthodox Hindus are recognized, however

is it

as

impossible that

To define the boundary line which they must cross. "(I)

Similar to how it behaves with the Hinduism of the semi-wild tribes (BS

with

dom

those close to them despised as impure

applicable caste of

Street sweeper

Sikhs are

as

Hindus, yes

is

(Hari, Mehtar, Gühra). These

Mohammedans or Hindutum from which the Orthodass the Hindus of higher classes

People call themselves, so far

they don't

you

dox so completely different

Mostly see them as believers in a religion that is

half of their sweepers * '

lies.

consists

in

The main element of the "Religion of

the

the veneration of saints like Lälbeg,



Balmik, etc., whose raw idols often have a red flag on a stick on a mound in a primitive way


them constantly back and forth between Hinduism and Islam

vary. In the case of the people discussed so far, it can be argued whether they are already Hindus, because they are still on a level that does not yet come close to the average type of Hindu. The ^)

1911 Census, HI, Assam, 2

V.

Glasenapp, Hinduism

S.

41.

in

The counterpart to these is a series of reform sects which arose on the basis of Hinduism, but in some respects go beyond it. The Mahanubhavas, the Lingayats, the Sikhs

do not recognize the Hindu caste system, the Arya

Samajis deny the authority of the Puranas and numerous other generally accepted works. The followers of the Brähma-Samaj do not see the Veda as the only divine revelation and the Jainas generally deny the infallibility of the Vedas and instead of the whole holy tradition of the Brahmins put a different one of their own. Can one still call this and numerous other sects, which differ in one or in many points from the views of the orthodox Hindus, as Hindus?

denote or

you have to

you as

special religious community

look at? The behavior of the individual sects

self

becomes

man

kaiun

because it is different at different times. While some attach importance to being considered Hindus at one time, at other times they declare themselves to be followers of an independent religion outside of Hinduism. Political and social reasons are usually decisive for this changing position. Hope from the English Rezur Guide

the right to special representation in a constitutional body, for example, has often

To deny connection with Hinduism. For historical and philosophical reasons, Europeans often classify the Jains, Sikhs, the Brahma and the Arya Samdjis, the

as

Followers of a particular religion. E. D.

Maclagani), on the other hand, draws attention to the fact that this

“There is no logical reason to cite adherents of particular religions while one

inconsistently go this as

on the other hand

so

be.

other small Hindu sects,

numerous

Which

just as little to represent orthodox doctrines and equally deviating

Have customs

as this,

in your lap

of Hinduism. The

native residents of a province dream of adorning these sects as being outside of it.

1)

It

is

of it, one

Hindutums located too

classic

mostly just their size and their political history,

Census 1891, XIX, Panjäb,

i8

barely

P. 90.

the for

recognition

their claim to be something special

has led. "

th,

can be taken

Strict

every autochthonous religion fore-in-

diens that are in any you

shape

in mental development how

took place under the aegis of Brahminism, classifies as

a

shape

that already

the since

Hinduism can be considered. The

from

applies

Religious communities that have existed for over 240 years

Buddhists who do not recognize the whole Vedic tradition and the primacy of the Brahmins and have developed a special religious system. Kern, Bhandarkar, Senart, Barth and La Vallee Poussin rightly agree: “Le Boudder

dhisme, en derniere analyze, est une des faces de THindouisme ".!)

As justified as this point of view is and as much as they confirm the facts, (I recall the dependence of ancient Buddhism on Brahmanic philosophy and tradition, the Hindu character of Mahayana, the sect of the Shravakas in Orissa, etc.), one becomes but the few Buddhists who are now in the Middle East in practice

barely

count among the Hindus. Because Buddhism has long since become a world religion

is

whose confessors almost entirely

living half of his home country, it is advisable for practical reasons

Reasons that Indian Buddhists do not join the sectarianism of the

To include Hinduism, but to treat it in the context of Buddhism in general. It is similar with the Jainas, who up to

to the

today

Day in India a community of about 1 ^ / 4 million strong. As much as these deviate from Hinduism in terms of their tradition and teachings, their actual behavior towards the Hindus is such that they are not, like the Mohammedans, the Parsis or the Christians, as something more toto-generic.

half of the

Hinduism can be viewed.

Bai Candra Shastri

from

Pundit '

Sanskrit College in Jaipur wrote in one

Expert Opinion "The word Jaina means a follower of Jina or:

Belonging to Jainism was bound to certain caste affiliations. Everyone

Tirthankara.

is

not one

man

1) Barth, Revue des Religions XIX, 277; Oeuvres II, 56. Poussin “Bouddhisme. Etudes et materiaux ", p. 7.

2*

from everyone

La Vallee

19

shows that caste and religion are two. There are different castes among the

Caste can become Jaina. These are different things. Jainas, väls

z.

B. the Osväls, the Porväls, Shrimäls, Saraogis, Agar-

etc. Although these are Jainas according to their religion, so will

yet their weddings and other social rites according to the ceremonies of religion, the gods and the

never executed by the Hindus.

Hindu customs stand

not antagonistic to.

you

and other gods and worship them. They consider the Brahmins to be superior and therefore show them reverence. They consider the Ganges waters to be sacred. It has often been noted that in a family the men are Jain and the women are of the Vedic religion. Of two brothers, one can be a Jaina and the other a Vaishnava. In the family of Seth Maniram, one brother built a Vaishnava temple in Brindaban and the other, many believe in Ganesh, the god of wisdom,

a Jain temple in Muttra (Mathura).

These details are

that although people may belong to different religious views, they do not therefore belong to different castes. Consequently, the Jainas must attribute to the Hindus,

become. "!) These remarks by a learned Hindu find their way through the

observations of others a confirmation. p.

Like Gensus

1891, XVI,

i83 is reported from the north-west provinces, there are some

Jainas claim that they worship Vasudeva, Devi, Shiva, Nagasena, Ganpat Nath and Gorakh Näth, and Gaur Brahmins are also used by them in the temples, although these are not Jainas themselves. The Census 1891, XIX, p. 181 "Jainism is in this province to the same extent:

ZAveig of Hinduism, as Sikhism does number the Jains

in Panjab would

lead, if deln. ''

you

than to the

And the MehrHindu duly

is.

are not asked to act differently

From what has been said it follows

yourself,

that Jainism is

zial point of view as a religious community within the

Hinduism has to apply



albeit

the

Deviations

Doctrine and in many other things prove that ij

Census 1911, XXII, Rajputana,

20

S.

103.

he,

from

in the

Was standing-

points of his dogmatics, undoubtedly permanent religion can be considered.

What

for the Buddhists and Jainas that

as one

applies

from

other religious communities like the Sikhs, the Arya-, Brähma-

and Deva-Samäj stand outside Hinduism in terms of their theological views and in many other respects and are therefore listed in many statistics as special religions.

A very satisfactory answer to the question:

duism

is

the religious

therefore impossible. Depending on

moment

in the

foreground

one puts,

What

Outward

is

the social or

one comes

a broad or a narrow definition of the term

to

and

subsume or exclude one or the other sect as desired. Ultimately be

can under him

ever

therefore purely practical points of view must be decisive and one will then do best to designate as Hindus all those inhabitants of the front Indian peninsula who are not foreign

abroad

introduced re-

belonging to a religious community, but at the same time also to their religious one

Thinking and, above all, your behavior

Measures from the average

get in not too

high

who are undoubtedly considered to be Hindus

remove the. The determination of the limits of this standard, however, must to a certain extent be left to the discretion and practical expediency. i)

becomes

Just as difficult as the (if one may say so) spatial demarcation of today's Hinduism from other religious

communities

is it,

its position within the Indian religious

The modern Hindu believes that so and the ancient Indians were Hindus. The historian of religion

to fix history in time.

Hinduism

be

as old as the world

already in Vedic times

^) How much the views of the Hindus themselves about what constitutes the essential content of Hinduism differ in some respects can be seen from the result of a survey,

which the newspaper "Leader" organized in Allahäbäd a few years ago. The answers given by a number of outstanding Hindus have been collected in the pamphlet "Essentials of Hinduism" 2 ed., Madras, G. A. Natesan.

21

got to

on the other hand, find that religious beliefs have changed a great deal over the centuries. Usually three periods are distinguished from him: the Indian himself

1

.

Vedism, the natural cult of the Aryan Indians, as it is in the

Works

Veda is taught, 2. Brahmanism, the form of religion that gradually developed out of Vedism and in which the caste system, the sacrificial technique and mystical speculation came to fruition, 3. Hinduism, which is based on Brahmanism, but through inclusion many strange ideas, gods and rites over him older

of

goes out.

None of these three phases can be clearly delimited, since the flow of continuous development is nowhere forcibly undermined.

has been broken out, but what is later gradually erupted

emerged

is.

the

Freeze

Every attempt, the end of the one and the other

Determine the beginning of the next period,

is

hence arbitrary and

inaccurate.

A sharp division of Brahmanism

mus and

of Hinduism

from Brahmanism

is

from

Vedis

because of that

not feasible, because each time the later stage of development is yours

has completely absorbed the previous one, so that

Brahmanism is a Vedism expanded by various elements, and Hinduism is a Vedism that has been added by many

mene increased Brahmanism

represents. i)

Finally, if we try to define the term Hinduism as it is used in this book, we can do so with the following words: Hinduism is a religious-social system that is made up of it

is

the indian, autochthonous

through Brahmanism

extensive inclusion of originally unbrahmanic elements

and the

since

the

Victories against the

Buddhism

^) If it is often said in popular works that the prevailing religion in India is Brahmanism, this is not entirely inaccurate after what has been said, but it arouses false ideas and should be better avoided. The notion that sometimes emerges that Brahmanism is the religion of those inhabitants of India who, in contrast to Mohammedans, Christians, Buddhists, etc., worship Brahma as the highest god, is based on an erroneous view. Rather, Brahmanism means that religion that is based on the authority of the Brahmanas.

22

judged priestly

Counter-Reformation the overwhelming majority

adherence to the population of today's India. It encompasses the entirety of all rites, religious customs and beliefs, traditions

and mythologies that are sanctioned by the holy books and brahmins directly or indirectly

editions

Regulations of the

which he-

hold.

3. OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF HINDUISM

Contemporary Hinduism with

its unmistakable abundance

of religious and social beliefs and customs

End product

a long historical process.

He

is

is

the

not that

Result of the intellectual development of a people that gradually

rose from the crude ideas and rites of primitive people to higher levels of religious life, but the result of an enormous racial mixture.

and in balancing the various

It was created in battle

Peoples who settled in India

and Aryans. Due to the lack of literary monuments, we have no precise knowledge of the religion of the ancient Dravids, who inhabited the greater part of India before they were pushed ever further south by the Aryan immigrants and then gained their culture there too. Their chief trait seems to have been in the service of nature and in the cult of ancestors, and above all in the worship of cruel demons. They celebrated orgiastic feasts at which their priests stayed, mainly the Dravids

Conditions

made prophetic sayings of rapture.

A

A number of facts suggest that the Dravids

a relatively high level of culture

also likes.

had enough that

come

be

While we're about

in their religious ideas

the old religion of

to expression

Dravids not under-

we have for religion the ancient literary source

mighty

ge

Aryans one

of irreplaceable value: the Veda, a

Collection of songs and sayings,

their content

for the 23rd

Part until well over the second millennium

v.

Goes back. The

European research has, through philological investigation,

has accumulated over the course of centuries and then organized by priestly schools according to sacred criteria, has shown that in the abundance of this huge mass of tradition, which is

in the Veda

Traditional several layers are to be distinguished,

which form the precipitation of different cultural epochs.

While

the oldest period of the Vedic time, which the ancient

Hymns

testing

of the Rig-Veda, lived the Aryans

Northwest, in the Panjab. Lived here

you,

to

Tribes

in the

united,

in villages, mainly as cattle herders.

but already outstanding in agriculture, trade and industry.

performing excellently, a cheerful, combative people, not the blossoms of a refined culture

Religion that is at this stage as a

that too

were unknown. Your

"Vedism"

referred to as,

naive polytheism. They believed in a multitude of gods

tern that, do not

like a hierarchically ordered state, but rather

how one big family ruled world history. A number of them are nature gods: so Sürya, the sun god, Soma, the god,

Vayu,

Moon-

the wind god, Parjanya, the rain god, Agni, who for some is related to the na-

Fire god, Ushas, ​​the goddess of the dawn. this

is

the

objects still very clearly.

You are originally the animated

imagined natural phenomena themselves and only gradually become supernatural beings that are thought to be detachable from the natural substrates on which they are based; by adding

The addition of human traits is more and more anthropomorphized through the addition of moral ideas

until they finally

have become something different from natural objects. In other gods of the Veda, those in Indo-Germanic prehistoric times

were probably also gods of nature, this her original trait has already faded more. The Ashvis, the Dioscuri, in which

one sun and moon, morning and one wanted to recognize are

Evening star or the twilight

in the Veda helper and

Doctors.

The national

god of the Vedic Indians, Indra, who with his thunderbolt den

Killed dragon Vritra and invoked in battle against enemies,

24

is

Not

more of the

pure thunderstorm god, who he in prehistoric times

must have been. Gods like Savita show a more abstract character

"the driver" later

with the sun

was and others. The highest guardians of Rita, the

identified

Order, des

moral

Truth, are three gods that come from the Indo-Germanic

Ancient: Varuna, who watches over the oath

and over

the

Water by which he is sworn, Mitra (Persian "Mithra"), the patron of friendship

To

the marriage.

and contracts and Aryama, the god

these favorite characters in priestly poetry

then a great abundance of demigods, heavenly ones

to step

Demons and goblins who played a major role in the people's beliefs and in their magical acts. The cult, consecrated to the gods, by the practice of which one wanted to seek blessings from them and ward off calamity, did not take place in temples, but rather in front of grass-strewn sacrifices. It consisted in the praise of the gods and in the offering of more or less solemn offerings, namely of all kinds of cakes and animals. But the noblest offering was hosts,

the intoxicating, pressed sap of the Soma plant

(Sarcostema

viminalis or Asclepias acida), drunk by the priests

has been. time

The

always

both

The ritual customary to make sacrifices was made with the

more complicated. A special sacrifice developed

science, knowledge of which required thorough study. Because this sacrificial technique is monopoly in certain circles

and was inherited from father to son, power and influence increased the greater the importance attached to the sacrifice. More and more the idea broke through that a magical compulsion could be exerted on the gods through sacrifice, that they would lize

a special priesthood, whose

Priests the gods through that

Catch victims like

the birds (Rig-Veda 3, A5, i),

that

the

the bird controller

Adoration

the worshiper - rules over the gods (Rig-Veda

with was the

path

prepares for the



and thus there-

6, 5i, 8).

Priesthood supremacy,

the

in the following years a characteristic feature of the Indian

Culture

represents.

The anthropomorphization of the gods and the extensive training of the ritual many

is

where the Aryans advance to the level of the Ganges

accomplished at the time

Walks and fights

in the

25

were squeezed. The culture of this time finds its expression in the latest hymns of the Rig-Veda, in the theological ones that follow the Vedas

Works over

victim science,

the so-called Brähmanas and in the theosophical treatises of the Upanishads.

The entire population is divided

now in four positions: in the three

originally probably the

Brahmins or

"Twice born caste"

progeny

d. H.

of the Aryan immigrants: the

Priests, the Kshatriyas, or warriors, the Vaishyas

or farmers and forage workers and in the fourth unclean caste of the Shüdras, the lower folk, the enslaved indigenous people. top of this box

is

The

the priesthood of the Brahmins. Him alone

mediates between gods

and people

he leads the cult

and

Education system, he is so fully in control of the whole spiritual life.

come that this period of Indian religious history is called Brahmanism after him. The ideas of the Indian religion also change. The gods continuously experience an ethical deepening and new, abstract gods like that of the world creator Prajäpati

and

of the Lord of Prayer Brihaspati, the embodiment of the

ster tums, step in

the foreground. At the same time, the many are able to do so

anthropomorphic gods no longer meet advanced thinking. Doubt and ridicule arise; one looks for the unknown God, who himself immortal, the world with all its

Man

Primordial reason of being in Brahma. Originally Brahma is probably the sacred spell with which the gods and the forces of nature were conquered, the magical force that, like the mana of the gods of nature, has created and reigns.

finds the

peoples as a supernatural potency all superhuman appearances

The concept of Brahma is being intensified more and more in philosophical speculation. It becomes the soul's all-ness,

brings.

to the absolute.

This

Find Brahma

the soul of every being again, they recognize

prevailed

as

the everything

part of him when

Upanishads in

What

is as

of

similar in nature to him

or of the same nature.

Was of crucial importance for

this speculation

also another view. In the past, the Indians' gaze was directed towards this world;

26

man

posed

before

that

the souls of the departed

in heaven

at

King Yama stayed

enjoyed the man sacrifices of the bereaved. But now the belief in a transmigration of souls became prevalent, the idea that every being after death had to be reborn again and again according to his good or bad deeds (karma), as a plant, as an animal, as a human being or as heavenly.

and there

lish

Beings,

around

so that

wage

of his deeds in previous

harvest zen. The belief in a beginningless chain of reincarnations, at the same time with the knowledge of the impermanence of everything

Earthly called the

Wish awake,

Alternation between birth and death. renounced

one of the pleasures

Forest back and

free

to become of

Around

the eternal