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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

[20100131] The blog is still refusing mail from gmail. I've stopped the forwarders. When the mail server stops trying to deliver mail (probably by the 5th). I'll try another strategy.
I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

Suicide Bomb News Feed

The Jihad News Feed

Witch News Feed

Ritual Abuse and Killing News Feed

Faith Heal News Feed

Female Genital Mutilation News

Exorcism News Feed

Child Bride or Marriage News Feed

Church Abuse News Feed

Animal Sacrifice News Feed

Religious Exemption News Feed

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brief Introduction To The Vedas

[Revised 20091103] This is the first article in a series of Brief Introductions to Hindu Scriptures. As with other ancient religious texts, these are generally considered to be divinely revealed. Divinely revealed information has all the problems identified by Information and Data Quality Dimensions, the most obvious are the Intrinsic dimensions of Accuracy, Believability, Objectivity and Reputation.  Hinduism is the oldest religion and the Vedas are its foundation.

I recommend browsing the articles embedded links and resources at the end for a better understanding of the material.

The Vedas are a collection of texts written in Sanskrit from the Indo-European language family of which most Western Languages are a member of.  The Vedas represent the earliest set of Hindu Scripture and are considered to be divinely revealed.  Their earliest origin so far has been traced back to the people that occupied the steppes of Central Asia. Those people are referred to as Aryans or Indo-Aryans.

Aryans migrated into the Indus Valley (modern Pakistan) in South Asia from the steppes of Central Asia in the second millennium BCE, bringing with them the Veda, an oral tradition of knowledge primarily concerned with ritual.  The Veda is thought to have existed as oral tradition from 2300 BCE to 1200 BCe before it was finally written down. The Aryan culture intermingled with the culture of the Indus valley to produce the Hindu tradition, and the Veda became Hinduisms most sacred authority.

The Veda is not structured using any organizational scheme a modern person would recognize and do not present any ordered theology.  The texts, at times, are inconsistent with each other.  However, the Veda is organized into four volumes called Samhitas, and each is concerned with a particular aspect or ritual.
  •  The Rigveda (description; text online) is the oldest and most important. It contains over a thousand hymns of praise to Gods and Goddesses called Mantras and they are used in rituals. It discusses the Cosmic Order or Holy Law called Rita. A similar concept to Rita is the Greek concept of Logos, which appeared sometime between 500 - 400 BCE and which appears in the Gospel of John between 100 and 200 CE incarnated as Jesus. The English words Rite, Ritual, and Right are all derived from the same root as Rita.  Rita is concerned with order, harmony and morality. The Rigveda Hymn Of Creation (one of many cosmogonies it contains) has similar elements to Genesis.
  •  Yajurveda gives instructions for sacrifices
  •  Samaveda contains melodies, the songs had to be just right to be effective. The concept of sound, language and spoken word was very important to Hindus.  In the later Hindu Scriptures known as the Upanishads, Hindu cosmogeny has the sound of the Universe being created as AUM, and AUM is also regarded by some as being one of the names of God as well as a symbol for God. This importance of sound and word is similar to the universe being spoken into existence in the book of Genesis.
  • Atharvaveda contains spells and incantations for healing rituals 
The Vedas were maintained and studied by the Brahmins (Priestly class) and were intended to be hidden from the rest of the population because their information was considered to be dangerous if not handled properly.

As mentioned above, the Vedas contain many conflicting cosmogonies, but generally the Veda says that reality is composed of three parts and was created by "That One" who ordained Rita. It says that 33 additional Gods or Devas were created that inhabit those parts and that they are not omniscient or omnipotent and that they are subject to Rita. The full pantheon of Gods expanded to the thousands. Hinduism is known as a "Henotheistic" religion which permits the worship of one God and the recognition of others.

The most referenced God in the Vedas is Indra. Indra was a God of Battle that brought success in War, similar to the Hebrew concept of Yahweh in the first five books of the Bible known as the Torah or Pentateuch. One of his other duties was as a God of Weather, similar to the Hittite God of Asia Minor in the Second Millenium BCE, and Marduke of Mesopotamia.  Indra slayed a Dragon of the waters, similar to Mardukes victory over Tiamat and similar to what Yahweh says about himself in the Book of Job. Leviathan, the Dragon of the waters, also makes an appearance in Psalms and Isaiah.

The second most referenced God is Agni. He was a God of Fire. This kind of fire worship has a parallel in Zoroastrianism, with burning as a symbol of purity, and in the Old Testament practice of burnt offerings.

Another Deva, Rudra, was known as "The Howler", he had no friends, he lived in the wild and was responsible for giving diseases to humans and healing them. He dressed in animal skins and had matted hair, an image similar to the biblical description of John the Baptist.  Rudra is believed to be a prototype of the God Shiva. 

Resources 
A Short History of Religious and Philosophic Thought in India by Swami Krishnananda

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4 comments:

RichD said...

This should prove to be quite educational as I don't know much about Hindu. Lots to chew on, thanks Mr. Clown.

Twilight Z. Clown said...

Have you had your beer yet?

Do you have your thinking cap on? I have another flower pot available if you need one.

I have so much material already on the bible, I wanted to balance it out.

My tentative short term plan:
After this short series comes the scriptural comparison of Jesus to Krishna, then
[drum roll]
Neanderthal burials! weee!

RichD said...

Don't like beer, but I'll take a soda. I had to dust off the thinking cap and recalibrate the BS detector so now I'm ready to rumble.

Twilight Z. Clown said...

Glad to hear it!

 

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