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How do the Vedas and the epics seem similar and different to you?

October 21, 2021
Christopher R. Teeple

1). Sacred texts: As you learned in the textbook, there are a variety of sacred texts in Hinduism, covering centuries of reception and composition. The Vedas fall under the category of shruti (“that which is heard”), that is, ancient sacred texts that were heard by seers and passed on through the generations, eventually being written down. Later sacred texts, derived from shruti, are known as smriti (“tradition”). The smriti, though sacred and ultimately of divine origin, possess a lesser authority than the shruti.
There are four Vedas; the oldest book of the four is known as the Rig Veda (from c. 1500 BC), composed of hymns of praise to the gods, including some of the most important gods of the vedic era such as Indra, Agni, Soma, and Varuna. We will read three short hymns to get a taste of the Vedas. Then we move on to shruti, which most “regular” Hindus are going to be more familiar with. We are focusing especially on the epic works, long, sweeping stories of good and evil, much in the vein of Greek epics like the Iliad and the Odyssey! The first such reading is the Bhagavad Gita (a teaching portion from the Mahabharata). Note that the Bhagavad Gita PDF is 50 pages long — it is not a quick read, but your time will be well spent! Note well the helpful preface — it will give you some needed context. The final sacred text we look at is the Ramayana, a story of how the god Vishnu comes to Earth in one of his avatars, Rama, in order to defeat the demon Ravanna.
Read the three assigned hymns: https://bblearn.eosc.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-811647-dt-content-rid-20388646_1/courses/16123/Selections%20from%20the%20Rig%20Veda%281%29.pdf
Read – https://bblearn.eosc.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-811647-dt-content-rid-20388647_1/courses/16123/The-Bhagavad-Gita-Translation-by-Shri-Purohit-Swami.pdf
Watch video: “Ramayana”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA2BYSivPXA
what the essay is suppose to contain:
LM5 Essay #2: How do the Vedas and the epics seem similar and different to you? What are some spiritual lessons of Hinduism from the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana (at least two from each text)?

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