How would you characterize the relationship between the masculine and feminine principle in the “new” generation of Hindu gods?
Writer is to choose 1 of the 4 questions to answer.Instructions below…
Write a paper of 1500-2000 words that addresses one of the questions below pertaining to devotional theism and thegods of the Hindu tradition. Your paper should draw upon direct analysis of assigned texts, and it should integrateone or more of the theoretical perspectives from the beginning of the course to support your thesis. Choose only 1 question.
1. Compare the “new” generation of gods in the Hindu tradition (e.g., Shiva, Vishnu [and/or his avatars], goddesses,etc.) with the old guard from the Vedic texts. (Probably best to focus in on one god from each pantheon.) Payparticular attention to a) the personality and characteristics of each divinity and b) the forms of worship he/sheinspired. Has the same kind of bhakti been present in the tradition from the beginning, or do the “new” gods inspirea novel form of commitment and practice?
2. When I was a kid hanging out with my friends, we used to pose a question like “If Superman and Batman got intoa fight, who would win?” Then we would debate the issue for long periods of time. Well…if Shiva and Vishnu gotinto a fight, who would win? Develop a sophisticated argument in response to this simple question, supported withevidence from the primary sources (could include the Gita).
3. How would you characterize the relationship between the masculine and feminine principle in the “new”generation of Hindu gods? How do gods and their consorts (shaktis) get along? Who has the upper hand? Whatdistinguishes worship of shakti from other forms of devotion? Focus on a carefully selected set of examples from theassigned texts to address this topic.
4. Do the Hindu gods have a dharma, or a job to do? Are they bound by a code of morality or “social” expectation?How are we supposed to understand moments when the gods do inappropriate things or go to excess? Work withexamples from the primary sources to respond.
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