So, I have been taking a Religion course that focuses on East Asian Traditions, and today was the first day where we actually talked about a specific religion. We focuses on Hinduism, and I learned so much (it has become much less confusing to be honest). I learned about Brahman, and Brahma (who is super cool), and about the deities and the caste system, and so on and so forth. Though I find my teacher very boring, I greatly look forward to this class and the future classes I plan on taking (primarily Buddhism and Christianity). Anyways, this particular story was interesting and short so I figured I would write a quick post on it. It is hard to find pictures for this, so I won’t put any. But if anyone has one you would like to share please tell me.
Purusha was a premordial being who sacrificed himself for the creation of man (his body parts became man). The concept of the caste system was said to originated from this story. When he was sacrificed, his head became the priest (Brahmin), his strong arms became the warriors (Kshatriya), his quick legs became merchants (Vaishya), and his feet became the laborers (Shudra). These are the varnas or the caste system. Good karma (action) by doing your duties. And this brings you closer to moksha (release) to escape Samsara (cycle).
He was the sacrificial victim of the Gods, whose body became all life forms in the universe (including some Gods). He was the single cosmic man. Originally the varnas were equally respected with people doing the duty (dharma) of their varna. From his mind came the moon, his eye the sun, and his mouth made Indra and Agni. He had one thousand heads, one thousand eyes, and one thousand feet.
Well, that was some of the stuff I learned. Hope you guys enjoyed this and have a good week.
Check out more here: http://www.girardianlectionary.net/res/hindu_creation.htm
So cute, I am jealous.
Andrew and Peter from Saint Young Men
So this was supposed to be last week’s post, but I seem to have gotten real behind on the stuff I was supposed to do. I have an organic chemistry test this Friday, along with a statistic test. TheBetterCup has like four tests, and I cannot remember what they are for the life of me. This week has also been hectic in other ways. We started running in October and now we run everyday for like 50 minutes, and so a friend and the two of us signed up to run our first 5K. I am so excited but the training drains a little time. After this we can aim for a 10K. I have also been swamped with volunteer opportunities (some of which did not pan out all that well). But I will try to continue posting weekly just for my sanity. So here I present the Apostles. TheBetterCup and I spent a good 5 hours researching them, which was a lot of fun, and this is what we cam up with.
- Peter (Originally known as Simon) was a fisherman and one who brought people to Jesus (a fisher of men). He was the leader of the apostle. He healed a forty year old man, who was crippled from birth, by saying ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have to give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazerath: walk.’ He was one of the three pillars of the Church. His ministry was primarily to the Jews. The Denial of Peter: When Jesus was being arrested, following them as Jesus was being taken away, Peter denied being with or knowing Jesus three times. Jesus allowed the Devil to tempt Peter with fear (making him a coward that denied his lord) to allow Peter to learn of his weaknesses. When he was to be crucified, he asked to be crucified head downwards for he was not worthy to die like his Lord. That upside down cross with crossed keys became Peter’s apostolic symbols.
- Andrew (Brother of Peter) was the first disciple of Christ and brought Peter to Jesus. His main goal was to bring others to Jesus (also a fisher of men). His ministry was to the Greeks, and that is where he went to preach. He was tied to a cross, and lived two days preaching to others before dyeing. Not wanting to be crucified like Jesus, he asked for an x-shaped cross. His apostolic symbol is an x-shaped cross with two fish.
- James (The Greater) was the first apostle to become a martyr (first to die). He and his brother, John, were called ‘Brothers of Thunder’ by Jesus. He was one of the few people who witnessed the rising of the daughter of Jairus, the transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, and Jesus’s agony at the Garden of Gethsemane. His mother was Salome (the one who danced the Dance of the Seven Veils for Herod and a possible sister of Mary). he preached in Spain. James saved a drowning knight, by covering his body in sea shells which allowed him to stay afloat and come back to land. He is the saint of warriors and knights. His symbol includes three shells (because of the story) and a sword (because he is a saint to warriors and because he was beheaded with a sword).
- John (Brother of James) was the last Apostle to die and one of two that was not a martyr. He died of natural causes at the ripe old age of about 180 (supposedly). He was exiled to to the Cave of Apocalypse where he was given the text of the Book of Revelation. he continued to build churches to the east in Asia. His symbol is a chalice with a snake in the cup, because so many attempts were made on his life. This includes one where he drank from a poisoned chalice but was miraculously spared. He was also one of the pillars of the church. John was rash, impetuous, and very impassioned. He mellowed out over time and lost his explosive temper by old age. Because of this he became the Apostle of Love where he symbolized a balance between love and zeal.
- Philip was the only one that was not brought to Jesus. Instead, Jesus came to him and said to him “Follow me” He was the practical and logical Apostle. In the feeding of 5’000, Jesus asked him where they could find bread for everyone. Philip answered that did not have enough money to feed them all (this was a test of his faith which he failed). His symbol is of a basket with loaves of bread and a cross. He was warm hearted, pessimistic, shy, naive, and sober minded. He was the one all about ‘seeing is believing’. In some text, he was hung, crucified, or stoned. He requested his body to be wrapped in papyrus not linen (like Jesus). He went to Syria to pass on the words of Jesus.
- Bartholomew (Also called Nathaniel) was one of the only disciples to be of royal blood/noble birth. He went to India and most of Asia Minor to spread Christianity. he was flayed alive with knives, and his symbol is three parallel knives. Philip went to Bartholomew and told him that he found the messiah. Bartholomew then asked “what good comes from Nazareth?” To which Phillip replied, “come and see.”
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (1602).
Thomas (Sometimes called Didymus) was one who had faith based on touch (while Philip had to see it to believe it. So they basically represent the ways people choose not to believe/types of proof they need). He was always a little doubting , but was courageous and told other to follow no matter what. Jesus was resurrected and went to the Apostles, but Thomas, who did not see him come up, did not believe them. He would only believe if he could touch the five holy wounds. Jesus let him, but told him that he should believe with out physical proof. He died by being speared by the priests in India. His symbol has spears, arrows, and stones (since he was shot with arrows and stoned before the priests killed him).
- Matthew (Also known as Levi) was a tax collector (which at the time everyone hated tax collector who were considered sinful outcasts). He brought many outcasts to Jesus who showed them love no matter what. Matthew means gift of God. Jesus found him at a tax collectors post and told him ‘Follow me.’ In this case, unlike Philip, Matthew was not sought out he just so happened to pass him. Matthew got up and did just that. Because he was the only one who knew how to write, he was the first to write Jesus’s teachings. His symbol is that of bags of money to show that he was a tax collector. Before meeting Jesus, he thought money was the only important thing in the world. He never wavered and was very committed to Jesus. He died in Ethiopia after humiliating a King in front of all his followers (he was right and it was awesome how he did it too), stabbed in the back by a sword. He is said to be Collector of the Souls (like how the first four were Fisher of Men).
- James (The Lesser) was said to be either brother to Jude or to Matthew and had some familial connections to Jesus. He witnessed the Resurrection and is a pillar of the church. he went to Egypt and Palestine to spread the word of God. He had a strong character and was described as fiery (also called James the Just). He became Bishop of Jerusalem. James was also a hardcore worshiper (seems to be the trend with the Jameses) who never bathed, was a virgin, never ate meat, and prostrated till his forehead and knees were calloused like camel hooves. The Jews got mad, pushed him off the temple, but he rose to beg God to forgive them. he was then beaten by fullers bats and his body was sawed into pieces. his symbol is the saw.
- Jude (Brother of James ≤) was the only one to ask Jesus, during the Last Supper, why he did not show himself to the whole world after his resurrection. He stressed that man should persevere and thus people invoke him when they are in desperate situations, Many confused him for Judas (because of the name and that is why he is often forgotten mostly in middle ages). It was said that he was killed by an axe in Persia. His symbol is boat (because of all his missionary work). He was given the cloth with Jesus’s face (it wiped off on to it like in Saint Young Men), so as to cure leprosy of the King.
- Simon (The Zealot) preached in Egypt and Persia. He accompanied Jude and died with him. He was the bridegroom at a wedding where Jesus turned the water into wine. After witnessing his holiness, he became a zealous follower. He was crucified when he died and his symbol is of a fish lying on a bible.
- Judas (The Traitor) is said to have given Jesus up to the Roman’s for 30 pieces of silver (which in Saint Young Men, Jesus makes an allusion to that which is super funny. When they were hard for cash, he suggested sacrificing himself to be sold. He then said, “I have heard that I am worth 30 pieces of silver at the least”). Judas later hung himself out of guilt. He is the only Apostle who was not a Galallian or Galilean (I am not sure which spelling is right, I have seen both), and he was the carrier of the purse or the treasurer of the group. In some versions, Judas takes the initiative to to betray Jesus. In others, the devil takes over him and makes him betray Jesus. In others (not as common), it is said that he was asked to do this so as to allow Jesus to die for man’s sin (so Jesus would have asked). In these, it is said that Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas and only then could the Devil enter him. Jesus then old him to do what he had to do quickly. This part has been interpreted as a foreshadow to his deeds. His symbol is that of a noose (because he hung himself).
Well this was a very lost post. I really hope you guys enjoyed this and learned something new, I know we did. James the Lesser and Andrew have got to be some of my favorites. Anyways, I hope everyone has a good week, and I will try to post one more this week before the weekend comes. I also have one last anime post, but I will do that maybe Saturday. Things tend to get busy with school, volunteer work, running, and with my job, but I always try to make a small amount of time for my mythology and anime hobbies.
I felt this way around Friday last week.