Creation mythology and enlightenment

  • CG80.
  • Accounts of creation in Sanskrit literature appear in a number of hymns of the {f}gveda, and in the {m}AnavaDarmaSAstra, the {m}ahABArata, and purARas. Although scholars generally describe these accounts as various, mutually inconsistent myths, or as superseded stages of philosophical thought, they appear to convey a consistent model of the origin of the world. Moreover, the first stages of creation mirror the descriptions of the development of enlightenment in foundational texts of {v}edAnta and systematic analyses of {y}oga. The descriptions of creation may therefore rather be the result of the special insight of enlightened sages than the results of individual imagination. This course takes a close look at these creation accounts and descriptions of enlightenment in various translations including the professor’s own.
  • Course materials:
    Scharf, Peter M. 2020. “Creation mythology and enlightenment in Sanskrit literature.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 48.4: 751--766. DOI 10.1007/s10781-020-09437-y. URL
  • Instructor: Peter M. Scharf.
  • Schedule: To be announced.
  • Course fee: $500.
  • Express interest.
Lecture Topic
1 {f}gveda 10.81–82 {v}iSvakarmasUktas
2 {f}gveda 10.90 {p}uruzasUkta
3 {f}gveda 10.121 {h}iraRyagarBasUkta and {f}gveda 10.129 {n}AsadIyasUkta
4 {m}AnavaDarmaSAstra
5 {m}ArkaRqeya {p}urARa 42.20–73
6 {B}agavadgItA
7 Modern scholarly evaluations
8 Vedic name transference and disagreements in classical Indian philosophy
9 Coherent interpretation of creation accounts
10 Accounts of enlightenment in the {f}gveda, {u}panizads, {y}ogasUtras, {b}rahmasUtra, {B}agavadgItA