Phil 250-01 (CRN 459)
Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism
Oneonta College Seal

2:00 - 3:15 TuTh -- Fitzelle 307

Spring 2010



Professor:
Douglas Shrader, Ph.D.
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy
507 Fitzelle, 607-436-2690 or 2456
Email: Shradedw@Oneonta.edu email Professor Shrader
or ProfessorShrader@Gmail.com
Office Hours:
Tu:    1:00 - 2:00 & 3:15 - 4:00
Th:    1:00 - 2:00 & 3:15 - 4:00
and by appointment

Course Description:
Study of the origins and development of Asian Philosophy in India, China, and Japan through intensive study of primary texts, with a special focus on Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
Format
The class is divided into three segments of approximately five weeks each.

Part I will explore the foundations of Hinduism as expressed and codified in the Rig Veda, Aitareya Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Isha Upanishad, Katha Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, and Bhagavad Gita, as well as principal texts from the Samkhya, Advaita Vedanta, and Visishtavadaita Vedanta traditions. In addition, we will consider the influence of those texts and traditions on the philosophy and social activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

Part II will explore the foundations of Buddhism.as expressed and codified in the Samyutta Nikaya, Suttanipata, Majjhima Nikaya, Dhammapada, Digha Nikaya, Milindapanha, Visuddhi Magga, Heart Sutra, and Diamond Sutra as well as principal texts from Madhyamaka and Yogacara traditions. Concepts and doctrines include the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, Impermanence (anicca), Mindfulness, Self vs. No-self (anatta), the Five Skandhas (aggregates of phenomenal existence), Dependent Origination (pratityasamutpada), Enlightenment/Buddhahood (buddhatva), Boddhisattvas, and Nirvana vs. Samsara.

Part III will being with a guided study of Taoism's two classical texts, the Tao te Ching and the Zhuangzi, and then shift gears to focus on our final target: Zen. Here we will read sections of Dogen's Shobogenzo and assorted commentaries concerning Joshu's Dog Koan. Our final text, Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen, will provide students with the opportunity to think about ways in which the wisdom of these ancient traditions remains relevant for the twenty-first century.

Students are expected to wrestle with some thorny philosophical issues and will be encouraged to do some strenuous conceptual work of their own. Readings will be complemented by videos, internet sources, etc.
Grades
Based on three take-home essay exams (90%) and attendance/participation (10%).  Late assignments will not be accepted without advance arrangement and adequate justification.  Substantial extra credit will be available for those who wish to pursue additional research/activities.
Due Dates

          First Essay:      March 2 (Hinduism)
          Second Essay: April 13 (Buddhism)
          Final Essay:     May 18 (Taoism & Zen)

Note: Interim reports will be based on the first essay, class attendance and participation. Students are encouraged to meet with the professor throughout the semester to discuss assignments, expectations, and grades.
Texts
John M. Koller & Patricia Koller - A Sourcebook in Asian Philosophy (Macmillan 1991) [SAP]
Ashok K. Malhotra - Transcreation of the Bhagavad Gita (Prentice Hall 1999) [TBG]
Ashok K. Malhotra - Wisdom of the Tao te Ching (Global Scholarly Publications 2006) [WTTC]
Brad Warner - Hardcore Zen: punk rock, monster movies & the truth about reality (Wisdom 2003) [HZ]
Internet sources as listed below.
Course Attributes
LA (Liberal Arts) and HO2 (Other World Civilizations)


books Assignments


Part I: Hinduism


Jan 21: First class meeting -- charting the course
Jan 26-28: Vedas & Early Upanishads
Rig Veda I) Begin with textual overviews (SAP 5-6, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas and http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/index.htm).
II) Gather a sense of  the structure and religious content of the various hymns by reading selections from Book 1 (1-10 [I-X: Agni, Vayu, Asvins, & Indra] &  91 [XCI: Soma]), Book 7 (47, 49 [XLVII & XLIX: Waters] & 53 [LIII: Heaven & Earth]),  Book 8 (48 [XLVIII: Soma]), and Book 10 (9 [IX: Waters], 15 [XV: Fathers], 19 [XIX: Cows], 52 [LII: Gods/Priests], 97 [XCVII: Herbs/Plants], 117 [CXVII: Liberality/Sharing], & 191 [CXCI: Agni]) on either of the following websites: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/index.htm or http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/rigintro.asp.
III) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the eight hymns in SAP 6-11 (Book 10 (129 [CXXIX: Creation], 90 [XC: Purusha/Man], 130 [CXXX: Sacrifice], 121 [CXXI: Unkinown God/Golden Child], 72 [LXXII: Birth of the Gods], 81-82 [LXXXI-LXXXII: All-Maker/Visvakarman], & 190 [CXC: Cosmic Heat/Creation]).
Aitareya Upanishad I) Read the brief introductions and overviews provided on the following web pages: http://www.kheper.net/topics/Upanishads/early_Upanishads.htm and http://www.hinduwebsite.com/aitareya.asp.
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the Aitareya Upanishad. The text is available on  http://www.gayathrimanthra.com/Library.html (pdf  translation by Swami Nikhilananda ),  http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/aitar.html (html translation by Sri Aurobindo), or http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/aitareya/ait_0.htm (html translation by Max Mueller)..
Chandogya Upanishad I) Read the brief introduction and overview concerning emanationism on the following web pages: http://www.kheper.net/topics/Upanishads/Chandogya.htm and http://www.kheper.net/topics/religion/Hindu_emanationism.htm.
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Book 3 (Chapters xi-xii, xiv, & xix), Book 6 (all), and Book 8 (Chapters i,  iv, & vii-xv) of the Chandogya Upanishad.
The text is available on  http://www.gayathrimanthra.com/Library.html (pdf translation by Swami Nikhilananda) or http://www.celextel.org/108upanishads/ (html). A print version of Book 6 is included in SAP (pp. 25-30). For those who wish, a translation with Swami Krishnanada's explanation/commentary can be found on http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/chhand_0.html
Feb 2-4: Later Upanishads & Bhagavad Gita
Isha Upanishad I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the Isha Upanishad. The text is available on the following websites: http://sanskrit.safire.com/pdf/ISHA.PDF  (pdf with both English & Sanskrit), http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/isha.html (translation by Sri Aurobindo), and http://www.atmajyoti.org/up_isha_upanishad_text.asp (somewhat loose but very readable translation by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester).
Katha Upanishad I) Read the brief overview on http://www.kheper.net/topics/Upanishads/Katha.htm.
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of  the Katha Upanishad.
The text is available on  http://www.gayathrimanthra.com/Library.html (pdf translation by Swami Nikhilananda ) or http://www.atmajyoti.org/up_katha_upanishad_text.asp (html).
Mandukya Upanishad I) Read the brief overview on http://www.kheper.net/topics/Upanishads/Mandukya.htm.
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of  the first three chapters: Agama Prakarana (AUM/OM), Vaitathya Prakarana (Illusion/Maya), and Adavaita Prakarana (Non-duality). The text is available on  http://www.gayathrimanthra.com/Library.html (pdf of translation by Swami Nikhilananda) or http://www.celextel.org/108upanishads/ (html).
Bhagavad Gita I) Read the Preface, Introduction and Story Outline of the Gita (TBG v-ix).
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of  the first nine chapters of the Gita (TBG 1-35).

Feb 9-11: Bhagavad Gita & Gandhi

Bhagavad Gita I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of  the final nine chapters of the Gita (TBG 36-68).
II) Carefully read and consider the Afterword (TBG 68-83).
Gandhi I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of  the selected writings of Gandhi (SAP 156-165). 
Feb 16-18: Samkhya, Advaita Vedanta & Visishtadvaita Vedanta
Samkhya I) Begin with overviews of the six classical Darshanas (views/visions): (SAP 1-2, http://www.kheper.net/topics/eastern/6darshanas.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_philosophy).
II) Read the following summaries of Samkhya: SAP 51-52,  http://www.kheper.net/topics/Samkhya/history.htm and http://www.kheper.net/topics/Samkhya/Samkhya.htm.
III) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the following verses from Isvarakrsna's Samkhya Karika: 1-8 & 54-68  (SAP 52-53 & 58-59).
Advaita Vedanta I) Begin with overviews of Vedanta: SAP 92 and http://www.kheper.net/topics/Vedanta/Vedanta.htm.
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the following verses from Part A of Sankara's A Thousand Teachings:  Chapter1 (1-7) & Chapters 5-13 (SAP 93-94 & 97-104).
Visishtadvaita Vedanta I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the following verses from Ramanuja's Verdartha Samgraha: 1-2, 117 & 126 (SAP 115-116 & 128).


Part II: Classical Buddhism


March 2-4: Early Buddhist Texts & Teachings
First Exam Due March 2. For those who wish, essays may be submitted electronically (disc, jump drive, or email).
Early Buddhist Texts & Teachings I) Read and reflect on the following quotations by the Buddha. You will encounter many of these again in coming selections. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/buddha.html.
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of: (I) Setting Motion the Wheel of Truth, (II) The Fire Sermon, (III) Universal Love, (IV) Blessings, (V) Getting Rid of All Cares and Troubles, (VI) The Foundations of Mindfulness, (VII) Words of Truth (Dhammapada), and (VIII) The Last Words of the Buddha (SAP 189-219).
March 9-11: Philosophical Issues in Early Buddhism
Philosophical Issues in Early Buddhism I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of selections concerning: (I) No-Self and Rebirth, (II) The Difference Between Groups and Attachment-Groups, (III) Dependent Origination, and (IV) Reason & Wisdom (Dialogue with Vacchagotta and Parable of Malunkyaputta) (SAP 220-246 ).
II) Carefully read and reflect on Shrader's Beyond Self and No-Self: Lessons from the Majjhima Nikaya.
Available online: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/philos/Shrader/Self-and-No-Self.pdf
March 16-18: Rise of the Mahayana
Bodhisattva I) Begin with John Koller's overview of the Mahayana (SAP 247-248).
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the 8 selections concerning the Bodhisattva's friendliness, compassion, and perfections (SAP 248-253).
Heart Sutra I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of  the Heart Sutra (SAP 253-257). 
II) Students may find it interesting to listen to one or more of the following recordings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2D8epuXla8 (Sanskrit chant with goddess images, 4.20), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbE5HtqU7us (video of Tibetan Buddhist monk chanting the sutra, 6.23), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gobowY2lIqQ (Sanskrit chant with images of statues, 3.16), or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGM59ot3FHg.(includes English translation).
Diamond Sutra I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of selections from the Diamond Sutra (SAP 258-261). 
II) Students may find it instructive to listen to this audio recording of the entire sutra: http://www.spiritual-happiness.com/diamondsutra.html. (55.48)
March 23-25: Madhyamaka
Nagaruna I) Begin with John Koller's overview of Madhyamaka (SAP 262-263).
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of selections from Nagaruna's Treatise on the Fundamentals of the Middle Way (Mulamadhyamakakarika) (SAP 264-271).
Candrakirti I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of selections from Candrakirit's Guide to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) (SAP 272-285). 
March 30 - April 1: Yogacara
Asanga I) Begin with John Koller's overview of Yogacara (SAP 306-308).
II) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Asanga's On Knowing Reality (from Bodhisattvabhumi) (SAP 308-318).
Vasubandhu I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses (Vimsatika Karika)  #1-4 (SAP 330-332). 


Part III: Taoism and Zen


 April 13-15: Tao te Ching
Second Exam Due April 13. For those who wish, essays may be submitted electronically (disc, jump drive, or email).
Tao te Ching I) Read and reflect on the following quotations by Lao-tzu (Laozi). You will encounter many of these again in the Tao te Ching: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/lao_tzu/ .
II) Read the Prefaces by Shrader and Littlejohn as well as the Introduction by Malhotra  (WTTC ).
III) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the entire Tao te Ching (WTTC 1-87).
 April 21-23: Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi)
Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi) I) Begin with this brief biography of Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi): .http://www.bookrags.com/biography/chuang-tzu/
II) Read and reflect on the following quotations by Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi). You will encounter many of these again in the selections that follow: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/chuang_tzu/  
III) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Chapter 3 (Opinions on Nurturing Life), Chapter 8 (Webbed Toes), Chapter 9 (Horses' Hooves), and Chapter 15 (Unalterable Opinions). ( The text is available online at http://www.daoisopen.com/ZhuangziTranslation.html.
April 27-29: Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi) & Dogen
Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi) I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Chapter 16 (Trying to Repair What's Natural) and Chapter 18 (Perfectly Happy). The text is available online at http://www.daoisopen.com/ZhuangziTranslation.html.
II) Conclude with these quotations by Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi): http://www.bookrags.com/quotes/Zhuangzi.
Dogen's Shobogenzo I) Begin with John Koller's introduction to Zen (SAP 345-346).
II) Read the Preface by the translator of the Shobogenzo (Gudo Wafu Nishijima): xv-xvii of Shobogenzo1_2009.pdf from.http://www.numatacenter.com/default.aspx?MPID=81.
III) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Chapter 3 (The Realized Universe), Chapter 4 (One Bright Pearl), and Chapter 92 (Life and Death). The text is available online at: http://www.numatacenter.com/default.aspx?MPID=81. The above chapters are from Part I (pp. 41-57) & Part IV (pp. 299-301). A slightly different translation of Chapter 92 is included in SAP (360-361).
May 4-6: The Dog Koan and Hardcore Zen
Joshu's Mu
(the Dog Koan)
I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of Shibayama's Commentary on the Mumonkan (SAP 361-371).
II) Compare and consider the views of Nishijima and Dogen as well: http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/joshusdog.html.
Hardcore Zen I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the first 12 chapters (Prologue to In My Next Life I Want... (HZ xii-135).

May 11 (Tu): Hardcore Zen

Hardcore Zen I) Carefully read and ponder the philosophical content of the final 7 chapters (That's Zen Master Know-it-all... to Epilogue) (HZ 137-198),.

May 18 (Tu: 11:00 - 1:30): Final Things

Final Exam Due May 18 at 11:00 a.m. For those who wish, essays may be submitted electronically (disc, jump drive, or email).

Notes
  • This syllabus represents honest intention, not contractual obligation. The professor reserves the right to adjust assignments, requirements, and dates as the semester unfolds. Students should consult the on-line syllabus on a weekly basis to make sure they have up-to-date materials. Use the Angel Course Management tool (www.oneonta.edu) or the course website: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/philos/Shrader/250-s10.html.
  • Students who wish to earn extra credit may do so in three distinct ways (maximum of 12 points). First, students may read and prepare reflection papers concerning additional selections from A Sourcebook in Asian PhilosophySecond, students who serve as a presenter or discussant at Oneonta's 15th Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (April 15-17) will receive 3 extra credit points. Third, students may earn points by: (a) attending student sessions of the Undergraduate Conference and (b) preparing a 5-10 page personal-reflection paper relating those presentations to this course (due April 29). To take advantage of the second option, simply consult our website (www.oneonta.edu/pc) to see which papers still need discussants, review the guidelines posted there, and contact our 2010 “Discussant Boss” to finalize your choice (available circa 3/4). Remember, the sooner you act, the more choices you have!

  • Emergency Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Procedures

    In the event of an emergency evacuation (i.e. fire or other emergency), classes meeting in the building are directed to reassemble at the pillars of Old Main so that all persons can be accounted for. Complete details of the College's emergency evacuation, shelter-in-place and other emergency procedures can be found at http://www.oneonta.edu/security/.


    Supplemental Materials


    Resources and Links on the World Wide Web
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    Website constructed and maintained by
    Douglas Shrader / Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy
    www.oneonta.edu/academics/philos/shrader.html
    Shradedw@Oneonta.edu

    email Professor Shrader
    Originally Posted: January 18, 2010
    Last Updated: April 28, 2010

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