Final Exam Medium-Length Essay Questions
Two of the questions below will appear, exactly as are, on the final exam. I will choose the two randomly and together they will be worth nearly 50% of the total exam score. You will be asked to write for approximately 20 minutes on each. Preparing full, detailed, and accurate responses to these questions will help with other parts of the exam as well.
1. Define and
compare the notions of ananda
as they apply to the nature of the divine in the Krishna literature. Illustrate the ways in which each is
expressed in the stories of Krishna, using multiple examples. Then
describe the forms of devotional relationship appropriate to each.
Briefly define the
“lively tension” (a la Kinsley) between dharma-focused traditions and
moksha-focused traditions in Hindu history.
Illustrate two ways in which this tension is resolved through
syntheses in the Classical Period.
illustrate the paradoxical nature of Lord Siva and then compare this with the
forms of the Goddess.
Buddhist and Jain visions of liberation.
Then discuss the ways in which these different visions require
different means to their attainment.
notions of Darshan, Rasa, and Mantra.
Then illustrate and compare the ways in which each notion points to a
different experience of the sacred in India
In your essays, it is thus very important that you:
(a) be specific about sub-traditions, movements, sects, texts, persons, historical events and periods -- even if the question doesn’t specify them. For example, it is too general to refer to “Hinduism” as one tradition;
(b) use terms appropriately and accurately throughout your answers (spelling counts);
(c) clarify concepts whenever you refer to them