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                         Cultural Anthropology - Studies

         
 


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Cultural Anthropology Studies

Course description

I have studied Cultural Anthropology at the Eötvös Lóránd University of Sciences, Faculty of Arts (ELTE BTK) in Budapest. Due to my deep involvement in Oriental philosophy I have specialized in the anthropology of religion, studying religious human behavior. As my area of research I have specialized on Indian and Tibetan culture. My major field of interest is the Tantric tradition - especially the cross-cultural interference of Hindu and Buddhist religious practice.

Before finishing my MA, I have been on two expeditions to India, Nepal and Tibet, doing my own research on Hindu saiva sects in Northern India. I wrote my thesis on the Cult of Siva. Later I also became a teacher of Cultural Anthropology. [« go to anthropology teaching ]

Field Work
The Cult of Siva
Essays
Teaching

Course Description

MA equivalent course in Cultural Anthropology [Autumn 1995 – Spring 1999]

 

ELTE Student ID

 

Awarded Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

Awarded Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

( Official English translation )

Introductory courses  (7 courses. 12 hours)

Code

Name of Course

Teacher

Grade

KA-001

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 1.

László Borsányi

A level (5)

KA-002

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 2.

Lajos Boglár

A level (5)

KA-003

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3.
László Borsányi

A level (5)

KA-004

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 4.
Lajos Boglár

A level (5)

KA-011
Ethno-cultural typology 1.
Géza Kézdi Nagy
A level (5)
KA-012
Ethno-cultural typology 2.
Géza Kézdi Nagy
B level (4)
KA-021
Entry Examination
A level (5)

Main courses  (34 courses 40 hours + 130 days)

Code

Name of Course

Teacher

Grade

KA-111.04

Techniques of anthropological field-work 1.
Lajos Boglár

A level (5)

KA-112.06
Techniques of anthropological field-work 2.
Lajos Boglár

A level (5)

KA-121.02
The Anthropology of Africa
Füssi
B level (4)
KA-122
The Anthropology of America
Géza Kézdi Nagy
B level (4)
KA-123
The Anthropology of Oceania and Australia
Géza Kézdi Nagy
A level (5)
KA-124
The Anthropology of Asia
Györgyi Bindorfer
A level (5)
KA-125.02
The Anthropology of Europe
Richárd Papp
A level (5)
KA-131.06
Special Anthropology 1. - (Photography)
Tamás Féner
A level (5)
KA-131.05
Special Anthropology 1. - (Anthropology of Religion)
Dalma Kulcsár
A level (5)
KA-132.03
Special Anthropology 2. - (Modern Myths)
Gábor Kapitány
A level (5)
KA-133.08
Special Anthropology 3. - (Anthropology of Language)
Gábor Kapitány
A level (5)
KA-134.10
Special Anthropology 4. - (Anthropology of Cities)
Grisell M. de Leon
B level (4)
KA-135.10
Special Anthropology 5. - (Social Anthropology 1.)
Mihály Sárkány
A level (5)
KA-136.10
Special Anthropology 6. - (Social Anthropology 2.)
Mihály Sárkány
A level (5)
KA-151.01
The theory and techniques of Anthropology 1.
Csaba Prónai
A level (5)
KA-152.01
The theory and techniques of Anthropology 2.
Csaba Prónai
A level (5)
KA-153.02
The theory and techniques of Anthropology 3.
Csaba Prónai
A level (5)
KA-154.03
The theory and techniques of Anthropology 4.
Csaba Prónai
A level (5)
KA-161.26
Preparatory Studies for field work
Zsuzsa Vajda
A level (5)

KA-171
Field Work 1.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-172
Field Work 2.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-173
Field Work 3.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-174
Field Work 4.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-175
Field Work 5.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-176
Field Work 6.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-177
Field Work 7.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-178
Field Work 8.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-179
Field Work 9.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-180
Field Work 10.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-181
Field Work 11.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-182
Field Work 12.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-183
Field Work 13.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)

KA-197
Comprehensive Exam seminar 1.
Géza Kézdi Nagy
A level (5)
KA-198
Comprehensive Exam seminar 2.
Géza Kézdi Nagy
A level (5)
KA-199
Comprehensive Exam of Anthropology
A level (5)

Specialized courses  (10 courses. 12-16 hours + 20 days)

Code

Name of Course

Teacher

Grade
KA-331.08
Special course – The people and religions of Asia
Botond Szathmári
A level (5)
KA-332.08
Special course – Subcultures
Balázs Fejér
A level (5)
KA-332.09
Special course – Tibetan Folklore
Botond Szathmári
A level (5)
KA-341.05
The theory and techniques of Anthropology 5.
Dalma Kulcsár
A level (5)
KA-342.05
The theory and techniques of Anthropology 6.
András Gergely
A level (5)
KA-353.06
Museum Studies special course 1.
Géza Kézdi Nagy
A level (5)
KA-352
Museum Studies special course 2.
Lajos Boglár
A level (5)
KA-367
Dissertation preparatory seminar 1.
A level (5)
KA-368
Dissertation preparatory seminar 2.
A level (5)
KA-500
Dissertation: "The Cult of Siva"
A level (5)
KA-501
Comprehensive Final Exam
A level (5)

Index No.: XLVI-0884/93

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Field Work

During my college years I have been on two expeditions to the Himalayas both carrying interests for my » Buddhist studies and cultural anthropology research.

My first journey took me through Kashmir, Ladakh (Western Tibet), and North India in 1995.

My second journey took me to Ladakh & Zanskar (Western Tibet) again and to Nepal in 1998.

I have also studied some of the oasis in the Sahara in Northern Africa near the Chott el Jerid in Tunisia in 1996.

BOM BOM BOLANATH

Find out more about my Fieldwork or about the details of a specific research:

Field Work 1.

North-India

North-India

Field Work 2.

Ladakh

Tibet

Field Work 3.

Nepal

Nepal

Field Work 4.

Tunisia

Tunisia

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The Cult of Siva


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction

    I. The Anthropological Research

    • Field Work 1. - North India (1995)
      • Hinduism and Buddhism observed
      • Ladakh
      • Himachal & Uttar Pradesh
      • Itinerary and Documentation
    • Field Work 2. - The TANTRA '98 Expedition (1998)
      • Tantrism
      • Ladakh & Zanskar
      • The Katmandu valley
      • Results of the Research
      • Itinerary and Documentation

    II. Shaivism

    • The origins of Siva Worship
    • The mythic Siva
      • The Vedic Siva: Rudra, Agni, Indra, etc.
      • The Brahmanic Siva: Siva, Trilocana, Bhutesvara, Bhairava, etc.
      • The consorts of Siva: Devi, Sakti, Sati, Parvati, Uma, Durga, Kali, etc.
      • The children of Siva: Skandha, Muruhan, Ganesh, Ajjapan, etc.
      • The animal of Siva: Naga, Mucilinda, Ananta, Nandi, etc.
    • The followers of Siva
      • Shaiva
      • Kashmir Shaiva (Pratyabhijna)
      • Shaiva-siddhanta
      • Lingayat (Vira Shaiva)
      • Dasnami Sannyasi

    III. The Ascetic Tradition

    • Asceticism
    • Shaiva sects
      • Early shaiva sects: Pashupata, Kapalika, Kalamukha
      • The "Yogi": Nath (Goraknathi)
      • The "Eaters of the Dead": Aghori
      • The "Children of Death": Kalika
      • The "Stranglers": Thug
      • The "Tantric": Sakta
      • The "Naked": Naga
      • The "Sons of Nanak": Udasin
    • Shaiva practice
    • Ways of Living: Yoga
    • Lifestyle
    • Practice - The System of Yoga
    • Hatha-Yoga: satkarma, asana, mudra, pranayama, nadi, cakra, etc.
    • Laya-Yoga: bhakti-yoga. shakti-yoga, mantra-yoga, yantra-yoga
    • Raja-Yoga: kriya-yoga, dhyana-yoga, kundalini-yoga, samadhi-yoga
    • Tantra-Yoga: sukha-yoga, cakra-puja, siddha-yoga
    • An anthropological evaluation of Hindu asceticism

    IV. Lingam Worship

    Glossary

    Bibliography

» Read the full work » The Cult of Siva .

» Oriental Studies thesis » Hindu Tantra .

 

 

In my thesis I carry out an extended analyses of the Cult of Siva and the followers and practices of the sadhu sects following the shaiva lineage of tantric Hinduism. The thesis consists of four major chapters:

The first chapter consists of the detailed description of my two fieldworks to Northern-India and Nepal, where I had a chance of meeting with a large number of sadhus. I also give a brief introduction to Hindu-Buddhist culture in the Himalayan region and the special cross-cultural Hindu-Buddhist phenomena called Tantrism. I briefly talk about the differences of Buddhist tantra (Tibetan Buddhism) and Hindu tantra (Sadhu practice). For detailed reference on my anthropological field work please follow this link to» Fieldwork.

The second chapter deals with Shaivism – the Hindu religious philosophical doctrine concerning the god Siva. In the first part I give a brief analyses of the development of the cult of Siva and trace the tantric tradition back to pre-aryan times to the dravida people of the Indus Civilization. I argue that the tantric tradition might be older than Vedic Hinduism and constitutes the basic teachings of both the Puranic Hindu culture and folk religions especially on the side of fertility cults. I than argue that Indian ascetics, widely known as sadhus, are the living representatives and followers of the tantric tradition. I also emphasize that orthodox Hinduism based on the teachings of the Vedas and represented by the priest cast of brahmins; and non-orthodox Hinduism based on tantric practice and represented by the cast of sadhus strongly differ and have their own ways and are entirely two separate traditions...

The second part of the second chapter deals with the mythic representations of Siva drawing a complex picture of the infinitely multiple nature of the deity. I give a short description of the mythic background of all aspects of Siva starting from the Vedic representations of Rudra, Agni, Indra, Mahadeva, Mahesvara, Isvara, Mahesa and Jalamurti to the Brahmanic representations of Siva; Trilocana, Bhutesvara, Bhairava, Ugra, Ummat, Aghora, Sambhu, Sankara, Pasupati, Gangadhara, Candrasekhara, Nilakantha, Mahayaogi, Nataraja, Natesa, Ardhinisvara and Kamesvara. I also talk about the mythic representations of the various energies (sakti) connected to Siva in forms of his female consorts, both positive – Devi (Jaganmata, Annapurna, Mata, Amman, etc.), Sakti, Kamesvari, Sati, Parvati, Haimavati – and negative – Durga (Kotravai, Elamma), Kali, Kalaratri, Bhajravi, Candi, mahesvari, Camunda and Cinnamasta. Then I give an enumeration of the forces unfolding from the siva-sakti intercourse, the children of Siva – Skandha, Kumara, Muruhan, Ganesh and Ajjappan – and the animal consorts: the cobra (Naga, Mucilinda, Dharanendra, Ananta, Sesa, Taksaka, Vasuki) and the cow (Nandi).

The third part of the second chapter describes briefly the major philosophical schools and religious movements relating to Shaivism, looking at their historical background major figures and most important philosophical doctrines. The schools discussed here are the early monistic shaivism of Ramanuja and the dualist shaivism of Madhava, the philosophies of the Kashmir Saiva (Pratyabhijna), the Saiva Siddhanta, the Lingayat (Vira Saiva) and the Dasnami Sannyasi.

The third chapter deals with the ascetic tradition. In the first part I give a short introduction to the development of the ascetic tradition as it can be reconstructed from the Vedas and talk about the wide spread phenomena of asceticism popular to all religious sects of India . I describe how difficult it is to distinguish the conceptual differences of early asceticism and the efforts of categorization. My argument leads to the clear distinction of the samayin or "right hand path" and the kaula or "left hand path" tradition in tantric though and practice. I argue that this tradition is the ground for the Puranic Hindu concept of Trimurti - the trinity of God: Brahma the Creator, Visnu the Preserver and Siva the Destroyer. I see the same tradition in reflected in the beliefs and practices of sadhu sects. Following Dolf Hartsuiker's line of thought I distinguish the two major trends of vaisnava and saiva line: sects following Lord Visnu and sects following Lord Siva.

In the second part I talk about the Shaiva traditions of the left hand path and try to reconstruct the picture of the early ascetics and create my own list of Shaiva sadhu sects giving an enumeration and short description of the major aspects and doctrines of various sects. I start with the early sadhu sects - the Pashupata, Kapalika and Kalamukha sects in detail - and try to distinguish them from other contemporary ascetic sects like the bhikshu (Buddhist), jaina and ajivika sects. Then I describe the Natha (Goraknath), the Aghori, the Kalika, the Thug, the Shakta, the Naga and the Udasin sadhu sects.

The third part of the third chapter deals with the lifestyle and practices of the sadhu sects. I write about the general daily routine of leading an ascetic way of life and the ideology that lies behind the acts of sadhana. I then give my own interpretation of Yoga, seeing it as a complex system of exercises aiming at the final act of liberation. I distinguish four major disciplines of yoga: Hatha-, Laya-, Raja- and Tantra-yoga and make an enumeration of various exercises and rituals practiced by the different sects and place them in the system, claiming that each particular exercise belongs to a special kind of yoga which has its own way of achievement... My original intention was to write about all the exercises practiced by most sadhu sects, but as is a lifetime's work, I had to narrow the topic down to two types of yoga - hatha-yoga and tantra-yoga - mainly practiced by most shaiva sects.

In considering the hatha-yoga exercises in addition to the traditional philosophical explanations, I write about how to cleanse the body (satkarma); about different postures and ways of concentrating (asana & mudra); about withdrawing the senses (pratyahara); and activating the subtle energy systems (pranayama & nadicakra). In connection with the tantra-yoga exercises in addition to the traditional philosophical explanations, I write about mastering pleasure (sukha bhoga); mastering ecstasy (cakra-puja & panca-makara); and mastering magical powers (siddhi). I take some time on writing about the traditional usage of psychedelic drugs in the sadhu tradition and on the nature of sexual intercourse as a religious practice.

To end the third chapter, I give an anthropological evaluation of the ascetic tradition. I argue that sadhus are indeed the representatives of universal principles and are not only acting like living gods, but are also treated as such by their own cultural environment. I also analyze the phenomenon in respect to various anthropological views like the totemism of Durkheim or Marett – where I see sadhus as living totems – or the fetishism of Brosses – where I see sadhus as living idols of cultic worship – or the symbolism of Eliade – where I see sadhus as living hierophanies (emanations of sacredness). Altogether I can only treat the sadhu phenomenon as the original human effort of becoming one with God and participating in and acting on its power.

The fourth chapter is a short one briefly describing the various aspects of lingam worship in India. I describe the different forms of lingam worship and the major centers in India pointing out the relationship to kundalini-yoga and sadhu mortifications as well as the bhaktanta worship of the lingam. I talk about how lingam worship is a part of the cult of Siva – how fertility rites and phallic and vaginal worship relates to the cosmic dance of Siva-Sakti energies recreating the universe in their passionate creative intercourse.

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Essays

Personal selection listed only

Available in Hungarian:

ENTER ANTHROPOLOGY LIBRARY

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» the Anthropology Library

 

HINDU LIBRARY

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» the Hindu Library

 

BUDDHIST LIBRARY

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» the Buddhist Library

 

Tarr Dániel : Hogy kutatok én? . (How I do my Research) . [Autumn 1997] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]

Hindu-buddhista kultúra (Hindu-Buddhist Culture)

Tarr Dániel : Az indiai kasztrendszer . (The Indian Cast System) [Autumn 1997] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Indiai Aszkéták - kiállítási forgatókönyv . (Indian Ascetics - Exhibition Plan Outline) [Spring 1998] {ELTE CAD Museology} - [(MS Word) « read it ]

A hindu könyvtárban olvasható:

Tarr Dániel : Hindu Tantra jegyzet . (Hindu Tantra Notes) . (Schoolbook of the GDBC, 1996.) [1996] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Indiai Aszketizmus . (Indian Asceticism) . [Spring 1998] {ELTE CAD BA} - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : A Hindu Tantra követői és gyakorlata . (The followers and practices of Hindu Tantra) . (GDBC MA Thesis) [Spring 1997] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Siva Kultusza . (The Cult of Siva) . (ELTE CAD MA Thesis) [Spring 1999] - [(MS Word) « read it ]

A buddhista könyvtárban olvasható:

Tarr Dániel : Csenrézi . (Chenrezig). [Spring 1996] {ELTE CAD} – [MTA Etno-regional Research Centre, Workbook 10., 1996] - [(MS Word) « read it ]

Drogok (Drugs)

» Drog Linkgyűjtemény (Drugs Link Directory)

Tarr Dániel : Indiai drog '95 . (Indian Drug '95) [Autumn 1995] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Kashmir '95 . (Manali '95) [Autumn 1995] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Manali '95 . (Manali '95) [Spring 1996] {ELTE CAD} - [MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Tunéz drog '96. (Tunisian Drug '96) [Autumn 1996] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]

Szociológia (Sociology)

Tarr Dániel : Franz Boas . (Franz Boas) [Spring 1997] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]

Más könyvtárakban olvasható:

Tarr Dániel : Az internet mítosza . (The Internet Myth) . [ELTE CAD 1996] - [in The Internet Myth {Kodolányi Füzetek 3.} [Kodolányi János Főiskola (1999) ISBN 9630384329] - [(MS Word) « read it or » Check out the on-line version ]
Daniel Tarr : 'Nam on the Net . [Spring 1996] {ELTE DELL} - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Nationalism and National Minorities . [Spring 1994] {ELTE DELL} - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Tarr Dániel : Az apokaliptikus áramlatok világképe . (The Vision of Apocalyptic Trends) . [Spring 1997] {ELTE CAD} - [(MS Word) « read it ]

Utazás (Travel)

Daniel Tarr : Amritsar - The Golden Temple and the Nectar Lake . - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Benares - The City of Ascetics . [Magyar Hírlap - Világszám 2. (1997 April)] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Indian Drug ‘95 . - [Törökfürdö (1/1996) & Magyar Narancs VIII/28 (11/06/1996) & VillanyMancs (04/07/2003)] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Kashmir '95 - War in the Himalayas . [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Khajuraho - Sex temples of India . [Magyar Hírlap - Világszám 1. (1997 March)] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Ladakh - The Last Shangri-la . - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Lappland . (documentary film commentary) - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Manali - The World of Cannabis . - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Paris Nouveau [Autumn 1997] - [Max 1997/4 (1997 November)] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Scotland . (documentary film commentary) - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Thailand [Autumn 1997] - [Max 1997/2 (1997 September)] - [(MS Word) « read it ]
Daniel Tarr : Valencia and Granada . (documentary film commentary) - [(MS Word) « read it ]

Egyéb (Other)

Daniel Tarr : The Camera Hungary '99 Television Festival - [in The Future of the Media [Média Hungária (1999)]

Interested?   All written documents are available for reading in the » Library .

» You can also read the full work » The Cult of Siva .

» I also wrote my Oriental Studies thesis on » Hindu Tantra .

Web Matrix

Want to know more?

» Check out my work at the ELTE BTK and the Buddhist College.

» My Oriental Studies relate too.

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Cultural Anthropology - Studies                         

 

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