Lecture 2. The Atmos of the Aryas

This lecture focuses on the Aryas, and in particularly their metaphysics as manifested in their architecture. The lecture begins with a discussion of the controversial Arya Migration Theory, and its racist sub-texts, and attempts to distinguish that from the globally situated understanding of the migratory influences on cultural development, in particular in South Asia. This leads to a discussion of the making of Arya cities in the Gangetic plain, and what connects and distinguishes them from the Indus cities. The bulk of the lecture then develops the Arya ‘altar’ which was the architectural unit of their sacrifices. This is positioned as a constructed spatialization of the Arya concept of ‘atmos’, and reading of the ‘atmos-sphere’ around them, with ‘atmos-speric’ dietes. The lecture concludes, with a discussion of the changing politics of the Arya world, 5th century BCE onwards, with the development of ‘rajasya’, or larger kingdoms focused on the power of the King, culminating in the rise of Magadha. The teachings of the Buddha and the Mahavira, as heterodoxical thinkers, is positioned as a response to the rise of rajasya.

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