BBC In Our Time - Lakshmi Listening Guide


This is an optional listening guide to help you complete the assigned material. Below you will find questions to consider as you listen, as well important vocabulary and time codes to look up particular segments. Note that time codes may not work on mobile phones.

Topics Covered: Lakshmi, Vishnu, shakti, Purana, Ramanuja, avatara

Links: BBC In Our Time [with download option]
Soundcloud [alternate link]

[00:12] Introduction - What narratives and qualities are associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi?

[01:17] Origins - From an etic, historical point of view, what are the origins of Lakshmi? What are the earliest ideas about "Shri"? What are the four original concepts of blessing? Vocabulary: pantheon, splendour, vigour, vitality, coalesce, grace

[05:09] "Churning the Ocean" - What is the narrative of the Churning of the Ocean? Vocabulary: sage, garland, chaos, nectar, immortal, adore, resonance, plentitude, prosperity, tortoise, longevity, retrofit, consort

[14:14] Shakti - What is the relationship between Vishnu and Lakshmi? What is shakti? Vocabulary: accrue, fickle, autonomy, agency

[17:29] Gods & Goddesses - What are the general features of the relationships between gods and goddesses in Hindu traditions? Vocabulary: unbounded, domesticate, fierce, fluid, negotiate, savage, vindictive

[19:28] 11th Century - How does the theologian Ramanuja develop ideas about Vishnu and Lakshmi? Vocabulary: theology, schematic, sovereign, auspicious, inadequate, manifestation

[21:40] Developments - How do changes in society influence the understanding of Lakshmi? Vocabulary: mercantile, throne, affluent

[23:50] Essential Ideas - How is Lakshmi shown in art? What ideas does one see in the Lakshmi Tantra text? Vocabulary: cosmic, devotee, priority, eclectic

[27:07] "Transactional Prayer" - What are the prayers described? Vocabulary: distinction, tendency, iconographic, punitive

[30:01] Incarnation - What are the incarnations (avatara) of Lakshmi?

[35:08] Lakshmi Today - What are the later understandings of Lakshmi? Vocabulary: manifold, plural, emblem, empowering, patriarchal, diaspora

[42:20] Narrative of Jagannatha Temple - What is the narrative of Lakshmi associated with the Jagannath Temple in Puri? Vocabulary: icon, afflict, subversive


Vocabulary

pantheon, splendour, vigour, vitality, coalesce, grace, sage, garland, chaos, nectar, immortal, adore, resonance, plentitude, prosperity, tortoise, longevity, retrofit, consort, accrue, fickle, autonomy, agency, unbounded, domesticate, fierce, fluid, negotiate, savage, vindictive, theology, schematic, sovereign, auspicious, inadequate, manifestation, mercantile, throne, affluent, cosmic, devotee, priority, eclectic, distinction, tendency, iconographic, punitive, manifold, plural, emblem, empowering, patriarchal, diaspora, icon, afflict, subversive