Chapter 04: India's Beginnings Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 04: India's Beginnings Deck (28)
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What were the main two cities on the Indus River?

Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa


Describe Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa

Fired brick structures
Streets at right angles
Buildings 2 to 3 stories high – unusual
Sewage canals from houses to the larger canal


Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa had what type of government?



The Mystery about Dravidians still remains because:

writing not yet been deciphered
the long period when this civilization was forgotten
Know almost nothing about religion, government, society, scientific and intellectual accomplishments


Describe the Aryans:

Early nomadic, horse-breeding people of ancient Asia
Aggressive ways terrorized agrarian Indian civilizations


______ ancient oral epics, written after invasion describe Aryans as Indo-European speakers, worshipped gods of sky and storm, used bronze weaponry and horse-drawn chariots



_________ says raja (warrior king) led his war-loving, violent folk, and magic-working priests

Rigveda (oldest Vedas)


In time, ruled all northern India with a center on _____. Gradually settled down as farmers, townspeople. New iron technology and introduction of rice cultivation

Ganges River


How many classes are there in the caste system?



Who were the Shudras?

non-free serfs


Who were the Brahmins

priests, highest rank


Who were the Kshatrijas



Who were the Vaishyas

freemen, farmers, traders


Universe works as a ___________ with events and lives repeating themselves never endingly, (samsara) individual dies, but soul is immaterial and undying

Great Wheel (Circle of life)


_______determines the next caste into which it will pass-- tally of good and bad then ‘justice’ is rendered



What is Dharma?

code of morals for one’s caste


________ Final release from reincarnation when one has lived a perfect life. End of individuality, soul is submerged into a world-soul



Describe Jainism

Philosophy emphasizes the sacredness of all life
Practiced by 2% of high-caste people


Describe Buddhism

One of the great religions of the world
3rd largest membership
Democratic nature: anyone who seeks the divine can experience it in the nirvana


Describe Bhakti Hinduism

gods have more personal attributes, more approachable
Individual seek spiritual fulfillment by devoting to individual gods


Describe the Daily Life in Ancient India

Self-governing Indian villagers controlled by seasons, caste, local tradition, with feast days of the deities
Rural misery today is recent phenomenon
Until last 2-3 centuries, food shortages uncommon
Plenty of suitable agricultural land
When shortages occurred, people emigrated to new areas


Describe the woman's role in Indian society

Indian tradition suggests near equality of genders initially
Matriarchy until Aryans
Female prestige declined in Vedic Hindu era
Laws of Manu established “proper relations” between sexes:


Describe Buddhism:

Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 BCE)
The Enlightened One
His life is well documented
Indian aristocrat
A long period of wandering in search of answers to riddle of life
Became teacher of large group of disciples after extensive meditation
His teachings eventually were more important in China and Japan
In India, ______ was practically extinct by 1000 CE


Describe the basic principles of Buddhism:

Everyone can attain nirvana (release from earthly woes)
Release comes from self-taught mastery of oneself
Gods have nothing to do with it
Way to self-mastery is through Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path


Describe the Four Noble Truths:

All life is permeated by suffering
All suffering is caused by desire
Desire can only be overcome by attaining nirvana
Way to nirvana is guided by eight principles


Describe the Eightfold Path

Right (righteousness) ideas, Right thought, Right speech, Right action, Right living, Right effort, Right consciousness, Right meditation
Anyone who follows these steps will conquer desire, be released from suffering
Suffering and loss are caused by the desire for illusory power and happiness Once one sees these are not desirable, the temptation will vanish Then will find serenity of the soul, harmony with nature and people


Describe the Mauryan Dynasty

Political vacuum with retreat of Alexander the Great
Founded by Chandragupta Maurya - political unity
Arthsastra – hard-bitten government policies emphasizing “the end justifies the means”
Ashoka (ruled 269-232 BCE) – 3rd emperor
Founding spirit of Indian unity and nationhood
Spread Buddhism in India, encouraged religious tolerance
Period of internal prosperity, external peace
Became a devout Buddhist and pacifist
Successors were weak, conquered by invaders
New peoples became sedentary
Political unity disintegrated


Describe how Buddhism spread:

Land routes from northwest made invasion possible
Most intruders adopted Indian culture and Buddhism
Little cultural exchange with China
Extremely difficult to cross Himalayas or Burma’s jungles
Exception was export to China in 1st century CE