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India & the Aryans

India & the Aryans http://www.harappa.com/indus/7.html Aryans Invaded South Asia 2000 BCE – 600 BCE Nomadic Pastoral Economy: Cattle were highly prized Principal measure of wealth Became sacred centuries later Military: chariots Contributions of the Aryans… Sanskrit – sacred language

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India & the Aryans

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  1. India & the Aryans http://www.harappa.com/indus/7.html

  2. Aryans Invaded South Asia2000 BCE – 600 BCE • Nomadic Pastoral Economy: • Cattle were highly prized • Principal measure of wealth • Became sacred centuries later • Military: chariots

  3. Contributions of the Aryans… • Sanskrit – sacred language • Religious oral tradition • Extensive collection of poetry & religious stories were memorized • Vedas – 1028 hymns to the gods…

  4. Vedic Period or Heroic Age1500 BCE – 300 BCE • Tales of war-like society* • Aryans clashed w/Dravidians • Fought among themselves • Led by rajas • Recorded by priests after 600 BCE

  5. The Four Vedas • Sacred traditions of the Aryan people • Rig Veda circa 1200 BCE 1028 hymns • Mahabarata • Ramayana

  6. Hinduism • Caste systemracial and economic system set up by the Aryans to control the social system • Dharma which is the code of conduct that is set by the castes

  7. Mahabarata written down ~400 BCE • Long, rambling tale of in-fighting between two branches of royalty • Encyclopedia of mythology • Religious significance

  8. Ramayana • Regarded as a tale of the ideal man and woman • Main characters: • Prince Rama, wife Sita, demon king of Sri Lanka, & Hanuman

  9. Aryan Migrations • 1000 BCE settled in Ganges valley • 750 BCE established city-states • Evolved into farmers • Developed formal political organization • 500 BCE moved into Deccan Plateau

  10. Aryans had sharp social divisions • Varna • Sanskrit word meaning “color” • Wheat colored v. darker skinned • Refers to major social classes • 4 main varna established by 1000 BCE

  11. Hinduism: The Caste System • Brahmin – priests • Kshatriya – warriors • Vaishya – herdsmen, artisans, merchants • Shudras – servants, menial laborers

  12. Caste deeply influenced Indian Society • Over time caste became very complex • Based on occupation • Could accommodate social change • Resulting from group achievements

  13. Dharma: divine law • Requires different Actions from different individuals. • Those high on the social scale must meet higher expectations.

  14. Hinduism: The Gods • 3 forms of the Supreme universal soul (god). • Brahma the creator • Vishnu the preserver • Shiva the destroyer

  15. Brahma the creator • Born from the navel of Vishnu (heads represent 4 Vedas) Saigan.com

  16. Saraswathi • Consort of Brahman • Goddess of learning • Saigan.com

  17. Vishnu • Rests on the cosmic sea on a 1,000 headed cobra • Image source: Saigan.com

  18. Krishna andthe Peacock Source: Bhakitevedanta Archives

  19. Lakshmi • Goddess of wealth • Consort of Vishnu • Saigan.com

  20. Shiva • Source: Saigan.com

  21. Kali • Shiva’s wife in destructive form • Requires human sacrifice • Saigan.com

  22. Ganesha • God who removes obstacles • Most popular god • Son of Shiva • Saigan.com

  23. Hinduism: achieve union with the universal spirit • First • Perform religious duties • Prayer • Respect Brahmins • Pilgrimage to the holy Ganges River.

  24. Hinduism2nd way to achieve union • Live Righteously: • Avoid lies and envy • Seek knowledge • Give charity • Practice non-violence • Obey laws of caste (dharma)

  25. Hinduism: Reincarnation • The soul or atmanrequires many lifetimes to reach a pure state of reunion with the truth • Disregarding Hindu teachings will result in reincarnation in a lower life form.

  26. Karma • The force of a person’s actions in this life determine his or her place following reincarnation.

  27. Hinduism:Rewarding the holy… • Through many reincarnations called samsarathe soul reaches a state of purity ending the cycle…moksha

  28. Nirvana • This is the final stage of samsara. • You have reunited yourself with the final reality of truth. • You have reached the state called nirvana.

  29. The Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi

  30. The Hindu pantheon also consists of thousands of other deities.

  31. II. The Mauryan Empire (321-184 BCE) • Chandragupta drove out the Greek garrisons left by Alexander the Great • Highly centralized government was modeled after that of Persia

  32. Greek commander Selecus, who fought Chandrgupta

  33. Chandragupta… • Became a Jain • Focused on non-violence sacredness of life (ahimsa) • Renounced his title in old age and joined a group of wandering monks

  34. The Grandson…Ashoka’s Empire • Emphasized truth, justice, charity, religious tolerance • After many wars, he became a devout Buddhist

  35. Emperor Ashoka… • Implemented principles of ahimsa • banned hunting and violent sports activity • Ended indentured and forced labor • Had contact with Greeks

  36. Gupta Empire (320-535 C.E.) • Golden Age for: • Indian Philosophy • Science, math, astronomy & religion • Trade links with Rome

  37. Classical Civilization… • Historians equate Gupta Empire with the Roman Empire & Han dynasty China as a model of classical civilization

  38. Gupta Empire

  39. Gupta Mathematics • Indian numeral system • decimal system, & zero, infinity • Arabs adopted these from India • Europeans replaced the Roman system with them…

  40. Gupta Medicine • Advanced beyond its time… • free hospitals • pharmacopoeia • caesarean section • bone setting • skin grafting

  41. Art of the Gupta Period • Head of Buddha • 6th century CE • Musee Guimet, Paris

  42. III. Buddhism

  43. BUDDHISM 1.founded by Siddhartha Gautama-vowed to discover the reasons for human suffering. He wandered in India for 6 years seeking wisdom or enlightenment. He tried many different “paths” including eating just six grains of rice a day. If he was poked in his stomach his backbone could be felt. He came close to starvation.

  44. Buddhism • Suffering is caused by desire. • Desire can be eliminated by following the Middle Path. • Righteous living • Renouncing materialism • Controlling emotions

  45. Four Noble Truths • 1. Life is suffering. • 2. Suffering has a cause: cravings and attachments. • 3. Cravings and attachments can be overcome. • 4. The path toward the cessation of craving and attachment is an Eight Fold Path.

  46. Eight Fold Path • Right understanding • Right purpose • Right speech • Right conduct • Right livelihood • Right effort • Right alertness • Right concentration

  47. Spokes represent belief, speech, aims, conduct, occupation, effort, thinking, and concentration.

  48. Buddhism • Siddhartha Guatama, founder • Considered a philosophy • No individual soul • Rejected the caste system • Physical surroundings are illusion

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