Presentation on theme: "Historical Significance: What were the achievements of India’s early civilization? What religions emerged from early India that have shaped the cultures."— Presentation transcript:
Historical Significance: What were the achievements of India’s early civilization? What religions emerged from early India that have shaped the cultures of Asia, and in many ways, the rest of the world?
Invasion began around 1500 B.C Loosely organized into tribes with a raja for a leader Warlike people Diet and wealth were based on cattle Later, when they settled into an agricultural lifestyle, cattle became sacred Men were the primary authority Since they were nomads, they had no written language. Sanskrit was their spoken language Many hymns and epics were passed down orally telling the story of their heroes Eventually they developed a written form of Sanskrit and priests collected all of the hymns, poems, epics, etc. and recorded them into books called Vedas
The Caste System is recorded in the Vedas Sudras- unskilled laborers Vaisyas- merchants, artisans, farmers Priests There are 4 main varnas, or social classes. Slaves are outside of the system. Varnas have sub-castes called Jati. Each Varna has a dharma, or set of duties. One’s dharma is tied to what is appropriate for one’s age and gender.
The Mahabharata- 100,000 verses in length Collection of writings by several authors Some characters are historical, some are fictional Contains discussion of religion and philosophy as well as the story of 2 families’ struggle for power Explains the need for a king when dharma no longer guides people’s lives The Ramayana- 24,000 verses Describes the struggle between good and evil Good triumphs in the end
Aryan religion was polytheistic and eventually became Hinduism Hinduism does not have a single founder Comes from the writings of the Vedas, the Epics, and religious writings called the Upanishads Come out of a search for wisdom and truth Tell of a Universal Spirit- all living things are a part of this spirit. To know true freedom, one’s spirit must be separated from the material world and joined with the Universal Spirit. Cycle of Rebirth Soul passes through many lives before it is united with the Universal Spirit Karma- how a person lives life determines what form a person takes in the next life Ahimsa- practice of nonviolence toward all living things Moksha- end of the cycle of rebirth. Soul is free.
Siddhartha Gautama- Kshatriya prince Lived a sheltered life and was disillusioned by sickness and poverty when he first saw it Enlightenment Lived for seven years as a hermit, and one day he was meditating under a tree and received a flash of insight Four Noble Truths 1)all people suffer 2) we suffer because our desires bind us to the cycle of rebirth 3) end suffering by eliminating desires and 4) one can eliminate desire by following the Eightfold Path
Know the truth Resist evil Say nothing to hurt others Respect life Work for the good of others Free your mind from evil Control your thoughts Practice meditation By practicing this, a person could reach Nirvana, a state of freedom from the cycle of rebirth
The Mauryan Empire United the warring states when Alexander the Great Invaded Chandragupta Maurya was the first ruler Maintained a strong army, developed a postal service, and used an extensive spy network Asoka Chandragupta’s grandson Expanded the Empire through wars of conquest Accepted Buddhism- provided free hospitals and veterinary hospitals, and roads with rest stops Collapse of the Mauryan Empire
The Gupta Empire 500 years after the fall of the Mauryan Empire before India is united again Chandragupta I began the Gupta Empire Arts and Sciences flourished Developed principles of Algebra Explained the concept of Infinity and invented zero Realized that the earth is round and had some concept of gravity Used spies, trained assassins, and soldiers to maintain control Hinduism was the main religion Status of women declines- they can no longer choose who they will marry