I. Classical Indian civilization began in the Indus River Valley, spread to the Ganges River Valley, and then spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. This spread continued with little interruption because of the geographic location. A. Why were physical geography and location important to the development of Indian civilization? 1. Physical barriers: Himalayas, Hindu Kush & Indian Ocean made invasion difficult 2. Mountain passes in the Hindu Kush provided migration routes into the Indian subcontinent 3. The Indus & Ganges were most important rivers, for life & spiritual importance. II. Indo-European Aryans migrated into the area, creating a structured society (caste system) and blending their beliefs with those of the indigenous people. A. What impact did the Aryans have on India? 1. Aryans migrated into subcontinent, asserted dominance 2. Brought religion; holy books = Vedas – Vedic religion evolved into Hinduism 3. Established new social order Caste System Indus Ganges Aryans Himalayas Hindu Kush Caste System
There are four main class levels or Varna’s in the caste system, Brahmans, Kshatrias, Vaishias, and Sundras. According to the religious aspect of the ancient creation myth, each level of class was created from each body part of Purush. In reference to the ancient Hindu book, Purush was the primal man. The body parts of Purush play a significant part in establishing boundaries of the caste system. It is understood that Purush destroyed himself in order to create human society. Each part of the body determined a level class based on its order from the top to the bottom. The Brahmans which were created from Purush’s head were acknowledged as the highest level of the caste system. Following Brahmans were the Kshatrias created from his hands, Vaishias (thighs), and its lowest class, Sundras (feet). Creation of the Indian Caste System
III. Hinduism was an important contribution of classical India. A. What are the beliefs of the Hindu religion? 1. No single founder – evolved from Aryan Vedic traditions 2. Interconnectedness of life; Atman = individual soul; & Brahman = world soul 3. Reincarnation – rebirth of soul through many lifetimes 4. Dharma – duties specific to each caste; pride in fulfilling Dharma 5. Karma – all thoughts & actions result in future consequences (good or bad) 6. Moksha – spiritual goal for Hindus; release from cycle of rebirth; join world soul BirthDeathRebirthDeathRebirth Reincarnation
IV. Hindu Gods A. How did Hindus view their gods? Many incarnations of one god - Brahman 1. Brahma – the Creator 2. Vishnu – the Protector 3. Shiva – the Destroyer IV. Hinduism relied on sacred literature as a foundation of the religion. A. What were the “Sacred Writings” of Hinduism? 1. Upanishads = introduced idea of universal spirit & separation from material world 2. Vedas = beginning of Hindu religion 3. Mahabharata = 106,000 verse epic Indian poem; addressing good & evil; importance of Dharma.
IV.Hinduism influenced Indian society and culture and is still practiced in India today. A. How did Hinduism influence Indian society and culture? 1. Karma & reincarnation strengthened Caste System 2. Caste System influenced all social interactions & occupations 3. NO SOCIAL MOBILITY! 4. Hindu culture spread to SE Asia along trade routes. No Social Mobility – born & die in same caste H I N D U I S M
Critical Intro Create an acrostic from the word Hinduism on the last page of packet.