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Transcript of Ancient India
Many rivers flowed throughout India, making the land fertile. Settlements, towns, buildings, and cities were created on the banks of the Indus river and the Ganga river. Although India had to bear the hardships of the land, there were some advantages in the rivers, desert, and the mountains. The Himalayas provided a great deal of protection to its people. The harsh elements of the desert made it extremely difficult to cross, and protected India from nomadic and military invasion. The mountain ranges provided similar protection in the west and east. The rivers were an excellent source for trade and commerce all through India's history. Beginning soon after the Aryan invasion, India began to seperate its people into different groups, based on their jobs or work. The highest level were the Brahmans - the priests, leaders, and teachers. Below were the Kshatriya, or warriors. A lot of them were in the army, or leaders in other ways. Under the Kshatriyas were the vaishyas, or farmers and traders who owned their own farms or businesses. The lowest of the system were the shudras, servants and farmhands that worked for people of higher rank. The largest number of the population were in this level of the caste. Even below the shudras, were the Untouchables. Because of the unholyness of their work, they weren't considered even in the caste system. Untouchables did the worst jobs like cleaning up people's waste from the gutters, or collecting garbage. Below the Untouchables were the slaves. Hinduism Hinduism is the modern name for the major religion of India. Hinduism is both polytheistic, and monotheistic. They worship many deities, but recognize their one supreme god. The most important deities that they worship are Brahma, the creator; Vishn, the protector; and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindus also believe in reincarnation, where they will have many lives. Their actions in their lifetime determines what they will do in their next life, according to karma. Reincarnation creates a repeating cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Hinduism ranks third among the whole worlds' religions (after Christianity and Islam.) Inventions The cultures of ancient India, and their artistic styles spreaded to different regions of Asia. Their ways of mathematics, literature, and art had shaped other cultures. India had invented the zero, Hindu-Arabic numerals, and the decimal system. The way the world currently uses mathematics, originates from ancient India! Maurya Empire Chandragupta Maurya became king of Magadha aroudn 321 B.C. He conquered much territory, that his empire covered much of the subcontinent. Chandragupta had ruled harshly during the time of his reign. He used spies, his army, and many officials to gain power. Later, his grandson - Asoka ruled over India. He decided to rule over his empire by Buddhist teachings, to insure a peaceful kingdom. King Asoka stopped constant warfare, and ruled peacefully by laws. Gupta Empire During Chandra Gupta II's reign, India experienced a golden age of success - a time of great accomplishments. India's arts, science, metallurgy, trade, and literature had prospered. Bhagavad Gita The Bhagavad Gita was an important, sacred text of Hinduism. This epic poem tells a story of war and peace, and how you should "...fight for the sake of fighting. Look equally on happiness and distress, gain and loss, victory and defeat. In this way, you will not incur sin."