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Transcript of Ancient India
India is in the CONTINENT of Asia.
It is considered to be a subcontinent, or a large landmass that is not considered to be large enough to be a continent.
It is protected on one side by the Himalayas, and on another side by the Thar Desert (Great Indian Desert).
The climate of India is hot and humid. Instead of four seasons, they experience the wet and the dry season.
It is heavily influenced by MONSOONS, or seasonal wind patterns.
The monsoons cause India to be flooded at some times and extremely dry at others.
India's first civilization.
Grew as India used agriculture and irrigation.
Harappa and Mohenjo Daro- two city ruins
Both were well planned cities with fortresses, public wells, and organized layouts.
Achievements: Indoor plumbing,
India's first writing system (Sanksrit)
, and high quality tools and art.
Archeologists do not know what happened to this culture. Were they destroyed by floods, famine, or invaders?
Why do you think that we do not know much about these people?
What happened to them?
Known from their religious writings (Vedas).
They were nomads, and lived in communities that were ruled by rajas.
The Aryans fought each other almost as much as they fought enemies.
At first, they had no written language.
They spoke in SANSKRIT, the most important language of ancient India.
At first it was only spoken, but eventually it became a written language and was the root of many South Asian Languages.
Civilizations were centered in the Indus valley, which was fertile. Next, we will learn about Hinduism!
First, in your group complete the Section One assessment on page 129. Do questions 1-3.
The Indian Social System
As written in the Vedas, there are four main Varnas (social divisions) in Aryan society.
Kshatriyas- Rulers and Warriors
Vaisyas- Farmers/Craftspeople/ traders
Sudras- Laborers and non-Aryans
The Caste System
It divides Indian society into groups based on a person's birth, wealth, or occupation.
Eventually, it became a system that once you were born into it, you could never move up. You cannot marry outside of your caste, either.
Origins of Buddhism
The Jains and the Sikhs were not the only people that drifted away from Hinduism.
n the late 500 BCs, a young man becomes restless with the world around him. He starts to question life and religion. He was not just any man, he was in line to become king!
Surrounded by luxury, Prince Siddhartha Gautama questioned why there was so much pain in the world.
Before he was 30 years old the young prince left his family.
He traveled all over India.
Everywhere he went he would talk to priests looking for answers.
No one could tell him what he wanted to know.
He did not give up and after years of searching he began to develop his own ideas.
Siddhartha freed his mind of daily concerns by not bathing, FASTING (GOING WITHOUT FOOD), and MEDITATION (FOCUSING THE MIND ON SPIRITUAL THINGS).
According to legend, he spent 6 years searching.
One day, he came upon a town near the Ganges River.
After 7 weeks of meditation he had the answers he was searching for. He realized that human suffering came from
Wanting what we like but do not have
Wanting to keep what we like and already have and
not wanting what we dislike but have
After 7 more weeks of meditation, he came out from, under the tree and told his ideas to his first five followers.
Siddhartha Gautama was 35 years old when he found enlightenment became the Buddha, which means "Enlightened One".
The former prince spent the remainder of his life traveling through India and teaching is ideas.
Buddha gained many followers as he traveled. These followers were the first believers in
Buddhism (a religion based on the teachings of the Buddha)
Four Noble Truths
1) Suffering and unhappiness are a part of human life. No one can escape sorrow.
2) Suffering comes from our desires for pleasure and material goods. People cause their own misery because they want things they cannot have.
3) People can overcome desire and ignorance and reach
NIRVANA, a state of perfect peace.
Reaching nirvana frees the soul from suffering and from the need for further reincarnation.
4) People can overcome ignorance and desire by following an eightfold path that leads to wisdom, enlightenment, and salvation.
The middle way between human desires and denying oneself.
Right Thought Right Mindfulness
Right Intent Right Concentration
Right Speech Right Livelihood
Right Action Right Effort
For a long time India was divided into smaller city-states. However, in the 300s BC Alexander the Great united them together. His armies left, but the idea of being a united country stayed behind.
Around 320 Bc Candragupta Maurya founded the Mauryan Empire that lasted 150 years.
While he began the empire, he also gave it up. He converted to Jainism and that led him to pass on his kingdom to his son.
The Mauryan empire had an immense army!
It was controlled by spies.
Farmers paid a heavy task for protection.
Asoka was the grandson
He was the strongest of all
the Mauryan rulers.
In the beginning years of his rule Asoka expanded the empire to include most of India. However, he converted to Buddhism and declared that he would not fight again. Now that he had free time, he began to improve the lives of his people.
had wells built
had roads built
built houses for weary travelers
encouraged the spread of Buddhism
What is going to happen throughout India because of these improvements?
After Asoka died his kingdom began to weaken. His sons fought each other for power and invaders saw a chance to take over.
In 184 BC the last Mauryan ruler was killed by his own general and India divided into smaller states again.
Before the Guptas took over India it had been in disarray for around 500 years. Buddhism was prospering and the power of Hinduism was dying down. Under the Guptas India began to prosper again and unite.
As the rulers of the Guptan Empire brought stability and properity to India again they also rejuvenated Hinduism.
The other religions were not banned, though.
Candra Gupta II
Candra Gupta II brought India to its highest point.
Strengthened the economy
Stretched the empire
Produced beautiful works of art
The Gupta Empire lasted until the late 400s.
Around that time a group called the Huns was attacking. India was divided again!