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Chapter 5 - India's First Empires

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Valentin Medina

on 23 October 2017

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Transcript of Chapter 5 - India's First Empires

India's First Empires
Chapter 5
Indian Caste System
Originally called the
varnas
, this class system was created by the Aryan invaders when they conquered the Indus River Valley civilization.

It was split into 4 groups and the Untouchables:
- Brahmans (Priests) > Kshatriyas (Warriors) > Vaishyas (Merchants, Artisans, Farmers, etc.) > Shudras (Laborers) > Untouchables

Overtime, other factors like family, religion, and tribe would also play a factor into your caste, which is still very important in Indian society.
Hinduism
The earliest forms of the Hindu religion is found in the hymns called the
Vedas
by the Aryans.

Reincarnation, the rebirth of an individual's soul into a new body.
Karma, which was the force generated by a person's actions.
Dharma,
the divine laws of order, truth, duty, and law.
Buddhism
Siddhartha Gautama was born between the 4th and 5th century B.C.

After achieving enlightnement or nirvana, he set out traveling and preaching his new doctrine of Buddhism.
- Nirvana is the ultimate reality or end of self (greed, desire, etc.)

He preached of the Four Holy Truths, the Holy Eightfold Path, and the Middle Way, and died around 400 B.C., and his remains were placed into stupas, or burial mounds.
The Mauryan Empire
Founded by Candragupta Maurya in 324 B.C., with a strong central government, a large army, and a secret police force.

Emperor Asoka, became the first emperor to convert to Buddhism, create the first hospitals, and provided welfare for his people.

The last Mauryan Emperor was assassinated in 183 B.C.
Kushan Empire
The Kushans were nomadic warriors who created a small kingdom north of India.

Using the Silk Road they expanded their empire, and interacted with many other cultures (Indians, Chinese, Persians, and Romans).
Gupta Empire
In 320 A.D., Candra Gupta, created this new empire in India.

It became the greatest state in India by:
Trading along the Silk Road
Producing great works of literature, architecture, and art, with great discoveries in the science/ math
Held religous tolerance, and created many new Buddhist and Hindu temples throughout the empire

This empire ended in c.520 C.E.
The Chief Hindu dieities that form a trintiy called the
Trimurti
:
- Brahma (far left) = the creator, created both knowledge and the universe
- Vishnu (center) = the protector, preserver of the world and restorer of dharma
- Shiva (far right) = the destroyer, destroyer of evil natures in order to regenerate and renew
Above is a Hindi music video entitled Nagada Sang Dhol, which portrays the use of both color and prayer in Hindu culture up to today. This can be related to the depiction of their gods as well.
Full transcript