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Chapter 5: India

TermDefinition
varna the name of a group of people in India, one of four castes of the Hindu social structure
caste system a rigid class system that determined a person's occupation and position in Hindu society
Hinduism a major religion of India that was based on the religious beliefs of the Aryans
yoga a method of training used by the Hindus to lead a person closer to Brahman
reincarnation the rebirth of a person's soul in a different form after that person's death
karma a belief in Hinduism that a person's actions determine how that person will be reborn in the next life
dharma the divine law of Hinduism that requires all people to fulfill their role in society
Buddhism a major religion of India that was started by Siddhartha Gautama in the 6th century B.C.
nirvana the goal of Buddhism is to reach this, the end of the self and a reunion with the Great World Soul, or enlightenment
Silk Road a trade route between the Roman Empire and China, in which silk was the main good traded
pilgrim a person who travels to a holy place
Vedas early Indian literature that contained religious songs, chants, and stories and formed the basis of the Hindu religion
Brahmins the highest varna of the caste system which was made up of priests and learned professions
Kshatriyas the second varna of the caste system which was made up of warriors, landowners, and nobles
Vaisyas the third varna of the caste system which was made up of merchants and farmers
Sudras the last varna of the caste system which was made up of peasants, artisans, and laborers
Untouchables people who were viewed as so impure that they were not even part of the caste system and had to do degrading tasks, such as collect garbage
Aryans Hinduism is based off the religious beliefs of these people, who settled in India around 1500 B.C.
Siddhartha Gautama he set out to understand suffering and become enlightened and was later known as the Buddha
Four Noble Truths the main teachings of Buddhism
Eightfold Path Also known as the Middle Path; it consists of eight steps to end suffering and reach enlightenment
Mauryan Empire this Indian empire was started by Candragupta Maurya and began around 324 B.C.
Asoka he is remembered as the most powerful Mauryan leader and is known for his kindness, support of Buddhism and strong leadership
Kushan Empire this empire was started by nomadic warriors in the 1st century A.D. and benefited significantly from trade
Gupta Empire this empire was stared by Candra Gupta in 320 and became the main political force in India
Mahabharata a great Indian epic poem that describes a war between cousins over control of a kingdom
Ramayana an account of the fictional ruler Rama, with had strong moral and religious lessons
Vishnu one of three main gods of Hinduism, known as the Preserver
Shiva one of three main gods of Hinduism, known as the Destroyer
Brahma one of three main gods of Hinduism, known as the Creator
Bhagavad Gita part of the Mahabharata, which is a sermon by the god Krishna
Sanskrit the language the Vedas were written in
Ganges River Because of changes in the rivers of western India, Indian civilization began to be focused around this river
Created by: Mrs. Marquardt