Complete History Indian Vocabulary

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Cunningham (and maybe Brandt, i'm not sure) Indian Vocabulary full version (see also part 1, part 2, part 3)

Arjuna

was a warrior who felt discouraged when going into battle and took advice from his chariot driver without knowing that he was Krishna, an incarnation of the Indian deity Vishnu

Aryans

Indo-European speaking nomads who entered India from the Central Asian steppes between 1500 and 1000 BCE and greatly affected Indian society

Asceticism

the idea of self denial, self sacrifice, even self mutilation that was done to communicate with the gods and began to take the place of sacrifice in ancient India

Atman

the individual soul

Ashoka

a ruler of the Mauryan Empire who converted to Buddhism

Avatar

an incarnation of a god

Bodhisattva

a person who has attained enlightenment but who has postponed nirvana in order to help others achieve enlightenment

Brahmins

the priestly caste who led ceremonies

Brahman

in Hinduism he was the universal soul, and in the trinity of gods in Hinduism he was the Creator

Buddhism

a religion that was started by Siddhartha Gautama who is also known as Buddha whose purpose was to stop suffering

Bodhi

means wisdom; Bodhi is achieved when worldly matters are abandoned, and is the source of the term "Buddhism." Bodhi is a key step on the way to nirvana

Chandragupta Maurya

a king, founder of the Mauryan Empire

Caste

India's rigid social system in which all members of that society are assigned by birth to specific ranks and inherit specific roles and privileges

Dharma

duty

Dravidian

a language; people who speak it mainly live in Southern India and were probably pushed there by the Aryan invasions

Ganges

a river in India that flows into the Bay of Bengal; in Hinduism, it is known as a sacred river

Harappan

a civilization that based itself on the Indus River

Hinduism

the main religion in India, it emphasizes reincarnation, based on the results of the previous life, and the desirability of escaping this cycle. Its various forms feature both asceticism and the pleasures of ordinary life, and it encompasses a multitude of gods as different manifestations of ultimate reality

Indus

a river in Pakistan that flows into the Arabian Sea

Jainism

a religion that branched off from Hinduism and was founded by Mahavira; its belief is that everything has a soul, and its purpose was to cleanse the soul. Some were extreme aesthetics

Jati

sub castes; were groups of people within each caste that worked together for one economic function

Karma

consequences of actions that determine your reincarnation

Kautilya

political advisor to the Mauryans

Krishna

in Hinduism, the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu

Kshatriya

the warrior caste

Law of Manu

a book in which the rules for social behavior were written down; Manu is the mythical founder of India

Majaraja

an Indian king or prince that was ranked higher than a raja

Mohenjo-Daro

a city in the Harappan civilization that is located on the Indus River

Monsoon

strong winds that change with the seasons. Monsoons symbolize the great god Indra

Mahavira

an extreme aesthetic who founded the religion Jainism and thought of several Hindu concepts, such as karma, in a very concrete way

Mahabharata

one of the two Sanskrit epics of Ancient India. It is the longest epic poem in the world. It is translated as "Great India" and is primarily about wars

Moksha

in Hinduism, it is seen as the liberation of the soul from the body

Nirvana

the Buddhist belief of the extinction of desire and individual consciousness, also spiritual enlightenment

Pariahs

the name of the group of people outside the caste system; they were the outcasts of society and untouchables, were not considered part of Indian society or the caste system

Raja

the title given in India to a king or prince

Ramayana

A Hindu epic written in Sanskrit that describes the adventures of the king Rama and his queen

Rigveda

a veda, which was a sacred writing of Hinduism that contained a collection of Hindu poems and hymns that were used for religious reasons

Rock Chambers

a room or building carved out of the side of a cliff. They were used for religious ceremonies and houses to monks and wandering ascetics

Samsara

the Hindu cycle of death and rebirth; in Buddhism means rebirth

Sanskrit

an Indo-European language that was the language of the Vedas

Sati

a ritual that required a woman to throw herself onto her late husband's funeral pyre or burn herself. This was done gladly and if a woman did not comply with this she would be disgraced

Shiva

an important Hindu deity who in the trinity of gods was the Destroyer

Siddhartha Gautama

founder of Buddhism who achieved enlightenment of the meaning of life while sitting under a tree and later preached his conclusions that came to be known as Buddhism

Stupas

religious buildings that originally housed Buddha relics. Stupas developed into familiar Buddhist architecture

Sudras

the second lowest of the five castes in the Indian social system and were not twice born; consisted of peasants and artisans which was most of the Indian population

Syncretism

mixed souce belief (religions that are a blend of two or more)

Upanishads

commentaries on the Vedas that are considered sacred texts in the Hindu religion

Untouchables

the name of the group of people in the caste system that were the outcasts of society; were not considered a part of Indian society of the caste system, also called pariahs

Vaisya

the third highest caste that was made up of merchants and commoners, twice born

Vedas

sacred texts in the Hindu religion, they are a set of four collections of hymns and religious ceremonies transmitted by memory through the centuries by Aryan priests

Vishnu

Vishnu is a Hindu god who, in the trinity of gods, is the Preserver

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