India Vocabulary

29 terms by maykenzie 

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ahimsa

principle of nonviolence

ascetics

relates to Buddhism; people who practiced self-denial to achieve an understanding of ultimate reality

bhajan

devotional song, hymn

bindi

dot, point on the forehead (painted-on or stick-on); focus on the context of a beauty spot

Brahmans

one of the varnas in the Hindu caste system; the PRIESTLY CLASS (in charge of the religious ceremonies that were so important in Indian society)

caste system

a set of rigid social categories that determined not only a person's occupation, but also his/her position in society

Buddhism

religious doctrine initially appeared in northern India... became a rival of Hinduism; founded by Siddhartha Gautama (known as the Buddha)

chamar

cobbler, leatherworker

devadasi

temple dancer

dharma

known as "divine law;" this required all people to do their duty

gotra

local kin group whose members trace descent through the male line to an ancestral figure

Harrappa

major city in ancient India

Hinduism

religious doctrine of the Aryan people who settled in India after 1500 B.C.; evidence comes from the Vedas

karma

the force generated by a person's actions that determines how the person will be reborn in the next life

Kshatriyas

second level of the varnas in the Hindu caste system; WARRIORS

linga

a stone that symbolizes Hindu god Shiva (or Siva)

mahatma

great soul

mandala

a magical circle or set of concentric circles

Mohenjo-Daro

major cty in ancient India (archaeologists regerred to as the "City of the Dead"

monsoons

seasonal wind pattern in souther Asia; a primary feature of India's climate

mubarak

term meaning blessings

nirvana

when you have achieved the ultimate reality- the end of self and a reunion with the Great World Soul

rajas

India was a world of warring kingdoms... Aryan leaders; a term for princes

reincarnation

belief that the individual soul is reborn in a different form after death

Sanskrit

a writing system developed by the Aryans

Shudras or Sudras

fourth level of the varnas in the Hindu caste system; tthis group made up the bulk of the Indian population; PEASANTS...PEOPLE WHO PERFORMED VARIOUS FORMS OF MANUAL LABOR

Untouchables

LOWEST LEVEL OF INDIAN SOCIETY; not considered a real part of the caste system; often given degrading jobs; their life was extremely difficult

Vaisyas

third level of the varnas in the Hindu caste system; identifies merchants who engaged in commerce; COMMONDERS

varna

a basic subdivision of humanity in the Hindu caste system

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