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subcontinent

a large land area that is topographically separate but still a part of the larger continent

monsoon

a wind system affecting the climate of India and S. Asia; reverses direction seasonally, producing a wet season and a dry season

citadel

fortress-city center in Indus River Valley

Aryan

one of a group of seminomadic people that originally came from eastern Europe and spoke a Indo-European language

caste

a division within India's class system

Vedas

a collection of sacred hymns and poems

raja

ruler

varnas

social classes

brahmin

priest

Brahman

God

Buddhism

a religion founded in India by Siddhartha Gautama; stresses moderation and nonviolence

moderation

the condition of not being excessive; not extreme

reincarnation

rebirth of soul in another living thing

dharma

the law or teachings; duty, justice, or social obligation

karma

the thoughts, speech and actions a person performs during a lifetime

sangha

Buddhism's religious community

ahimsa

nonviolence

Hinduism

the major religion and way of life in modern India

guru

spiritual teacher

meditate

think deeply

nirvana

lasting peace

missionary

person who spreads religious beliefs to others

convert

to change beliefs

guild

an association of merchants or artisans who do the same work

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