Seasonal winds in the Indian Ocean caused by the differences in temperature between the rapidly heating and cooling landmasses of Africa and Asia and the slowly changing ocean waters.
Early Indian sacred knowledge long preserved and communicated orally by Brahmin priests and eventually written down. Our main source of information about the Vedic period along with Rig Veda.
Four major social divisions.
Within the system of varna. Regional groups of people who have a common occupational sphere, and who marry, eat, and generally interact with other members of their group.
Residue of deeds performed in past and present lives that adheres to a "spirit" and determines what form it will assume in its next life cycle.
Hindu concept of the spirit's "liberation" from the endless cycle of rebirths.
Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, who renounced his wealth and social position. After becoming "enlightened" he enunciatedthe principles of Buddhism.
Branch of Buddhism followed in China, Japan, and Central Asia. Focuses on reverence for Buddha.
Branch of Buddhism followed in Sri Lanka and much of Southeast Asia. It downplays the importance of gods and emphasizes austerity and the individual's search for enlightenment.
Term for a wide variety of beliefs and ritual practices that have developed in the Indian subcontinent since antiquity.
First state to unify most of the Indian subcontinent. Founded by Chandragupta Maurya.
Third ruler of the Mauryan Empire in India. He converted to Buddhism and broadcast his precepts on inscribed stones and pillars, the earliest surviving Indian writing.
Vast epic chronicling the events leading up to a cataclysmic battle between related kinship groups in early India.
Most important work of Indian sacred literature, a dialogue between the great warrior Arjuna and the god Krishna on duty and the fate of the spirit.
Kingdoms of southern India, inhabited primarily by speakers of Dravidian languages, which developed in partial isolation, and somewhat differently, from the Aryan north.
Powerful Indian state based on a capital at Pataliputra in the Ganges Valley. Controlled most of the Indian subcontinent through a combination of military force and its prestige as a center of sophisticated culture.
Term for a state that acquires prestige and power by developing attractive cultural forms and staging elaborate public ceremonies to attract and bind subjects to the center.
Became the dominant population in Southern Asia.
Early complex society in Southeast Asia between the first and sixth centuries C.E.