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51 terms

Complete History Indian Vocabulary

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