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29 terms

India Vocabulary

STUDY
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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