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India Termlist


Site of one of the great cities of the Indus Valley civilization of the third millennium B.C.E. It was located on the northwest frontier of the zone of cultivation , and may have been a center for the acquisition of raw materials. (p. 48)


Indus Valley city laid out in a grid pattern. Had a complex irrigation and sewer system., One of the first settlements in India

Aryan Migration

A large group of speakers of Indo-European languages who migrated across Europe and Asia.


The most ancient of the four Vedas, or Hindi religious epics, brought into India by the Aryans.


later books of the Vedas; contained sophisticated and sublime philosophical ideas; utilized by Brahmans to restore religious authority; religion/mysticism


A vast epic chronicling the events leading up to a cataclysmic battle between related kinship groups in early India. It includes the Bhagavad-Gita, the most important work of Indian sacred literature.


is an ancient Sanskrit epic thought to have been compiled between approximately 400 BCE and 200 CE. It tells the story of Lord Rāma, whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon (Rākshasa) king of Lanka, Rāvana. Thematically, the epic explores themes of human existence and the concept of dharma.

Bhagavad Gita

the last 18 chapters of the Mahabharata stresses the idea that conducting oneself properly according to one's status in life marks the highest fulfillment in life


a body of religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practices native to India and characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme beingof many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a


in the belief system established in Aryan India, the single spiritual power that resides in all things


The individual soul or essence


The Hindu concept of the spirit's 'liberation' from the endless cycle of rebirths.


(Hinduism and Buddhism) the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation


In Hindu belief, a person's religious and moral duties


principle of nonviolence


the Hindu or Buddhist doctrine that person may be reborn successively into one of five classes of living beings (god or human or animal or hungry ghost or denizen of hell) depending on the person's own actions

Caste System

A Hindu social class system that controlled every aspect of daily life


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.


the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth

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

Four Noble Truths

1) All life is full of suffering, pain, and sorrow. 2) The cause of suffering is nonvirtue, or negative deeds and mindsets such as hated and desire. 3) The only cure for suffering is to overcome nonvirture. 4) The way to overcome nonvirtue is to follow the Eightfold Path

Eightfold Path

In Buddhism, the basic rules of behavior and belief leading to an end of suffering


the lasting peace that Buddhists seek by giving up selfish desires

Mauryan Empire

The first state to unify most of the Indian subcontinent. It was founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 324 B.C.E. and survived until 184 B.C.E. From its capital at Pataliputra in the Ganges Valley it grew wealthy from taxes. (184)


the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in bringing together most of the Indian subcontinent. As a result, Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and the first genuine emperor of India.


grandson of Chandragupta; most honored emperor for his commitment to spreading peace and prosperity to all; was buddhist but accepted other religions; decline came after his death

Gupta Empire

Powerful Indian state based, like its Mauryan predecessor, on a capital at Pataliputra in the Ganges Valley. It controlled most of the Indian subcontinent through a combination of military force and its prestige as a center of sophisticated culture

The Golden Age of India

Gupta Dynasty was also know as....

Delhi Sultanate

A Muslim leader of Ghur who defeated Hindu armies made Delhi, the third largest city of India, his capital.


a monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 16th century by the guru Nanak. Sikhism rejects caste distinctions, idolatry, and asceticism and is characterized by belief in a cycle of reincarnation from which humans can free themselves by living righteous lives as active members of society

Mughal Empire

Muslim state (1526-1857) exercising dominion over most of India in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (p. 536)

Akbar the Great

known for religious tolerance. grandson of Babur who created a strong central government

Taj Mahal

beautiful mausoleum at Agra built by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan (completed in 1649) in memory of his favorite wife

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