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49 terms

Chapter 4 (T&E): South Asia, 3000 BCE-600 BCE

Terms and concepts from the reading
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Indra
chief god of the Aryans, associated with war and thunder
Aryans
Indo-European migrants into South Asia after 1500 BCE
Indo-Europeans
Migrants throughout Europe and West Asia who brought with them their language(s), horses and warlike culture
Dravidians
Linguistic group who occupied South Asia prior to the Indo-European migrations; the Harappans belonged to this group, as do the residents of the southern regions of the Indian sub-continent
Indus River
location of the earliest civilization in South Asia
Harappa
major city for which the Harappan culture is named
Hindu Kush
mountains which separate the Indus River valley from Central Asia
Himalayas
mountains which separate the Ganges River valley and South Asia from the Tibetan plateau and Central Asia
Harappan crops
wheat, barley, cotton
Harappan domesticated animals
chickens, sheep, goats, cattle
chickens
animals first domesticated in South Asia
cotton
crop first found in South Asia
Mohenjo-Daro
major city of Harappan culture; means "mound of the dead"
horses
signature animal Indo-Europeans brought with them
cattle
the primary wealth of the Aryans
Sanskrit
the holy language of the Aryans and later the Hindus
Prakrit
everyday language of the Aryans which becomes Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, etc.
Vedas
Ancient Sanskrit writings that are the earliest sacred texts of Hinduism.
Rig Veda
The first and most important of the Vedas, it has historic, spiritual and social information about the Aryans
dasas
Aryan name for indigenous people of Indus valley region; regarded as socially inferior to Aryans
raja
Sanskrit term for chief or king
Punjab
region around the upper Indus River
Ganges River
heart of South Asian population and civilization after the Harappans
Deccan
plateau which covers most of the Indian sub-continent south of the Ganges River valley
caste
a relatively rigid class into which you are born; this governed all relationships in India
varna
literally "color," it is the Hindu term for caste
brahmins
highest "second-born" varna; priests and teachers
kshatriyas
second "second-born" varna; warriors and rulers
vaishyas
third "second-born" varna; merchants, craftsmen, and land-owners.
shudras
fourth varna; not "second-born" but laborers
jati
occupational group which provided rules for religion and conduct; there were thousands in each varna
Manu
legendary ancestor of all humans who survived a great flood; he also provided humans with rules for proper conduct
Lawbook of Manu
codification of early Hindu law attributed to Manu
sati
sometimes "suttee," it is the act whereby a devout Hindu widow shows her devotion to her husband by joining him on his funeral pyre
Hinduism
the term which we give to a diverse set of beliefs which originated in South Asia from the blend of Aryan and Dravidian religion and culture
Varuna
Aryan god who judged the behavior of mortals and preserved the cosmic order.
"House of Clay"
the place of misery to which the Aryans believed poorly behaved humans would be condemned
"World of the Fathers"
the heaven to which those judged worthy would pass after death, according to the Aryans
Vedic Age
The period of South Asian history which began with the migrations of the Aryans (singing the Vedas!) and ended app. 600 BCE
soma
hallucinogenic consumed by Aryan priests as they performed ritual sacrifices; it brought the gods into the sacrifice
sacrifice
offering to the gods in exchange for divine support, performed by brahmins; the most important source of power during the Vedic Age
transmigration
the passing of a soul into another body after death
reincarnation
belief that the individual soul is reborn in a different form after death
Upanishads
commentaries on the Vedas that are considered sacred texts in the Hindu religion
Brahman
in Hinduism he was the universal soul, and in the trinity of gods in Hinduism he was the Creator
samsara
the Hindu cycle of death and rebirth; in Buddhism means rebirth
karma
(Hinduism and Buddhism) the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation
moksha
The Hindu concept of the spirit's 'liberation' from the endless cycle of rebirths; union with Brahman
yoga
a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind