Download Mohenjodaro and Hindu Beliefs

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Mohenjodaro and Hindu Beliefs
Presentation by Mr. Tsolomitis
 A city located in the Indus River Valley
 Part of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization
 Also part of the Harappan civilization (named after
another nearby city, Harappa)
 Mohenjodaro and Harappa were two great centers of
this civilization.
 Ruins were found in 1922.
 The city has two main parts.
Two parts to Mohenjodaro
 The main part of the city is the “citadel,” a fortress built to
protect a city.
 Raised above the rest of the town.
 Surrounded by a wall, it probably served as a gathering place
for defense.
 The lower city has many shops and houses
 A key, unique feature… streets! Nine of them, in fact! And
they made “city blocks.”
 About 50,000 people lived here at one time.
 The city layout and technology leads us to classify
Mohenjodaro as an “advanced civilization.”
There’s… just one problem…
No one knows what happened to them!
 After about 1900 B.C.E., the great cities of the Indus
River Valley disappeared.
 Hostile invaders from Central Asia?
 Floods/earthquakes?
 A change in course of the Indus River?
 Almost without a trace, these great cities were
 But they did leave behind many clues about what life
was like there…
Stone weights
 Inside the walls, several
stone weights and a scale
were found near a large
 Inside the ruins of this
building, they found bits of
grains like barley and wheat.
 This lead archaeologists to
the conclusion that the
building is a granary (a place
to store grain).
What do these weights and scales
mean to our studies?
 They suggest these ancient Indians might have used
grain like money.
 Weigh the grain and a certain amount of grain is worth
certain amounts of other goods.
 There are other granaries outside the city, so the
citadel’s granary could have been used to collected
taxes in the form of grain.
The Great Bath
The Great Bath
Made of waterproofed brick
39 feet long
8 feet deep
Small dressing rooms circled
the bath
 One of the rooms contained
a well that supplied the bath
with water
 Dirty water was removed
through a drain
 Community “pool” for
 Warm or cold water,
depending on the season
 Because bathing rituals
are important in
Hinduism, the bath may
have also been used for
religious rituals.
Statues and Beads
 This statue may have been a
priest or a king.
 The beads were worn as
necklaces, bracelets,
earrings, and rings.
 Beds could be made of
 Were also made of clay and
then baked in hot ovens
called kilns.
What’s so special about these?
 Found in large numbers throughout the city ruins.
 Carved with pictographs (pictures used to stand for
objects, sounds or ideas).
 More than 400 have been discovered.
 We don’t really know what they are for.
 Many have a small loop on the back, suggesting they
may have been worn as necklaces or charms to keep
away evil.
 May have been pressed into wax to make a kind of tag,
possibly to use to mark who owns which goods.
Sewer System
 A sewer system: a network of pipes that disposes of
 Two thousand years would pass before the next
advanced civilization would create it… the Romans!
 Clay pipes connected buildings and homes to the
main sewer system.
 This would send waste in channels along the edges of
streets and then empty into the Indus River
 Deep wells of brick would store water and rainfall to
be collected by the people of the city.
 The lower city is three times the size of the citadel
 Houses had flat roofs and were usually two stories high.
 The houses faced narrow alleys, while the backs of the
houses opened into courtyards where people would
 Made of mud brick
 They even had windows, sometimes covered with screens
of terra-cotta (a hard clay) or alabaster.
 Windows were almost never on the ground floor.
 Homes had between one to a dozen rooms.
 Poorer people probably lived in the smaller homes
 Richer people probably lived in the larger ones or had several
rooms together.
Games and Clay Models
 Uncovered many objects
that appear to be toys or
parts of games.
 These include dice, stone
balls, grooved clay tracks,
and stone game boards.
 The game of chess is
believed to have been
invented in India, but used
dice and was called pawns.
 Most models are made of
 Believed to show how farm
goods were transported to
the city’s market.
Hindu Beliefs
 Hinduism: India’s first major religion
 Dharma: law, obligation, and duty
 Brahman: The supreme power/divine force that is greater than all
other gods
 Karma: the importance of living according to dharma. The law of
karma explains what happens to a persons soul after death.
 Samsara is a continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
 Reincarnation: the belief that a person’s soul is reborn into a new
body after death
Origins of Hinduism
 Began before recorded history, but it is believed that no single
person founded it.
 Early Hindu religion is called Vedism, after the Vedas (a collection of
Hindu sacred writings, including verses, hymns, prayers and
teachings in the language of Sanskrit, the ancient language of
 The Vedas were taught orally (aloud) for hundreds of years before
they were finally written down.
 Rituals and sacrifices honored a number of deities (the forms that
represent various qualities of Brahman), but became more and
more complex.
 Later Vedism is often called Brahmanism, which is defined as an
ancient Indian religion in which the Brahmins, or priests of
Brahman, are the dominant social class.
Hinduism and the Caste System
 Brahmanism taught that a well-organized society was divided into
social classes.
 Europeans later called this the caste system (a class or group in
Hindu society)
 The caste system affected all aspects of people’s lives.
 You could not change your social class or marry outside of your class.
 Four main social classes:
Brahmins (priests and religious scholars)
Kshatriyas (rulers and warriors)
Vaishyas (herders and merchants)
Shudras (servants)
The Fifth Social Class
 A fifth social class later developed, called the
 These were people whose jobs or ways of life involved
activities Hindus considered lowly or “dirty.”
 This included garbage-men, butchers, homeless people,
 Segregated from the rest of society.
 Only Brahman exists forever, everything else changes
and eventually dies.
 Time goes in a great circle: the same events return,
much like the cycle of the sun and the seasons.
 Everything in the world is a part of Brahman,
including the human soul, which Hindus call atman.
 Connected to Brahman.
 The other deities are various forms of Brahman.
 Hindu temples always face east, towards the rising
 Filled with carvings and sculptures which usually show
 In ancient times, the most popular and powerful deity was Indra,
the deity of Thunder.
 Fiercely war-like, used lightning bolts as weapons, drove a blazing gold
chariot across the sky and riding a white elephant.
 Most important deities today are:
 Brahma the Creator,
 Vishnu the Preserver, and
 Shiva the Destroyer.
 Another important one is Devi, who embodies the female powers
of the universe.
 Appearances are intentional: extra arms symbolize strength, extra
eyes indicates the ability to see great distances or into your mind.
 Hindu sacred texts are often filled with
the heroic deities fighting the forces of
 Example: the Ramayana describes
Rama’s intense battle with Ravana, a
 The stories also present basic beliefs of
Hinduism in an entertaining manner.
 Many holidays and festivals celebrate
events from the Ramayana, like Divali
(means “row of lamps,” is essentially
the Hindu New Year), which shows
Rama’s defeat of Ravana.
 To follow one’s dharma means to perform one’s duties and to live as
one should.
 Each social class had its own duty.
 Hindu’s called their system of social classes varna dharma (the way of
one’s kind).
 If everyone followed the dharma of their varna, society would be in
 In addition to the dharma of their varna, Hindus are expected to
follow a common dharma.
 Marriage, sharing food with others, and caring for one’s soul are part of
the common dharma
 Another basic value is nonviolence, due to the fact that all living things
have a soul.
 The importance of living according to
 Souls have many lives and is reborn into a
new body, the kind of which depended on
the soul’s karma.
 Status in society is dependent on your karma.
 Criticized by many over the centuries,
including Ghandi, who called the
untouchables “Children of God.”
 Today the law protects the rights of
everyone and the caste system is much less
strict, but the ideas of karma and rebirth
remain a central part of Hinduism
 A continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth
 Ends when the soul escapes the cycle of rebirth.
 You can escape the cycle of pain, suffering and death by following
the basic beliefs of Hinduism, follow their dharma, worship
Brahman and other deities faithfully, and strive for direct, personal
connections with Brahman.
 Reincarnation: the belief that a person’s soul is reborn into a
new body after death
 Connect to Brahman through pilgrimages (a journey to a holy
place) to places like the Ganges and Sarasvati Rivers.
 The difficulty of the journey and bathing would cleanse their soul of
 Still made today.