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 Advanced civilization flourished between 2500 and
1500 B.C.E.
 Called the Indus Valley civilization
 Wiped out by Aryans
 Aggressive
 Nomadic
 Warriors
 Superior weapons
 Evolved from Aryan beliefs
 Way of life, not just religion
 No written doctrines or sets of rules
 No single prophet or religious leader
 Many, many gods
 Many believe that all the gods are aspects of a
single essence or immortal spirit
 Three deities stand out – called Trimurti
 Brahma (creator)
 Vishnu (protector)
 Shiva (destroyer/preserver)
 dharma: from Sanskrit, “to hold” – fulfill the duties of
station in life, however lofty or humble
 karma: from Sanskrit, “action” – actions in life; good
or bad karma leads to good or bad reincarnation
 reincarnation: rebirth of deceased person’s soul into
new body; when a soul is sufficiently purified, it is
united with Brahman, or the ultimate spiritual reality
 Social class
 Five basic ranks
 Brahmans: scholars, priests, teachers
 Kshatriyas: rulers and warriors
 Vaisyas: merchants, farmers, artisans
 Sudras: menial work
 Dalits (untouchables)
 Excluded altogether
 Dispose of dead animals; clean up human waste
 Believed to pollute others by touch or sight
 Founded during end of
Vedic period
 Buddha means
“Enlightened One”
 Siddhartha Gautama
 Prince
 Gave up rich life for
spiritual peace
 Life is an endless cycle of suffering caused by desire
for earthly goods
 Practice yoga (“union”) – self-denial, meditation,
breathing practices, nonviolent behavior
 Rejects social stratification of Hinduism
 8th century AD
 Constant fighting between Islamic and Hindu
dynasties – lasted centuries!
 Ended in partition between Muslims and Hindus in
 Pakistan for Muslims
 India for Hindus
 Vedic: 1500-500 BCE
 Named for the Vedas, or sacred hymns
 Classical: 500 BCE to AD 1000
 Wrote in Sanskrit
संस्कृतम ्
 Means “perfect speech”
 Considered a sacred language
 Rig-Veda
 “hymns of the supreme
sacred knowledge”
 regarded as divinely
 Mahabharata
 epic story about two rival
 Bhagavad-Gita
 interrupts the Mahabharata
 divided into 18 sections of