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Ancient India
Early Settlers: Indus River Valley
 Early
people lived in the Indus
River Valley
 Like the Nile, the Indus flooded
predictably & provided rich soil for
 People of Indus River developed
well-planned cities with brick
homes, streets, wells, sewers,
Early Settlers: Indus River Valley
 Cities
in Indus River Valley began
to decline & came to an end
around 1500 B.C. Why?
–Indus River changed course?
–Over-farming & over-grazing of
–Attacks by invaders?
Early Settlers: Aryans
 Aryans
entered Indus River Valley
in 1500 B.C.
 Did not live in cities (nomads) &
had no writing system; spoke
early form of Sanskrit (language
that is still around today in India)
 Passed on traditions through
Vedas—thousands of oral
scriptures & poems that tell of the
history & religion of Aryans
Through Cultural Diffusion
between Early Indus River
peoples and Aryan
Invaders—Unique Indian
Culture Developed
Early Settlers: Cultural Diffusion
 Through
cultural diffusion
(sharing & blending of ideas) of
Indus River Valley Civilization
and Aryans, a unique Indian
culture was created:
–Caste System
Caste System
 Caste
System—complicated set
of divisions of people within Indian
society; higher castes were
“purer” than lower castes
 Did not marry outside of caste; did
not share food with lower caste
 Each group had own occupation &
dharma (duty within caste)
–“Better to do one’s own duty badly
than do another’s duty well”
Caste System
 Priests
 Warriors,
 Common
 Unskilled
 Slaves
Ancient India
Hinduism &
 Oldest religion in the world
 Beliefs:
–Brahma—a mighty spirit
that creates all & destroys all lives
everywhere, in everything.
–To become one with Brahman
(called moksha), you must get
 Beliefs:
–Caste system reflects purity;
higher caste means one is
“more pure”
–Reincarnation—after you die,
your soul returns to another
body; into which caste your
soul returns depends on how
you lived your life (called your
Reincarnation . . .
a person does
affects the future of his/her
No deed is forgotten
A person builds a future life
through action.
 528 B.C. Siddhartha Gautama
can achieve
through the Four
Noble Truths
 Four Noble Truths:
–Suffering is part of life
–People suffer because they
want things that cannot have
–To end suffering means to end
–Once overcome suffering, can
achieve nirvana (state of
enlightenment by following the
Eight-Fold Path)
Eight-Fold Path
Right Views—believe
Right Thought—don’t be envious
Right Action—do what is right
Right Effort—be disciplined
Right Livelihood—live simply
Right Speech—say nice things
Right Mindfulness—keep good mind
& body
Right Meditation—be focused
 Based on non-violence &
kindness—true Buddhist wouldn’t
hurt a fly
 No rituals; based on meditation &
 Anyone (even women, the poor, &
slaves) could attain nirvana
Spread of Buddhism
322-298 B.C. Chandragupta
united all of northern India under
Mauryan Kingdom using terror
His grandson, Ashoka was more
peaceful & became Buddhist
Ashoka sent hundreds of
missionaries to spread Buddhism;
Buddhism became a major world
Creating a Buddhist Brochure
 King
Ashoka of the Mauryan Kingdom of India
has asked you to create a persuasive brochure
for Buddhism to help spread the faith
 Your brochure should:
• Include information about Buddhism
• Include images that reflect your content
• Explain why it is the “best” religion
• Include persuasive writing that tries to
convert people in the region from Hinduism to