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Founded c. 3000 B.C. by Dravidians
Aryans= nomadic invaders from
Central Asia
Caste System
Caste System
Caste determines occupation and
social status
No marriage outside of caste
No sharing of meals
Outlawed since 1947, but still deeply
ingrained in Indian society
• 3 main gods:
Brahma – creator god
• Shiva – the destroyer
• Vishnu – the preserver
• Brahman – the “ultimate reality”
Hindus believe Brahman is the source of
all things and is in all things.
• All other gods are manifestations of
The Four Aims
All Hindus live with 4 goals:
Dharma – righteousness (right behavior)
Artha – success/prosperity
Kama – satisfaction of desires
Moksha – release from “samsara,” the
life cycle
Atman= soul
Every living thing has one
The body is mortal, but the soul is
Reincarnation – soul is reborn in another
Dharma- your record
Karma- law of consequences
Samsara- transmigration & reincarnation
Ultimate goal: moksha & nirvana
Your atman blends with Brahman and
becomes part of it.
Hindu and the Caste System
Very closely tied
Karma determines reincarnation
If your dharma is good, you will be
reincarnated in a higher caste.
If your dharma is bad….lower.
You can even drop below castes into the
world of beasts.
What is sacred:
The Vedas (sacred texts)
The Cow
How many million Untouchables?
What similarities can you see in our
own American history?
Article on College Quotas
What is a quota or reservation?
Why does India have these
What is similar to it in the U.S.?