Classical India

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An overview of classical India

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  • God required constant attention five sacrifices a day for each household - conducted by a Brahman People became disillusioned with rituals, including Brahman Last Islam and, to a lesser degree, Christianity will have limited success in India? Why? When Buddhism did so well.
  • Devotional cults open to all castes Created more “milestone” rituals Over time Buddha worshipped as a worldly form of Vishnu Salvation attainable by all Bhagavad Gita - Poem that represented new ethical teachings - individuals could escape cycle of reincarnation (the ultimate reality or moksha)
  • Restrictions include: couldn’t worship with other castes, walk on road with merchants or Brahmans, could use only own wells.
  • Classical India

    1. 1. Classical India AP World History
    2. 2. The Indian Subcontinent <ul><ul><li>India has three topographical zones: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Northern mountainous zone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indus and Ganges Basins </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The peninsula - divided into another four sub-regions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you think was the political impact of this geography diversity? </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Social System Origins <ul><ul><li>Aryan migrants create social order * </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hereditary, defines societal roles, occupation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varna = “color” - racial differences, castes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based upon idea that people are different, should have different roles </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Four Varnas <ul><ul><li>Brahmans / Priests - intellectual and spiritual leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kshatriya / Warriors and aristocrats - protectors of society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vaishyas / Merchants, farmers, artisans - skilled producers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shundras / unskilled labor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Untouchables - outside of caste system </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Characteristics <ul><ul><li>Caste defined occupation, diet, social interactions, style of dress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shundras, untouchables excluded - could not read/hear Vedas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty of monarch to maintain system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of individualism </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Connections to Hinduism <ul><ul><li>Indian leaders believed it to supernaturally ordained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brahmans spiritual leaders of India, advised kings, emperors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upward social mobility only through reincarnation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collected karma influences next life </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Questions <ul><ul><li>By implementing the caste system, what was accomplished? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How important is its connection to Hinduism? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How is this similar to China? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you apply the caste system to high school? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Historical Patterns in India <ul><ul><li>Culture: Caste system / Hinduism preserves social system across history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economics: Trade becomes a constant - part of Silk Roads, Indian Ocean Network, and more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics: India goes eras of invasion and conquest by foreigners, large empires then falls into regional kingdoms  </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Mauryan Empire <ul><ul><li>324 BCE - 184 BCE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early outside influences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Achaemenid province in N. India (520 BCE) - brought gov't style </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alexander Invades in 327 BCE - destroyed all regional kingdomsm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kingdom of Magahad expands under Chandragupta ( video clip ) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Ashoka <ul><ul><li>Conquered most of sub-continent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraged trade, expanded agriculture, built roads </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Ashoka <ul><ul><li>Converted to Buddhism - spreads it around India </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used Rock and Pillar Edicts to proclaim positive messages ( video clip )  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gupta declines after his death </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Gupta Empire <ul><ul><li>After Ashoka - political fragmentation  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Considered Golden Age of India - advances in math and astronomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decentralized government (contrast to Mauryan, like Persia) </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Hindu Revival - Gupta <ul><ul><li>Decline of Mauryan Empire = decline of Buddhism in India </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brahmans make it more appealing to common people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stressed importance of personal worship, devotion to individual gods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karma acquired by completion of caste duties / obligations </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Hindu Revival - Gupta <ul><ul><li>Supported Hinduism - restored Brahmans in gov’t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive building of temples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caste system reasserted / solidified into Indian culture - more rigid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanded with new Jatis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further restrictions put on Untouchables </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Questions <ul><ul><li>Why do you think modern day India has such a difficult time eliminating the caste system to day? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Hindu scholars argue that the caste system actually contradicts Hinduism, what is your reaction? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the end, what single factor allowed Hinduism to flourish and Buddhism decline? </li></ul></ul>

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