UNIT I ANCIENT INDIA 4
INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION: CULTURE AND PATTERN OF SETTLEMENT.
ARYAN CIVILIZATION – THEORIES AND DEBATES OF ORIGIN
ORIGINS OF EARLY HINDUISM
VEDIC CULTURE - VEDIC VILLAGE AND RUDIMENTARY FORMS OF BAMBOO AND
ORIGINS OF BUDDHISM AND JAINISM.
B.Arch I Second Semester
Early civilization of Ancient
The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE;
mature period 2600-1900 BCE) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to
Pakistan and northwest India.
At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of over five million.
Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft
(carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin).
The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate
drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings
The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after Harappa,
the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then the Punjab province
of British India, and now is Pakistan.
The discovery of Harappa, and soon afterwards, Mohenjo-Daro, was the culmination
of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India in
the British Raj.Excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with
important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999.
• The stage of human social
development and organization
which is considered most advanced.
• The society, culture and lifestyle
of people in a particular area.
• Sites cover most of the modern Pakistan and
• Area covered is about 1.3 million square miles
• The largest among the old world civilizations
• Over 1050 sites; scattered across the area
This earliest known civilisation in India, the starting point in its history, dates
back to about 3000 BC.
Discovered in the 1920s, it was thought to have been confined to the valley of
the river Indus, hence the name given to it was Indus Valley civilisation.
•Mohenjodaro and Harappa, represent the high watermark of the
•Spread to a wide area in northwestern and western India.
•Thus this civilisation is now better known as the Harappan civilisation.
•Mohenjodaro and Harappa are now in Pakistan and the principal sites in
India include Ropar in Punjab, Lothal in Gujarat and Kalibangan in
Planned Cities on the Indus
• Flat plain formed by two rivers – the Indus and the
• Natural barriers of the Himalayas and the Hindu
Kush mountains offered protection (Except Khyber
and Bolan Pass)
• Seasonal winds called monsoons
• Unpredictable floods, Wet and Dry Seasons
• India is a sub-continent, jutting into the Indian
MOHENJODARO - Place /Mound of the Dead
• Mohenjo Daro, or "Mound of the Dead"
• 2600 and 1900 BCE.
• Probably abandoned around 1700 BC
• The site close to 4 Sq. Kms. was discovered
in the 1920s and lies in Pakistan's Sindh
• Mohenjo-daro was successively destroyed
and rebuilt at least seven times. Each time,
the new cities were built directly on top of
the old ones.
The city was divided into two parts,
• Citadel- public bath,residential structures
(5000)and large assembly halls
• Lower City.
The city had planned cities and buildings
and roughly housed 5ooo
the most important administrative
components of the City
• Great Bath
• Assembly hall
The Citadel is the smaller component of the City
• The Streets are not aligned to the cardinal points as in the lower town
• Consists of ramparts and fortified structures
• The stupa was a later addition in 500 AD
• The city was divided into two parts,
• the Citadel included an elaborate tank or bath created with fine quality
brickwork and drains; this was surrounded by a verandah. Also located here
was a giant granary, a large residential structure, and at least two aisled
•Mohenjo-Daro was carefully planned, laid out in an irregular grid of
streets oriented north/south and east/west.
•Massive perimeter walls of mud brick, sometimes faced with fired
brick or stone, surrounded the city.
• Gateways provided controlled access into the settlements.
•Major streets in Mohenjo-Daro varied between 4.5 and 9 meters (15-
30 feet) in width providing two-way ox cart traffic
•Smaller streets were for one-way traffic, only 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft) wide.
•The gateways into the city were only 2.5 m (8 ft) wide, to control traffic
in and out.
•Fired brick-lined drains were located along the edges of the streets,
some covered ones ran down the center of the road.
•The streets weren't paved, but crushed pottery and other materials
made up a hard compacted surface.
•Separate walled mounds with suburbs suggest that the city had competing
political and socio-economic classes;
•no single building or groups of buildings dominants the site.
• There doesn't appear to have been a single hereditary ruler,
• but rather several elite groups created separate clusters of large buildings
and public spaces throughout the town.
• One example of this is House VIII in Lower Town.
•Stone carvings of seated male figures may represent ancestral leaders of
the community, and may not in fact represent priests or kings despite such
names as "priest king".
•Many other figurines, in the form of human and animal figurines were
produced at Mohenjo-daro of terracotta, bronze, faience and shell.
The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests
a high level of social organization.
The city is divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. The
Citadel – a mud-brick mound around 12 metres (39 ft) high – is known to have
supported public baths, a large residential structure designed to house about 5,000
citizens, and two large assembly halls.
The city had a central marketplace, with a large central well. Individual households
or groups of households obtained their water from smaller wells.
Waste water was channelled to covered drains that lined the major streets. Some
houses, presumably those of more prestigious inhabitants, include rooms that
appear to have been set aside for bathing, and one building had an underground
furnace (known as a hypocaust), possibly for heated bathing.
Most houses had inner courtyards, with doors that opened onto side-lanes. Some
buildings had two stories.
• The bath measures 12m x 7m x 2.4m
• 2 wide staircases lead down from the
N and S and there are 2 small sockets
at the edge of the stairs which might
have held wooden treads or planks
• A small brick edging extends for the
entire width of the bath
• The floor is made water tight by the
use of bricks on edge with gypsum
• Water proofing-thick layer of bitumen
or tar along the edges and the floor too
• A series of rooms are located on the
eastern edge of the building
• In one room is a well that may have
supplied water to the tank
• There are no inlet points
BATH AREA WELL
INTERNAL STREETS DRAINS
•grid system with 4 avenues running from north to south and four running from
east to west.
•The avenues are several metres wide and have drains running down the middle or
side of the road.
•The avenues divide the Lower Town into many blocks. Alleyways and lanes further
divided these blocks.
•it was probably where most of the people in the city lived and worked
•Most of the homes are made of baked bricks in a standard size of 5.5”x5.5”x11”.
•The houses generally have several rooms built around a courtyard.
•The doorways to the outside usually open onto side alleys rather than onto the
avenues. Archaeological evidence, such as the remains of stairways, seems to
suggest that many of the buildings had 2 storey.
•Roofs were probably made of wooden beams covered with reeds and packed clay.
•Many homes had specific rooms for bathing.
•These rooms had floors made from baked bricks or tiles
and drains which emptied into the drains in the street
•People had access to clean water either from wells within
their homes or from public wells in the streets. Over 700
public and private wells have been found at Mohenjo-daro.
•Structures constructed of
• bricks of baked mud 5.5”x5.5”x11”
•sun dried bricks and
• burned wood.
•At its height the city probably had around 35,000-40,000 residents.
•It had an advanced drainage system, a variety of buildings up to two stories high, and an
elaborate bath area.
•The bath area was very well built and had a layer of natural tar, to keep it from leaking.
•Being an agricultural city, it also featured a large well, granary, and central marketplace.
•Perhaps most unexpected, it even had a building with an underground furnace
(hypocaust) possibly for heated bathing.
Most of the people must have been TRADERS or ARTISANS
– Different types of seals and
standardized weights suggest
a system of trade
– The advanced detailing in the
astonishing artefacts show that
there were great artisans
– Materials brought in from distant
regions were found
POTTERY – CLAY AND TERRACOTTA
SEALS REFLECTING THE NATURE OF USAGE
• Seals bearing depiction of gods, goddesses and animals
point towards Buddhism and Hinduism
• The seated human like figure shown is the so called
“proto-shiva” (Hindu god)
• The religion to which the evidences point emerged in the
late 1000 BC
• No evident religious buildings but some structures do serve
to the ambiguity being what looks as remains of temples
• Buried human bodies: evidence of a cemetery
• Burial urns with ashes: evidences of cremation
The religious beliefs among the dwellers of this civilization
remain uncertain until specific evidence is found
The popular God – Pashupathi/Shiva
The dancing god
The goddess of Fertility
Goddess of Mothers
The ritual for Gods and Goddesses
• Necklace from Mohenjo-Daro
made from gold, agate, jasper,
steatite and green stone.
• The gold beads are hollow and
the pendant agate and jasper
beads are attached with thick
• Steatite beads with gold caps
serve to separate each of the
GAMES PLAYED BY EARLY INDUS PEOPLE
Burial of woman and infant, Harappa.
This burial was disturbed in antiquity, possibly by ancient Harappan grave robbers.
Besides the fact that the body is flipped and the pottery disturbed, the left arm of the
woman is broken and shell bangles that would normally be found on the left arm are
The infant was buried in a small pit beneath the legs of the mother.
The body was placed inside a wooden coffin (which later decayed) and entombed in a
rectangular pit surrounded with burial offerings in pottery vessels.
The man was buried wearing a necklace of 340 graduated steatite beads and three
separate pendant beads made of natural stone and three gold beads. A single copper
bead was found at his waist.
4000 symbol-bearing objects have been discovered, some as far
afield as Mesopotamia.
• Some houses larger than others BUT most of them similar in
size and build
• The society is an example of egalitarianism
• Low wealth concentration though clear social levelling
• Access to water supplies and drainage facilities
• Ornaments made out of gold and ivory
• No large monument except “THE GREAT BATH” - a public
bath probably for religious rituals
• Hygiene and cleanliness were among the high priorities of
• Evidence of quality municipal planning and efficient
Great accuracy in measurement in measuring mass length and time
― standard weights hexahedron in shape were found weights in the ratio
5:2:1 (0.1,0.2,0.5 ; 1,2,5 ; 10 20 50 units)
―Each unit measuring about 28 grams
―Same as present day English imperial ounce system
―a scale with a precision of 1.704 mm was found
―The smallest in the bronze age
The people knew unconventional techniques of metallurgy
These materials were used in the making of
ornaments utensils seals and artefacts etc
• Knowledge of dentistry
In 2006 it was announced that the
oldest evidence of drilling teeth in a
living human was found in Mehrgarh
This claim was made on the basis of
finding eleven drilled teeth in nine
men excavated from what supposed
to be a graveyard.
HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION - LOTHAL
HARAPPA 2600 – 1500 BCE
Harappa grew on the floodplains of a rich and life-giving river, the Indus. The
original cities and many of the towns seemed to have been built right upon the
shores of the river.
•The Harappans were an agricultural people whose economy was almost
entirely dominated by horticulture.Had around 40,000 people
•Massive granaries were built at each city, and there most certainly was an
elaborate bureaucracy to distribute this wealth of food.
•Bricks that they built their cities with were fired bricks
•In addition, many of the Harappan seals have pictures of animals that imply a
wet and marshy environment, such as rhinoceroses, elephants, and tigers.
•The Harappans also had a wide variety of domesticated animals: camels, cats,
dogs, goats, sheep, and buffalo.
Gateway At Harappa: Indus Valley Civilization
INFERENCE : Mohenjo-daro had no series of city walls, but was fortified
with guard towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive
fortifications to the south.Considering these fortifications and the
structure of other major Indus valley cities like Harappa, it is postulated
that Mohenjo-daro was an administrative center.
Both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro share relatively the same architectural
layout, and were generally not heavily fortified like other Indus Valley
It is obvious from the identical city layouts of all Indus sites that there
was some kind of political or administrative centrality, but the extent
and functioning of an administrative center remains unclear.
Mohenjo-daro was successively destroyed and rebuilt at least seven
times. Each time, the new cities were built directly on top of the old
ones. Flooding by the Indus is thought to have been the cause of
• It was proposed by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1953 that the reason for the
decline of the IVC was the invasion by an Indo-European tribe “ARYANS”
• Rejected because no evidence of war or fights were found
• Actually, people abandoned the region because of:
― IMIGRATION of new people (Aryans) in the area
― Decline in trade
― Climatic changes- Indus valley got cooler and drier with the course of
― Decrease in rainfall and thus inadequate supply of water for irrigation
― Changes in the course of the river
• many elements of its culture were found in the later cultures
Four Theories of Collapse
• Archaeologists have offered four explanations for the collapse of the
• Three are based on ecological factors: intense flooding, decrease in
precipitation, and the desiccations of the Sarasvati River.
• The fourth hypothesis is that of the Aryan Invasion, proposed by Sir
R. E. Mortimer Wheeler and Stuart Piggott.
POINT TO WONDER
Sir John Marshall is known to have reacted with surprise when
he saw the famous statuette known as “the dancing girl”
“when I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they
were prehistoric. Modeling such as this was unknown in the
ancient worlds up to the age of Greece,
I thought that these figures had found
their way into levels some 3000 years
older to which they properly belonged”
VEDIC AGE 1500 – 800 BCE-
The Vedic Period was a direct result of the Aryan Movement
The main feature in this period is the total absence of the highly skilled
construction and planning of the previous civilisation the Indus Valley
It was like a return to the aboriginal roots
No architectural examples of this period are surviving. The Aryans built no
colossal monuments. So what is the importance of this period?
It was early Aryan architectural forms that were translated into the
architecture of India for thousands of years.
The Main Contribution of the Vedic Period is the influence it had on all the
subsequent periods in Indian Architecture
The caves of Ajanta and Ellora, much of Buddhist architecture, were directly
influenced by the simple village structures of the Aryan villages.
After the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization, another glorious civilization
flourished in India.
The people who were responsible for the evolution of this civilization called
themselves Aryas or Aryarns.
Arya’ literally means the man of ‘noble character’, and the “free-born”. They
belonged to the group of people known as Indo-Europeans. They entered into India
from the north-west.
•Migration from Southern Russia:
Society and economy
•Vedic society was characterized by a nomadic lifestyle, with cattle rearing being
the chief occupation.
•Agriculture grew more prominent with time as the community settled down.
Money was unknown, and bartering with cattle and other valuables replaced
•Families were patriarchal, and people prayed for abundance of sons.
•Society was strictly organized in a system of caste.
•The four major Varnas were Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. Those
who are outside these caste structure are known as Adivasis
The grama (village), vis and jana were political units of the early Vedic Aryans.
A vish was probably a subdivision of a jana, and a grama was probably a smaller
unit than the other two.
The leader of a grama was called gramani and that of a vish was called vishpati.
Another unit was the jana whose head was a jyeshta (elder).
The rashtra (state) was governed by a rajan (king). The king is often referred to
as gopa (protector) and samrat (supreme ruler). He governed the people with
their consent and approval. It is possible that he was sometimes elected. The
sabha and samiti were popular councils.
The main duty of the king was to protect the tribe. He was aided by two functionaries,
the purohita (chaplain) and the senani (army chief; sena: army). The former not only
gave advice to the ruler but also practiced spells and charms for success in war.
Soldiers on foot (patti) and on chariots(rathins), armed with bow and arrow were
The king employed spasa (spies) and dutas (messengers). He often got a ceremonial
gift, bali, from the people.
The Aryans did not settle into the well-planned cities of the Harappan culture, and
instead preferred to clear forests around the riverbanks of the Gangetic plain and
settle in small villages
The Vedic grama could have a pur, or a fort-like structure within it.
The Vedic hymns speak of "purs" made of stone and metal. The Vedas have many
words for houses.
It appears that the main distinction was between chhardis ( house with a
thatched roof), harmyam (a house of brick and stone that had a courtyard in the
middle), and gotra (a multi-dwelling complex with sheds for animals).
THE 3 STAGES OF THE VEDIC HOUSE
VEDIC AGE 1500 – 800 BCE-
The basic unit was the hut. For building material, the abundant forest provided ample
The Aryan hut, in its most basic shape, was
•Circular in plan,
• Thatched roof over a bamboo network of ribs.
This was later elongated to become rectangular in plan, with roofing of bamboo as well,
curved in the shape of a barrel.
• Clusters of these huts formed a courtyard, much like huts in Indian villages even today.
•The better-off citizens roofed them with planks of wood or tiles, and used unbaked
bricks for the walls.
•To maintain the barrel shape of the roof, a thong or string, perhaps of animal hide, was
stretched across the end of the bamboo.
For protection against wild animals, a palisade fence of wood and bamboo surrounded
the whole settlement.
This fence was made of upright posts of bamboo with horizontal members threaded
into holes in posts.
At one point, the fence was extended forward to form a sort of gate.
These forms - the barrel vaulted roof, the tie-cord, and the palisade fence and railing,
formed important motifs for future Indian Architecture.
In fact, huts in modern Orissa, one of the poorest Indian states, are still carrying traces
of this influence, with symbolism dating back to Vedic times.
VEDIC AGE 1500 – 800 BCE-
Groups of small villages banded together, and small 'cities' began to take
A palisade wall inevitably protected these and the buildings
within were also made almost entirely of wood.
Upright posts - Thaba and 3 horizontal bars- suchi or needles
threaded through holes
The Vedic carpenters developed skill in timber construction of a very high
standard. It is not surprising, therefore, that in later ages timber construction
techniques were employed even though the material of construction was
In general, the cities of the Vedic period were rectangular in plan and divided into
four quarters by two main thoroughfares intersecting at right angles, each leading
to a city gate.
One of these quarters contained the citadel and another housed the residential
A third quarter was reserved for the merchants, and the last for tradesmen who
could display their wares.
THE VEDIC CULTURE: THE RIGVEDIC AGE
• Most civilized & cultured races of the world. They were tall & fair-
complexioned people with sharp features, & strong physique
• Indians, English, Germans, Spanish, French & Persians pride themselves
to be the true descendents of the Aryans.
• They came to India during the second millennium B.C. This age is called
the Vedic Age
• The Aryans appeared in India a little earlier than 1500 B.C. The earliest
Aryans settled down in eastern Afghanistan, Punjab, and fringes of Uttar
• The Rig-Veda mentioned the names of some rivers of Afghanistan such
as the river Kubha, and the river Indus and its five branches. The earliest
settlements of Aryans were confined to the valleys of the river Sindh and
its tributaries and of the Saraswati and the Drishadvati.
• Indians, English, Germans, Spanish, French & Persians
• pride themselves to be the true descendents of the Aryans.
• They came to India during the second millennium B.C
• This age is called the Vedic Age
• Some of them think they are original inhabitants of India
• Some regard them as invaders who destroyed the superior
civilization of the original inhabitant’s whom they drove beyond
Historians agree that the original home of the Aryans was in central
Asia in regions around the Caspian sea.
They might have been forced to migrate due to shortage of food
and fodder to seek settlement in other lands.
Aryans who came to India are called ‘Indo-Aryans’.
Original home of the Aryans
Historians agree that the original home of the Aryans was in
central Asia in regions around the Caspian sea.
They might have been forced to migrate due to shortage of food
and fodder to seek settlement in other lands.
Aryans who came to India are called ‘Indo-Aryans’.
After the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization, another glorious
civilization flourished in India.
The people who were responsible for the evolution of this civilization
called themselves Aryas or Aryarns.
Arya’ literally means the man of ‘noble character’, and the “free-born”.
They belonged to the group of people known as Indo-Europeans. They
entered into India from the north-west.
•Migration from Southern Russia:
Spread of Aryans in India
Aryans first settled in Punjab
Founded their first settlements on the banks of the rivers Indus
[Sindu] & Saraswathi [which has since dried up]
While driving the ‘Dasyus’ beyond the Vindhyas and thus gained the
occupation of more and more land in the eastern & northern parts
of the country –they renamed it as ‘Aryavarta’ [abode of the Aryans]
The Vedas form the oldest literary works of the Aryans and occupy a very
distinguished place in the history of the world literature.
Vedas have been looked upon as the revealed words of God by millions of
Hindus. In course of many centuries Vedas had grown up and was orally
handed down from generation to generation.
The Vedas were probably authored during 1800 BC and 600 BC. It consists of
three successive classes of literary production.
VEDAS ARE CLASSIFIED AS :
three classes are:
(i) The Samhitas or Mantras—these are collections of hymns, prayers, charms,
litanies, sacrificial formulas.
(ii) The Brahmanas—a kind of Primitive theology and philosophy of Brahmanas.
(iii) The Aranyakas and Upanishads—they are partly included in the Brahmanas or
attached thereto and partly exist as separate work. They contain philosophical
meditations of the hermits and ascetics on soul, God, world & man.
There are four Samhitas which are different from one another.
The Rigveda Samhita:
A collection of hymns. It has ten mandalas with a total of 1028 ‘Suktas’ or
(ii) Samaveda Samhita:
A collection of songs mostly taken from Rig Veda. It contained 1549 stutis
(iii) Yajur Veda Samhita:
A collection of sacrificial formula. It has 40 mandals.
(iv) Atharva Veda Samhita:
A collection of songs and spells. It has twenty mandalas with 731 ‘stutis’. It deals
with magic, hypnotism, enslavement through mantra.
Every work belonging to the second and third classes of Vedic literature viz, the
Brahmanas, the Arayakas and the Upanishads, is attached to one or
Different Vedas are
• Evidence of the Aryans are found in the
• ‘Vedas’-means knowledge
• Rigveda – most ancient
• Family life
• Games & Amusements
• The Varnas /Castes
Lived in joint families
They followed the patriarchal family
Grihapati- eldest male member in the
family who exercised full authority over all
It was his duty to perform sacrifices or Yajnas
Women also occupied a position of honour – their
presence was essential at all religious ceremonies.
They were given right education & some even
composed the Rigvedic hymns
Simple but nourishing
Wheat and barley cakes, milk & milk products like
butter, ghee, curd, Cheese.
Games & Amusements
Found leisure for enjoyment
Fond of merry-making & pastimes
Favorite amusement – horseracing, chariot racing,
Fascination for gambling with dice [this game has
been referred to in the Rigveda as leading to ruins
Loved music & played on a flute which resembled the
Simple & generally consisted of 3 parts –
Over-garment adhivasa /mantle/cloak of
cotton & wool
Turbans were also commonly used by them
Adorned their persons with gold & silver ornaments
garlands & wreaths of flowers jewels etc.
Ornaments were worn by men & women
The Varnas /Castes
Divided into 4 Varnas
Brahmanas priests were learned people who performed
Kshatriyas ruling class or warriors
Vaishyas trading class- farmers, goldsmiths, weavers,
Shudras descendants of Dasyus –serve the 3 higher
Economic life: their occupations
• Domestication of animals
• Discovery of Iron
• Other occupations and Industries
Primary occupation was cultivation of land
Agricultural products – barley, wheat, rice, cotton, oilseeds
Source of irrigation water – wells, canals, sometimes from lakes
People depended upon rains
Fields cultivated by a pair of oxen.
Domestication of animals
Domestication of animals was another important occupation
Wealth and prosperity depended on the possession of a large
number of animals [especially cows – which was held in great
Other animals domesticated bulls, oxen, horses, sheep, goats,
asses, & dogs.
They were not indifferent to trade & commerce.
Barter system – exchange of articles was in vogue
Cow was regarded as the standard of value. [value of things was measured
in terms of cows]
Coinage known as “Nishka” was also prevalent
Trade was mainly carried on by road.
Trade by sea was not quite unknown
Discovery of Iron
Greatest contribution of the civilization is discovery of iron
Iron was – a hard & tough metal hence better suited for making tools &
weapons compared to copper or bronze
Iron was used in making axe-heads – used for clearing jungles and making
land fit for cultivation
Other products made were sickles, hoes, plough-heads
Led to the development of various arts & crafts like carpentry, black-smithy,
Discovery of Iron
Iron tools helped sculptor in creating exquisite specimens of sculptures
and rock-cut temples.
Different rulers equipped their armies with different weapons such as
swords, shields, arrow-heads, spear-heads etc.- laid the foundation of
Indulged in many other professions & occupations
Chief industries referred to in the Rigveda – carpenters, goldsmiths,
blacksmiths, weavers, leather’s, potters & physicians.
All work for the benefit of the people as a whole
No profession was inferior & below dignity
Government or political life
Status of the King
Ministers and the King
The Sabha & Samiti
Mode of warfare
Status of the King
Rigvedic Aryans lived in tribes called ‘Janas’
Each Jana had its own ruler called ‘Rajan”
Kingship was generally hereditary.
Elected monarchies were not unknown
People could select a worthy monarch of their own choice from
among the members of the royal family or the nobility when
Ministers and the King
King was assisted by a number of ministers like
Purohita religious adviser
Senani leader of the army & helped king against his
All ministers & officials were all men of high character & exercised a
sort of great check on the autocracy of the king
King was helpless without ministers as a bird without its wings.
Ministers and the King
All ministers & officials were all men of high character & exercised a sort of
great check on the autocracy of the king
The tribes were further divided into ‘Gramas’ or the villages
King also consulted the ‘Gramini’[village headman]
Important matters were put before the two assemblies called the Sabha &
Anybody could give his suggestions in the Samiti
Membership of the Sabha was restricted to the elders of the families
Group of villages inhabited by the people of a tribe was called the ‘Vish’
hence the king was also known as ‘Vishpati’ [lord of the ‘Vish’]
Mode of warfare
They were good warriors developed a high standard of warefare.
King & nobles fought on chariots
Common people fought on foot
Warriors wore a coat of - armour, a helmet, a hand & arm guard.
For offence they used swords, spears, axes, lances, bows & arrows
[some times poisoned]
Helmets, armours & shields were used for defence
They never attacked or wounded an unarmed or sleeping enemy
It was considered a sin to kill a person who did not take part in a
According to historians, the origin of Hinduism dates back
to 5,000 or more years.
The word "Hindu" is derived from the name of River Indus,
which flows through northern India.
In ancient times the river was called the 'Sindhu', but the
Persians who migrated to India called the river 'Hindu', the
land 'Hindustan' and its inhabitants 'Hindus'. Thus the
religion followed by the Hindus came to be known as
ORIGIN OF EARLY HINDUISM
- The Origins of Hinduism are unknown, going back
to the early Bronze or Neolithic period.
- Hinduism was not inspired by a single individual
or event. It is a combination of several religious
beliefs, traditions, & gods of ancient India.
- Also known to practitioners as Sanatana Dharma,
which means everlasting or eternal religion / truth
/ rule, Hinduism can best be defined as a way of
life based on the teachings of ancient sages and
scriptures like the Vedas and Upanishads.
Brahma, the “Creator”
Vishnu, the “Preserver”
Siva, the “Destroyer”
Dharma – set of religious and ethical duties to which each
creature in the universe is subject
Karma – the effects of the activities on its atman
Atman – the soul of each individual
Samsara – reincarnation, the soul passes through a series of
Nirvana– release from worldly life and unification with the
universal spirit (called Brahman)
Hindu Life Cycle:
- Youth; being educated by a Hindu Guru.
- Householder; leading your family in the ways of Hinduism.
- Reflection; using the teachings in order to break the cycle of bad
- Meditation; the atman seeking communion with the universal
- Nirvana; breaking the cycle of life and becoming one with the
- By the 7th century C.E., personal prayer had replaced sacrifice of
animals. This led to the building of temples and shrines which
housed statues and pictures of gods. Cave are also used.
- According to scholars, the evolution of Hinduism may be divided
into three periods:
- the ancient (6500 BCE-1000 AD),
- the medieval (1000-1800 AD), and
- the modern (1800 AD to present).
- Hinduism is commonly thought to be the oldest religion in the
history of human civilization.
HINDUSIM AND ARYANS
• The earliest records of Hinduism are Aryan
- The Aryans brought their spoken language of Sanskrit to India with
- This language evolved into written form
- Aryans also brought a rich collection of myths (tales of their many
gods they believed controlled the forces of nature)
- Aryan priests memorized long poems and hymns suited to different
-These hymns, poems, and rituals were gathered into
four collections called Vedas
- The Vedas record Indian history from about 1500 to
500 BC---a time period called the Vedic Age
- The oldest and most
important Veda is the
- It includes 1,028
hymns of praise
• Around 400 BC, the wisest Hindu teachers tried to
interpret and explain the hidden meanings of the Vedic
hymns and rituals
• Their answers were recorded in a collection of essays
called the Upanishads.
• A universal spirit is present within all living things—
Brahman. This is thought to be the mighty spirit that
creates and destroys life
– The Brahman is One but expresses itself as Many
– Everything in nature is tied together by Brahman
– Because all living things are considered a part of
Brahman, Hindus forbade the killing of animals
The Upanishads teach that….
•One aspect of Brahman is the Self,
or the Soul, called Atman
– The Atman is everywhere,
though you can’t see it
• Nothing that lives ever dies
– When a living thing dies, it is
reborn in another form---a
process known as
• All wise Hindus must seek to reach a state of perfect
understanding called moksha.
• At this point the self will disappear and merge with
• The authors of the Upanishads taught that forms of
self denial—such as fasting, helped achieve union
• Also, they
practice of yoga—
physical and mental
exercises to reach a
state of tranquility
Reasons for the caste system:
- It was an attempt by the upper class to freeze the economic
- It was imposed by a coalition of priests and warrior-kings to
maintain control over the local population.
- It was created as an alternative to open slavery.
• Hinduism includes a complicated
set of divisions between groups
of people known as the caste
- Consists of many varnas, or
- According to the Rig-Veda,
four different groups of
people were created from the
body of a Hindu god
The Caste System:
Social division of the Caste System:
• Brahmins - Priests/Rulers
• Kshatriyas - Warriors
• Vaishyas - Merchants
• Shudras - Farmers
• Untouchables; Non-Aryans
• Created from the god’s
mouth---they became the
priestly class and the highest
group in Indian society
(Not to be confused with Brahman!)
• Created from the god’s
arms---they became the
rulers and the warriors
• Created from the
• Created from the god’s
feet---they became the
laborers, farm workers, and
-The lowest “caste”
- People who
-Over time, these divisions became more and more
- Hundreds of sub-castes formed based on occupation
within each of the four castes
• A person’s caste was based on birth– born into the same caste as
- Determined occupation, spouse, dress, etc.
- Purity (the meaning of castes) became key to ranking castes---the
higher your caste, the purer you were and to associate with
someone from a lower class risked contamination to your purity
• Is the caste system explicitly a religious part of the Hindu
• HOWEVER, Hinduism played a large part in maintaining the
- Cycle of birth and reincarnation
- Actions in this life determines your fate when born again
- If faithful and dutiful in this life, you will have a better fate in
the next life
- In a previous life, Brahmins had committed no bad deeds
while untouchables had
Origins of Jainism
Mahāvīra, also known as Vardhamāna, was
the twenty-fourth and last tirthankara-
omniscient teacher who preaches
the dharma (righteous path)
Mahāvīra was the last tirthankara
of avasarpani(present descending phase
Mahavira was born into a royal family in
what is now Bihar, India.
At the age of 30, he left his home in pursuit
of spiritual awakening.
• For the next twelve and a half years, he practiced intense
meditation and severe penance, after which he
• He traveled all over South Asia for the next thirty years
to teach Jain philosophy.
• Mahavira died at the age of 72 and
attained nirvana (final release) or moksha (liberation from
the cycle of birth and death).
Jainism: The Religion
• The Jain community is composed of
monks, nuns, laymen and
• There are two distinct religious
groups: the Digambaras (the sky-
clad) and the Svetambaras (the
• This division probably occurred
around 300 B.C. over two issues:
the nature of Mahavira and
• Though they both believe in the
same doctrines that are important
to Jainism, their practices are
Jainism: Key Beliefs
• Ahimsa - The central Jain belief is an agreement to avoid physical
violence and conduct that can be mentally and emotionally
damaging to oneself or others. It also involves commitment to all life
forms on earth and not engaging in practices which may bring harm.
• Karma – the belief that for every action, there is a consequence.
• Reincarnation – One’s soul that is reborn into different bodies over
the course of many lives.
• Proper Conduct - Jains are encouraged to make a vow to conduct
themselves according to the following five principles:
1) Non-violence (ahimsa)
3) Non- Stealing
Jainism: Key Beliefs
• Moksha - Results in the elimination of
the effects of karma in one’s life
(achieved through meditation)
• Atomism - Jains believe that every
living thing on the planet possesses a
soul or “Jiva”. They also believe that
people are bound to act more
compassionately if they acknowledge
that everything is composed of a spirit
• No absolutes - No perspective of any
person is wrong, despite the fact that
different perspectives have different
effects on the specific situation.
Symbol of Jainism
• The outline of this picture represents the universe in
the Jain description. It is supposed to resemble a
person standing on his feet with his feet apart, and
the arms are rested on the hips.
• The swastika represents the soul in which it can be
reborn and reincarnated into during the time it is in
• There are three dots above the swastika. They
represent Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right
Conduct. The three dots are the three jewels of Jain
philosophy in which they believe liberation can be
• The half moon is where the liberated soul is being
kept, and the dot inside of it is the liberated pure
• The hand below the swastika is a gesture of blessing
• Inside the hand, there is a wheel of 24 spokes, and
this represents Jinas. In the middle of the wheel, a
word is inscribed which says: “ahimsa”
• It was all started by Buddha, who was a prince in Lumbini, 2500
• He was very unhappy in his royal life, so he set off on a 6 year
journey, exploring other religions.
• After his long journey and much meditation he was finally
• He found the middle path, the key to human happiness. For the
rest of his life he wandered Asia, preaching his new religion.
• Attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya,
• Spent rest of his life, teaching others to realize what he himself
BUDDHISM – GAUTHAMA BUDDHA ( 563 – 483 BCE)
Gauthama Buddha from BodhGaya went to Sarnath ( 5 weeks after enlightenment)
Crossed the ganges.
In Sarnath his deciples were the Five monk.
The earliest school of Budhhism was formed in SARNATH . Which are remarkable in
The first was that life is suffering
You can’t live without death, frustration, etc.
The second is that suffering is caused by craving and
Getting what you want doesn’t guarantee happiness, it deprives you
The third is that suffering can be overcome, and true
If we stop craving useless things, and live each day at a time (not
living in the future) we will be happy and free.
The fourth is that the Noble eight fold path leads to the
end of all suffering
THE FOUR NOBLE PATHS
The Eight-Fold Path
"Buddha" means "the awakened one"--that is, someone who has woken up from
the dream of being a separate ego in a material universe.
Gautama Siddhartha, whom we affectionately, [mistakenly], call the Buddha,
taught for forty-five years.
In all those years, and in the hundreds of thousands of teaching words that he
uttered, his message was simply this: "You are all Buddhas. There is nothing you
need to achieve. Just open your eyes.“
Buddha had a vision in which he saw the human race as a bed of lotus flowers
• Dharma is understood as the practice (paripatti) of the truth. To
take refuge in the Dharma is to take refuge in Buddha.
• Karma is intentional action, physical, verbal or mental. Good
karma brings happiness, bad brings suffering.
• Avijja and Tanha is ignorance or not knowing the true nature of
things and craving are the two root causes of Karma.
• Cycle of Rebirth – We are born and reborn in six realms of
exhistence based on one’s previous Karma.
• Nirvana (Enlightenment) – To go beyond the cycle and achieving
blissful state is Nirvana.
BELEIFS OF BUDDHISM
• Five Rules to abstain from: killing, stealing, sexual
misconduct lying, taking intoxicants such as alcoholic
• Meditation: Various types of meditation in various
• Chanting: Hymns of homage to Buddha, refuge in Buddha,
Dhamma and Sangha etc.
Comparison between the two schools (chart)
Theravada (Hinayana) Mahayana
Teaching of the elders Spirit of the elders
Small vehicle Large (great) vehicle
Man as an individual Man involved with others
Man on his own in the universe Man is not alone (grace is real)
Key virtue: wisdom (bodhi) Key virtue: compassion (karuna)
Religion is primarily for monks Religion is for laypersons as well
Ideal: the Arhat (lonely saint) Ideal: the Bodhisattva
Nirvana- oneself Nirvana + heavens, hells-for all
Buddha is a saint or sage Buddha is a savior
Avoids metaphysics (speculation) Elaborates metaphysics
Avoids ritual Includes ritual
Pali texts – kamma and dharma Many later texts
Old wisdom school New wisdom school
Escape Samsara, and reach Nirvana Samsara is Nirvana (identity)
Ceylon, Burma, etc. (Southern Bism) China, Korea, Japan (N Bism)
Based on The teachings of
The teachings of
Branches/sects Digambara, Svetambara,
and Vajrayana, and so on
Notion on soul Believes that soul is a
living entity which sticks
to different types
of non-living matter.
They do not believe in
the ideas of eternal self
or soul (Atman) and
eternity. Soul is treated
as an ever changing
Notion on Karma It is a real substance that
is attached with each
jiva or body. Not
effected from the
Is a process, (an
impression of karma
determines the future).
Karma is the direct effect
of one’s own action
Founder Vardhamâna Gautama Buddha
Knowledge Knowledge for liberation Knowledge of purpose of
Balochistan in the west to uttar Pradesh in the east
North eastern Afghanistan in the north to Maharashtra in the south
Sites have been found as far as turkemanistan
The seals were used to stamp clay on trade goods
3. …….It can be said that the later religions borrowed or revived imagery from the IVC.
No temples… cemetery cremation…. uncertain
Egalitarianism: Political doctrine declaring all people in the society as equal
Access to water supplies
The great bath….. Hygiene and cleanliness.. High priorities… efficient municipal planning
Proposed Aryans.. Rejected.. Immigrated not invaded.. Trade climatic changes.. Change of course of river
We have seen the amazing technology, astonishing planning and remarkable detailing in the artefacts but think, we are talking about a civilization that existed 5000 years ago.. as sir john said ….. It’s the same as a teleporter or for example an iron man suit was to b invented 3000 years from now and someone among us invented it…. Just imagine… wonderful… isn’t it?