Chapter 8 Study Guide


Section 8.1

Aryans invaded in 1500 BC from Black and Caspian Sea area. Their was no written language, but their language was called sanskrit. Their community was split into four main social classes, known as varnas. First there was the Brahmans, who played the role of the Priest. They lead study and taught vedas, religious ceremonies, were the ones to ensure the welfare of others. Next were the Kshatriyas, the Warriors or Rulers. They could study the Vedas, lead government, or head an army. Common people, merchants, artisans, farmers, were Vaisyas. They tended herds, cared for land, maker and sellers of products. Then there are Sudras, unskilled laborers, servants. They serve other varnas. Last are the Pariahs, the slaves. They perform tasks considered unclean, they were known as untouchables, outcastes. Dharma, duties, were outlined in Vedas for each Varna. As long as you stayed true to your Dharma you could be closer to reaching peace in their religion, it also affected their whole society.

8.1 vocabulary

Sankrits- language

Vendas- holy rituals

Varnas- four main social classes

Brahmans- priests

Kshatriyas- warriors/ rulers

Vaisyas- common people

Sudras- unskilled laborers, servants

Pariahs- slaves

Dharma- duties

Mahabharata- epic poem outlining that people must do their duties no matter what

Ramayana- epic poem about good and evil

Upanishads- religious writing from 800-400 BC

Reincarnation- rebirth

Ahimsa- nonviolence towards all living things

Moksha- release from the pain of rebirth

Section 8.2

Gautama was the founder of Buddhism. He began life as a Kshatriya prince, born around 566 B.C. He live a sheltered life, away from sickness and poverty. Around the age of 29, he left his wife and newborn son, and wandered throughout India.

7 years he lived as a hermit, seeking the truth through fasting and self-denial.

While meditating under a tree he found his answers. He developed the four noble truths.

First, all people suffer and know sorrow.

Next, people suffer because their desires bind them to the cycle of rebirth.

third truth, people could end their suffering by eliminating desires.

fourth truth, one could eliminate desire by following the Eightfold Path.

Also The Eightfold Path, and to do eight things: know the truth, resist evil, say nothing to hurt others, respect life, work for the good of others, free their minds of evil, control their thoughts, and practice meditation.

The Buddha spent 40 years teaching the Four noble Truths/ the Eightfold Path.

After their master's death, traveling monks carried the new religion beyond India to other parts of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Middle East). They built stupas, large stone mounds, over the bones of Buddhist holy people. Along with books about the Buddha's life and teachings which were beautifully illustrated. There were 2 distinct branches of Buddhism arose. 1st branch was theravada, established in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Regarded the Buddha as simply a teacher. 2nd branch, Mahayana, dominant in China, Korea, and Japan. Encourages the worship of the Buddha as a divine being and savior.

8.2 vocabulary

Nirvana- freedom from rebirth

Stupas- large stone mounds over the body's of holy people

Theravadas- branch that regards Buddha as a teacher

Mahayana- branch that encourages the worship of Buddha as a divine being and savior

Section 8.3

321 B.C, Chandragupta Maurya overthrew Magadhan king, proclaimed himself ruler.

He was a skilled administrator and kept control of the empire by maintaining a strong army by using an extensive spy network. The empire lasted until 184 B.C.

Asoka's, Chandragupta's grandson, rule began in 274 B.C with fierce wars of conquest.

Made laws, known today as the Rock Edicts, carved on rocks and on tall stone pillars throughout the empire. Mauryan Empire declined after Asoka's death in 232 B.C

successors levied heavy taxes on goods sold by merchants, and seized large portions of crops grown by peasants. The last Mauryan ruler was murdered in 184 B.C.

About A.D. 310, Chandragupta I began to build an empire. It was the Gupta dynasty, which ruled northern India for more than 200 years. Gupta period would later be called India's Golden Age. A collection of tales called the Panchatantra- presented moral lessons through animals who acted like humans.

Kalidasa, a play about romantic love between a king and a forest maiden.

After Chandragupta II's death in A.D. 415, the Gupta Empire began to fail.

By A.D. 600, the Gupta Empire had dissolved into a collection of small states.

8.3 vocabulary

Magadha- Indian kingdom
What is Buddhism?
The Branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana
Buddha and Ashoka: Crash Course World History #6