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India Term List

Terms for India Unit

Terms

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Mohenjo-Daro
an archaeological site in Pakistan, near the Indus River: six successive ancient cities were built here
Gupta Empire
one of the largest political and military empires in the world. It was ruled by members of the Gupta dynasty from around 320 to 600 CE and covered most of Northern India
Jainism
a dualistic religion founded in the 6th century b.c. as a revolt against current Hinduism and emphasizing the perfectibility of human nature and liberation of the soul, esp. through asceticism and nonviolence toward all living creatures
Brahman
a member of the highest, or priestly, class among the Hindus
Siddhartha Gautama
566?-c480 b.c., Indian religious leader: founder of Buddhism
Aurangzeb
Hindustani emperor (1658-1707) who imposed Muslim orthodoxy and expanded the empire
Nirvana
freedom from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations, with their consequent suffering, as a result of the extinction of individual passion, hatred, and delusion: attained by the Arhat as his goal but postponed by the Bodhisattva
Atman
the individual self, known after enlightenment to be identical with Brahman
Asceticism
the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like
Harappa
a village in Pakistan: site of successive cities of the Indus valley civilization
Karma
seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman
Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eightfold Path
the truths Gautama Buddha realized during his experience of enlightenment and included are the ways that will bring an end to suffering
Moksha
freedom from the differentiated, temporal, and mortal world of ordinary experience
Chandragupta
died 286? b.c., king of northern India 322?-298 b.c. : founder of the Maurya empire
Ahimsa
the principle of noninjury to living beings
Mahabharata
an epic poem of India dealing mainly with the conflict between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, with many digressions: includes the Bhagavad-Gita
Akbar
Mogul emperor of India (1556-1605) who conquered most of northern India and exercised religious tolerance
Bhagavad-Gita
a portion of the Mahabharata, having the form of a dialogue between the hero Arjuna and his charioteer, the avatar Krishna, in which a doctrine combining Brahmanical and other elements is evolved
Ashoka
an Indian emperor, of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled from 273 BC to 232 BC, later converted to Buddhism and spread the teachings of Buddha
Vardhamana Mahavira
a semilegendary teacher, believed to have died c480 b.c., who reformed older doctrines to establish Jainism in its present form: regarded as the twenty-fourth and latest Tirthankara
Shah Jahan
Mogul emperor of India (1628-1658) whose reign ushered in the golden age of Mogul art and architecture. The Taj Mahal was built at his request as a memorial to his favorite wife
Indus River Valley Civilization
developed along the Indus river and its tributaries in present-day Pakistan, beyond the northwest border of India. In this map the Indus river system has been highlighted in red. This
Hinduism
A diverse body of religion, philosophy, and cultural practice native to and predominant in India, characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils
Buddhism
a religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject
Upanishads
Any of a group of philosophical treatises contributing to the theology of ancient Hinduism, elaborating on the earlier Vedas
Ramayana
A Sanskrit epic, traditionally attributed to Valmiki, that concerns the banishment of Rama from his kingdom, the abduction of his wife Sita by a demon and her rescue, and Rama's eventual restoration to the throne
Mughal Empire
an important imperial power in the Indian Subcontinent from the early sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries
Samsara
the endless series of births, deaths, and rebirths to which all beings are subject
Vedas
the entire body of Hindu sacred writings, chief among which are four books, the Rig-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the Atharva-Veda, and the Yajur-Veda
Varnas/jatis (caste system)
a social structure in which classes are determined by heredity
Dharma
conformity to religious law, custom, duty, or one's own quality or character
Vedic Age
the period in the history of India when the sacred Vedic Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas were composed
Aryan Migration
a necessary corollary of any model of Indo-European origins that locates the original Indo-European homeland outside the Indian subcontinent
Sikhism
A monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 16th century by the guru Nanak. Sikhism rejects caste distinctions, idolatry, and asceticism and is characterized by belief in a cycle of reincarnation from which humans can free themselves by living righteous lives as active members of society
Mauryan Empire
ruled by the Mauryan dynasty, was one of the largest and most powerful political and military empire of ancient India

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