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06Hinduism Vocab


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Why is Hinduism a "flexible" religion?
It has no single founder, no single central authority, it has many texts instead of one sacred text.
Most Hindus live in what nation?
What other religions are practiced in India?
Islam, Sikhism, , Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Parsis
What do you call the large landmass that includes, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh?
A subcontinent
What is the name for the seasonal wind systems that influence rainfall and weather patterns in South and Southeast Asia?
Why is the monsoon system so important in India?
The monsoon picks up moisture off the Indian Ocean and as the clouds rise up the higher elevations, it rains on the dry land. This is essential for agricultural and the survival of Indian villages and farms.
Which river valley (now mainly in Pakistan) was the birthplace of the first ancient civilization in India?
The Indus River.
What two cities were part of the Indus River Valley civilization 4,500 years ago?
Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
What were some accomplishments of the Indua Valley Civilization?
well planned cities, paved streets, indoor plumbing, sewers, irrigation.
What people invaded and conquered the Indus River Valley Dravidians about 3,500 BCE?
The Aryans - an ancient people originally from central Asia. They are also related to the Iranians. They were warriors and polytheistic.
What is the top caste?
Brahmin (priests and spiritual teachers)
What are some Hindu sacred texts?
The Vedas, the Upanishads, the Laws of Manu.
What are some Hindu epics?
The Mahabharata (Bhagvad Gita is the famous epic poem within it) and the Ramayana.
What is polytheism?
Belief in many gods.
What is reincarnation?
The belief in Hinduism and Buddhism that the soul is reborn in a new body (animal or human) at death.
What is karma?
Actions. The belief that one's actions in this life influence what one will become in the next incarnation/ next life.
What is Dharma?
One's caste duties or obligations. If you follow your Dharma, you'll get good karma.
What is ahimsa?
Non violence toward all living things. This idea influenced Gandhi's ideas of non-violent civil resistance.
What is moksha?
The final state of salvation - you are joined with Brahman and do not have to be reborn even again.
Who is the Creator God or the "one" God all others are part of?
Brahma or Brahman.
What social class system did the Aryans set up with themselves in the top three groups?
The caste system, based on job and heredity.
Who are the top caste?
Brahmins (priests and teachers)
What are Kshatriyas?
The second highest caste: the warrior, administator, leader caste.
What is the third highest caste and the last scheduled caste (sacred thread wearers are the top three castes)?
The Vaishyas: producers, farmers, merchants, craftsmen, etc.
What is the Shudra caste?
The caste of Menial Servants and Workers. (descendants of the Dravidians)
Who are the Untouchables?
People so low they are outcasts, or pariahs, doing the lowest jobs and rejected because of their spiritual pollution.
Where is Untouchability still a strong factor in life? rural or urban India?
In the villages of rural India.
What is the status of Untouchables today?
The Indian Constitution of 1950 outlawed discrimination against Untouchables but in reality it is still a factor in rural villages and in arrangied marriages.
Why isn't there great protest against untouchability?
Because Hindus believe that by accepting their fate or caste and doing their dharma/ caste duties, their karma will be higher and they will benefit in the next life (incarnation)
Why did many Hindus convert to Buddhism?
It rejects the caste system.

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