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 Ancient India includes the areas that we today call
  India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
 The earliest civilizations were located on the Indus and
  Ganges rivers.




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 India’s history is over 5000 years old.
 Throughout its history HINDUISM played a major role
  in holding the culture together.
 BUDDHISM started in India but became a more
  dominant force in the Far East: China, Korea, Japan,
  Thailand etc.




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Indus Valley Civilizations
 The oldest town in the Indus Valley was called
  Mohenjo-daro on the Indus River
 Mohenjo-daro dates to about 2500 BCE.
 Most of our information comes from seals or carvings
  on square and rectangular pieces of stearite or
  soapstone.




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 These seals give us information about the animals and
  religion of the time.
 Indus valley civilizations remained virtually
  unchanged for 700 years and began to decline about
  1700 BCE.
 This was due to environmental destruction, disease
  and foreign invasions.




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 Current research seems to suggest that sometime around
  1900 B.C.E., a series of major tectonic shifts occurred -
  possibly accompanied by volcanic eruptions - and
  drastically altered the flow of life-supporting rivers such as
  the Sarasvati and the Indus.
 While there is no clear-cut evidence that the Indus-
  Sarasvati sites were destroyed by earthquakes, there is
  evidence that the number of sites were destroyed or
  damaged by floods. Many other sites appear to have been
  abandoned by people because of changing river courses.
 VIDEO


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THE ARYANS
 After the decline of the Indus cultures, came the
  arrival of the Aryans.
 The Indo-Aryan languages dates back to about 1500
  BCE.
 It is believed that Aryan is a form of the word Iranian
  who were the ones who conquered the Indus Valley .




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 The first Aryans were nomads who travelled in horse
  drawn chariots with their herds of cattle
 By 1000 BCE, the Aryans settled down near the Ganges
  River.
 Hinduism oldest writings the VEDAS are written in
  Sanskrit an Aryan language.
   They date from about 1400 BCE.
 They begin farming and wheat, barley and rice become
 the main food crops.

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Hinduism
 The word Hindu was first used by the ancient
  Mesopotamians to describe the practices and beliefs of
  people who lived east of the river Sindhu, or the Indus
  River.
 sHindus call their religion "Sanatana Dharma" (the
  eternal religion) or "Vedic Dharma" (the religion of
  knowledge).




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 Hinduism is an ancient religion whose origins
  predate recorded history.
 It has no single human founder, and it has
  developed over thousands of years.
 Its most sacred scriptures are the Vedas, which
  means "knowledge" in Sanskrit.
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 By the time of Gotama Buddha,(400s BCE) two
 powerful kingdoms emerge:
   Magadha
   Kosala
 India’s first empire the Maurya dynasty grows out of
  Magadha from 321-184 BCE
 VIDEO




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 At this time, a nobleman named Chandragupta
  Maurya conquered all of northern India and set up
  a strong central government.
 Chandragupta was deathly afraid of enemies and
  used his army and spies to protect himself. After
  Chandragupta died in 297 B.C.E., his son
  Bindusara and grandson Ashoka succeeded him.
 VIDEO

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ASHOKA
 One of the greatest emperors was Ashoka who
  adopted Buddhist teachings.
 Ashoka had his rules carved into rocks that still
  exist today
 Ashoka saw himself as a father to his people and
  cared for them like his children
 He asked that his people treat each other with
  justice and mercy, tolerate all beliefs and not hurt
 any person or animal unless it was unavoidable.


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 The Mauryan Empire reached its height during
  Ashoka's reign from around 269 to 232 B.C.E.
 After a brutal battle in which he conquered the
  kingdom of Kalinga, Ashoka rejected violence and
  converted to Buddhism.
 Ashoka practiced Buddhist values by giving up
  wars of conquest, becoming a vegetarian, and
  urging his subjects to respect each other.
 However, Ashoka still allowed slavery and kept all
  the land that the Mauryans had conquered.
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 Ashoka created a strong empire by spreading his
  Buddhist values through messages, or edicts.
 In these carved edicts, Ashoka urged his citizens to act
  morally and responsibly.
 The edicts also described Ashoka's own efforts to live
  morally and to maintain peace for his people.




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 Ashoka's edicts were carved on cave walls, rocks, and
  towering pillars.
 Skilled craftspeople built and decorated the highly
  polished stone pillars with Buddhist symbols and
  animals.
 The pillars, rocks, and caves were located along
  important roads and at important religious locations
  where the greatest number of people would see them.




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 Ashoka commanded that everyone should respect
  their parents, relatives, philosophers and teachers.
 He provided free medical care, planted trees for shade
  and dug public wells for all.
 VIDEO




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Values promoted by Ashoka:

 Buddhist Values - Edicts in this category are concerned
  with the Buddha's teachings about how to live a correct life.

 General Welfare - Edicts in this category are concerned
  with making sure people have good health, shelter, clean
  water, and enough food.

 Justice - Edicts in this category are concerned with fair
  laws and treatment in court and jail.

 Security - Edicts in this category are concerned with the
  protection of people from foreign enemies.


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Northern India
 This area was controlled by the Kushans, a tribe from
  central Asia
 Their greatest king was Kanishka who lived around 78
  CE.
 Kanishka also adopted Buddhism as the state religion.
 The Kushan kings became very wealthy by controlling
  the trade between India and Greece and Rome.




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THE GUPTA EMPIRE
 The last of the great ancient Indian empires was the
  GUPTA.
 The first king was Chandragupta I who began his reign
  in 320 CE.
 The Gupta family, who ruled from the northern
  city of Magadha, united their kingdoms by war .
 The Gupta Empire to maintained power over a
  large part of India for over 200 years until 550BCE



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 The period under Gupta rule is called India's
  Golden Age because of great achievements made
  in the arts, literature, religion, science, technology,
  and education.
 Because the Gupta maintained peace and a stable
  government and economy, the empire could
  provide support for international trade.
 Many merchants and visitors from empires in Asia
 and around the Mediterranean traveled to India to
 learn from Indian scholars.

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Muslim India
 In 1000 a Muslim leader named Mahmud of Ghazni
  became the ruler of a small state near present day
  Afghanistan and from there conquered most of
  northern India.
 This is why today ancient India is divided into the
  modern countries of India (mostly Hindu) and
 Pakistan which is mostly Muslim.




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Indian Culture
 The family was the most important part of Indian life.
 Large numbers of extended family members lived
  together in big houses.
 Everyone was expected to work and children were
  expected to care for their parents when they were too
  old to work.




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 All property belonged to the male head of the
  family and each son and unmarried daughter was
  entitled to a share when he died.
 After 500 BCE Indian women had little freedom
    Most marriages were arranged by the parents
     and women were bought with gold or other
     valuable property.
    Polygamy (more than one wife) was also fairly
    common.


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 Men could sell their wives and children to
  raise money if necessary.
 Women were not allowed to be educated
  and child marriages became very common.
 Brides had to leave their own homes and live
  with her husband’s family, under his and
  his mother’s control.

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 Women whose husbands died were expected to
  commit suttee, or kill herself by throwing herself on
  the cremation fire.
 If a woman did not do this she became the lowest
  person in the household.
   She was expected to shave her head, give up all pleasure
    and pray constantly.
   She helped prepare the food but was only allowed to eat
    the leftover scraps.


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 Women were also kept in purdah.
   They had to wear heavy veils in public




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Purdah
 Many women were also kept in purdah.
 Purdah is the practice that includes the seclusion of
  women from public observation by wearing concealing
  clothing from head to toe
 and by the use of high walls, curtains, and screens
  erected within the home.




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 It was permissible, however, for a woman in purdah to
  come out of her house in extreme necessity, but that
  was subject to certain conditions, as follows:
 She should be accompanied by a close male relative
 She should be covered so that men cannot see her.A
  purdah garment worn is to conceal the face. The eyes
  may or may not be exposed.
 She should not mix with men who are not related to
  her unless she needs to.

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 It was permissible, however, for a woman in purdah to
  come out of her house in extreme necessity, but that
  was subject to certain conditions, as follows:
 She should be accompanied by a close male relative
 She should be covered so that men cannot see her.A
  purdah garment worn is to conceal the face. The eyes
  may or may not be exposed.
 She should not mix with men who are not related to
  her unless she needs to.

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Purdah today
 Others, mostly believers in Islam, see purdah as a very
  positive and respectful practice that actually liberates
  women.
 Women are looked at as individuals who are judged
  not by their physical beauty but by their inner beauty
  and mind.
 By covering themselves, women are not looked at as
  sex objects that can be dominated.



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CASTE SYSTEM
 The caste system is over 2000 years old.
 A caste is a social class .
 A person is considered a member of the caste into
  which he or she is born and remains within that caste
  until death
 Differences in status are traditionally justified by
  karma, a belief that one’s place in life is determined by
  one’s deeds in previous lifetimes.



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 In order of importance these are:
 the Brahmins (priests and teachers),
 the Ksyatriyas (rulers and soldiers),
 the Vaisyas (merchants and traders), and
 the Shudras (workers).
 A fifth category falls outside the varna system and
  consists of those known as “untouchables” or Dalits;



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DALITS
 SLIDESHOW




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Dalits Today
 India's ancient caste system was abolished legally in
  the 1960s, but it still exists socially today.
 Dalit men, women, and children numbering in the
  tens of millions work as agricultural laborers for a few
  kilograms of rice or 38 to 88 cents a day.
 At the end of day they return to a hut in their Dalit
  colony with no electricity, kilometers away from the
  nearest water source, and segregated from all non-
  Dalits, known as caste Hindus.


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 They are forbidden by caste Hindus to enter places of
  worship, to draw water from public wells, or to wear
  shoes in caste Hindu presence.
 They are made to dig the village graves, dispose of
  dead animals, clean human waste with their bare
  hands, and to wash and use separate tea tumblers at
  neighborhood tea stalls,
 all because—due to their caste status—they are
  deemed polluted and therefore “untouchable.”


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The story of India
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APn07PS-
 5qc&feature=related




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posted:4/25/2012
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