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Standard GS-1.4
Explain the impact of religion in classical
Indian civilization, including Hinduism and
the effects of its beliefs and practices on
daily life, changes that occurred as a result
of Buddhist teachings, and the influence of
religion on culture and politics.

Essential Question:
What were the effects of Hinduism and Buddhism
on the daily life, culture, and politics, of classical
Indian civilizations?
1. Indus River
2. Ganges River
3. Harappa
4. Mohenjo-Darro
5. Nepal
6. Pakistan
7. Indian Ocean
8. Sri Lanka
9. China
10. Himalaya
Chapter 3 Key Terms
Term Definition
monsoon Seasonal wind pattern in southern
Sanskrit Writing system developed by the Aryans
raja Aryan prince or leader
Hinduism Religion of the majority of ; originated with the Aryans
ascetics People who practiced self-denial to achieve understanding of
ultimate reality

Buddhism Philosophy founded by Siddhartha Gautama in in the 6th century

Silk Road Trade route that linked China to the Mediterranean Sea and made
the Kushan kingdom of India very prosperous

pilgrim A person that travels to religious sites often bringing wealth to

those areas and helping to spread ideas.
I. The Land of India
The summer monsoons bring
heavy rains, which farmers
depend on to grow their crops.
If the rains come too early or
too late, or if there is too much
or too little rain, crops are
ruined and many people

Label the following on the India map

A. Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro
1. Both cities were carefully planned
1. Buildings were made of mud bricks. Some
neighborhoods were surrounded by walls.
2. Public wells supplied a regular supply of
3. Bathrooms featured advanced drainage
4. Wastewater was carried to sewage pits
beyond the city walls.
5. Trash was collected in street-level garbage
2. Rulers and the Economy
a) Power based on belief in divine assistance
b) Religion and political power closely linked
i. Royal palace and temple combined
c) Economy based on farming and extensive
B. Arrival of the Aryans
1. The Aryans were a group of
Indo-European nomadic
peoples who conquered the
Indians and created a new
Indian society based on
their culture and institutions.
a) Eventually settled along the
Ganges River
2. Pastoral people with a strong
warrior tradition
a) The creation of the iron plow,
along with the use of
irrigation, made it possible for
the Aryans and their subject
peoples to clear the dense
jungle growth along the
Ganges River and turn it into
a rich farming area.
b) Governed by Aryan princes
called rajas
3. Developed their first writing
system, known as Sanskrit,
around 1000 BC
C. Society in Ancient India

1. Caste system
a) a rigid set of social
b) Determined one’s
occupation, economic
potential, and position
in society
c) Based, in part, on skin
C. Society in
Ancient India
2. Untouchables
5% of India’s population
not treated as humans
and were separated from
the rest of society
Given menial and
degrading tasks such as
handling trash and
collecting dead bodies
D. Family in Ancient India
1. Extended family; patriarchal
a) Villages were run by a
headman and council of elders
2. Men
a) Could inherit property
b) Educated and served as priests
c) Could take a second wife if first
was infertile
3. Women
a) Marriages arranged by parents
a) Women were an economic burden
on their parents
b) Suttee required a wife to throw
herself onto her dead
husband’s flaming funeral pyre.
III. Hinduism and Buddhism
Religions of India Song
To the tune of “Mary had a Little Lamb”
India has 2 religions Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism
Hinduism and Buddhism rejects the caste system
Both believe in karma, dharma, They offer hope to all who
ahimsa, and reincarnation want to achieve nirvana

Hinduism is the oldest one

India has 2 religions
with thousands of gods but
no founder Hinduism and Buddhism
3 of the most important are Both believe in karma,
Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva dharma,
ahimsa, and reincarnation
Hinduism and/or Buddhism
Reincarnation is the belief that the individual soul is
reborn in a different form after death.
Karma is the force generated by a person’s actions
that determines how the person will be reborn in
the next life.
Dharma is the divine law in Hinduism that requires
all people to do their duty.
Yoga is a method of training designed to lead to
union with Brahman.
Hinduism: Origins
No single founder
– Developed from the
overlapping beliefs
of Indus and Aryans
as well as others
– Hinduism is one of
the most complex
Hinduism: Major Beliefs
Everything in the universe is
part of the unchanging, all
powerful spiritual force called
Hindus worship many gods
that are part of the Brahman
– Brahma: the creator
– Vishnu: the preserver
– Shiva: the destroyer
Every person
Hinduism: Major has an essential
Beliefs self or atman
which is just
another name
for Brahman,
and the ultimate
goal is moksha,
or union with the
Brahman, thus
makes this
Hinduism: Sacred
No single sacred text
– Vedas, Upanishads,
Ramayana, Bhagavad
Gita, and Mahabharata
Vedas and Upanishads
recorded Hindu teachings
The Bhagavad-Gita spells
out many ethical ideas
central to Hinduism such as
ahimsa, or nonviolence.
Effects of Hinduism on Daily
o The ultimate goal in Hinduism to reach moksha, or
union with the Brahman and escape from the cycle
of reincarnation.
o This process is not completed within one life time
so Hindus believe that one’s karma determines
their status in a next life through reincarnation.
o Karma is ruled by dharma, divine law, which requires all
people to do their duty.
o This belief supports the caste system developed by the
o Brahmins are believed to be the closest to moksha while
Untouchables are the ones that are farthest away from the goal.
Buddhism: Prince Siddhartha Gautama
enjoyed a happy life, married
Origins and had a son
One day he left the palace and
he saw suffering for the first
time and set out to discover
“the realm of life where there is
no suffering or death
One day he sat down to
meditate for 48 days until he
became enlightened and
understood the cause and
cure for suffering and pain he
then became the Buddha
Some of his followers collected
his teachings into the Tipitaka
or “Three Baskets of Wisdom”
Siddhartha accepted the idea of reincarnation, but
rejected the Hindu division of human beings into
rigidly defined castes, based on previous
– He taught that all human beings could reach nirvana
as a result of their behavior in this life. Siddhartha
rejected the multitude of gods that has become
identified with Hinduism.
– He forbade his followers to worship either his person or
his image after his death.
Achieving wisdom is a key step to achieving
nirvana, or ultimate reality – the end of the self
and a reunion with the Great World Soul.

List the Four Noble Truths.

– Ordinary life is full of suffering.
– This suffering is caused by our desire to satisfy
– The way to end suffering is to end desire for selfish
goals and to see others as extensions of ourselves.
– The way to end desire is to follow the Middle Path.
Four Noble

The cause of The only cure The way to

All life is full of suffering is the for suffering is overcome desire
suffering, pain, desire for things to overcome is to follow the
and sorrow that are really desire Eightfold Path

Through meditation a
person might achieve
enlightenment or
Nirvana: the union
with the universe and
release from the cycle
of rebirth.
Other Differences
Buddhism rejected the priests, formal
rituals, and existence of many gods
Buddhists rejected the caste system
offering hope of nirvana to all
Buddhism Spreads
It split into two major
schools of thought…
– Theravada: more like
Buddha’s original teachings,
main scriptures Tripitaka
– Mahayana: easier for
everyday people to follow,
and worshiped Buddha as
god, main scriptures Sutaras
Mauryan Empire Gupta Empire

Who governed?

How did they gain

architecture, science,
A. Maurya Empire
1. Chandragupta Maurya was the founder
and ruled from 324-301BC.
a) Created a highly centralized state, divided
the empire into provinces, maintained order
through secret police.
b) He feared assassination so much that he
had secret passageways, taste-testers, and
women warriors for protection.
2. Asoka Maurya, Chadragupta’s
grandson, conquered most of the
Indian subcontinent through war and
a) Eventually he converted to Buddhism and is
considered the greatest Indian emperor.
i. He built hospitals, shelters for travelers, and
treated his people as his own children.
ii. Elephant Army Video
B. Kushan Kingdom
1. Silk Road = trade route that linked China to
Mesopotamia and Rome.
2. The Silk road helped the Kushan kingdom of
India become very prosperous in the first
couple of hundred years AD.
C. Gupta Empire
1. 320 AD a new Empire
emerged at the site of the old
Maurya capital, Pataliputra.
a. Golden Age of Indian civilization
b. Trade led to prosperous cities.
c. Religious pilgrims brought
2. Eventually the Huns invaded in
the 5th century AD and the
empire collapsed.
and Culture

1. Literature 2. Architecture 3. Science

Vedas, earliest known

Rock Chambers, Pillars, Earth=Sphere, Concept
literature from Aryans,
and Stupas: Dome
Ramayana= world’s of Zero, Algebra
shaped Buddhist Shrines
longest poem
How did religion influence political,
economic, and cultural developments in
ancient India?
– Political –
– Economic-
– Cultural -