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Changes Traditional India 1500-500 Bce

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Febuary 6, 2012

Traditional India

925 Words

Changes in Ancient India (1500-500 BCE)

Indian culture and religion is dynamic and ancient, going back to the beginning

of Civilization. Constant integration occurred in India because of the diverse cultures that

surrounded it. The changes in Indian religion has been caused by many factors from the goal

of "liberation" (moksha), the cynical view of life and the universe (samsara), the law of karma,

and the individualistic rejection of society. As well as the social reasons, there are agricultural

and geographical reasons that changed the society and rituals. The religion evolved from the

early Vedic period (1700 BC-1000 BC), to later Vedic Age (1000 BC to 500 BC) and then to the

rise of Jainism and Buhddhism.

The Aryans, who were originally from the older Indus River culture, were later known

as the creators of the main essence of Indian culture. The main source of information about the

Aryans came from the 4 series of Vedas. Aryans were Nomads ruled by Kings and Priest who

lived in tribes where there primary source of wealth was measured in cattle. Because there was

no currency, cattle was there standard unit of trade. This caused many wars amongst the Aryans.

The Aryans were friends with the Persians and they believed women were inferior.

With the cultivation of rice, use of iron, the renewal of trade in Mesopatamia and the

introduction to coinage from the Persians created a powerful Kingdom in the Ganges Valley. The

power shifted from the Indus rivers to the Ganges. Along with the change in power, the Society

of the Aryan people were also beginning to changed. The cultivation of rice stopped people from

herding cattle and into agriculture of rice. The population of non-Aryans were growing and the

Aryans were becoming worried about losing there power over the non-Aryans. During this time

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the Vedas were becoming more vague to the majority of the people because it was composed in

Sanskrit. This gave the Brahmins even more status in society. These changes created the caste

system.

The Brahmins claimed higher status because they were the only ones that could read the

text and so this caused more vagueness in the Vedas so crazy speculations of the Vedas were

being made and in-turn wild rituals were being performed. This caused a number of Indians to be

skeptical of the rituals and so they went to the forest to live as hermits to seek hire knowledge.

These hermits with there philosophical speculations came the Upanishads.

The Upanishads brought a couple key parts to Indian Philosophy, Brahman,

reincarnation, Karma, and dharma. Brahman was a universal spiritual entity. They believed that

the gods were manifestations of Brahman. This would help unify Hinduism because they saw

all the gods as one spirit, Brahman. Reincarnation is the belief that we are reborn over and over

again in different forms depending on our Karma. If you have good karma you will be born as

a high form of life if you have bad karma you will be born with low form of life. The last is

dharma, which is the duty that you are obligated to do in your life. By carrying out your dharma

you will have better Karma and therefor this gave people the hope that they will have a better life

in there next

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