India Study Guide - Fort Thomas Independent Schools

Study Guide for Ancient India Test
Name ________________________
1. India Vocabulary Words (all vocabulary words and definitions from the handout I gave you)
Chapter 6, Section 1; pages 194 – 201 (India’s Early Civilizations)
Essential Question: How has geography impacted the life and history of India?
1. What are the 2 main mountain ranges and 2 bodies of water that acted as barriers around
the subcontinent of India.
Hindu Kush
Arabian Sea
India Ocean
2. What are the 2 main rivers of the Indus River Valley?
Ganges River
Indus River
3. Definition of monsoon. A strong wind that blows in one direction in the winter and
the opposite direction in the summer.
4. How do the monsoons affect the climate of India – how many seasons?
Winter monsoon – cold, dry air from the mountains; summer monsoon – warm, wet
air from the Arabian Sea. If it rains on time and the rainy season lasts long enough
the crop will be good. If the rains are delayed, drought will occur.
5. What country is the Indus River Valley in today? Pakistan
6. Who were the Aryans? Herders and warriors who migrated from central Asia.
They ultimately became farmers.
7. How did cattle become sacred? Cattle were prized possessions (provided meat, milk,
butter – even used as money; wealth was measured by # of cattle owned. Eventually
they declared cattle were sacred and forbid them to be used as food)
Essential Question: What is the caste system and how did it influence life?
8. How did the caste system dictate someone’s life? Dictates job, who you can marry,
with whom you eat or drink
9. Why was the caste system created? Skin color probably part of it (light better than
dark) Also, Aryans were outnumbered so system kept the groups separate and set
rules for everyone’s behavior = control)
10. List and describe the 4 varnas
a. Brahmins - priests – only people who could perform religious ceremonies
b. Kshatriyas - warriors who ran the government
c. Vaisyas - commoners – farmers, merchants
d. Sudras - manual laborers and servants (few rights)
11. What group is outside the varna system? Untouchables/Pariahs/Outcastes
12. Describe this group They do the “dirty work” (collecting trash, skinning animals,
handling dead bodies). There were forced to live apart from others.
13. What is the difference between a varna and a jaiti?
There are 4 varna (groups) and thousands of jaiti (smaller groups within the classes)
14. Describe the roles of men and women.
Family was the center of life and oldest man was in charge. Only sons could inherit
property and only men could go to school or become priests. There were arranged
marriages. Divorce was not allowed, but if a couple could not have children, the
husband could marry a second wife. Practice of suttee.
Chapter 6, Section 2; pages 202 – 206 (Hinduism and Buddhism)
Essential Question: What are the basic beliefs and practices of Hinduism?
15. What are the Vedas? Sacred writings that contain the basic principles of Hinduism
(there are 4)
16. How did Hinduism develop? For centuries priests (Brahmins) recited the Vedas.
Over time the Aryan religion changed and borrowed ideas from the people of India.
This mix of beliefs eventually became Hinduism.
17. What do the Upanishads (a sacred text in the Vedas) say? Every living being has a soul
that wants to be reunited with Braham and this happens when a person dies.
18. How does the Upanishads describe how a person unites with Braham? A soul that
becomes one with Brahman is like a lump of salt thrown into water. The lump of
salt is gone, but they water tastes salty. The salt has become part of the water.
19. Explain reincarnation Passing through many lives to reach Brahman. Influences
how they live their daily lives – even effects how they treat animals because they
consider all life sacred.
20. Explain dharma Divine law (duty) – requires people to perform the duties of their
caste (varna and jati).
21. Explain karma The consequences of how you live your life.
22. How did the varna system affect people’s lives?
Hindus believe people in a higher varna are superior and they were supposed to be
on top. The belief in reincarnation gave hope to many people, even servants. If
servants did their duty, they might be reborn into a higher caste in their next life.
Essential Question: What are the basic beliefs and practices of Buddhism?
23. The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautama
24. Describe Siddhartha Gautama’s early life
He was a prince who was raised around richest pleasures and most magnificent
beauty. But, he was always curious about the world beyond the palace walls.
25. One day he asked his charioteer to drive him outside the palace. What were his 4 sights?
a. Old man
b. a sick man
c. a dead person
d. a holy man (ascetic)
26. Shocked by these scenes, he meditated on what he saw and concluded life is
27. Buddha taught that anyone, no matter what their social class, could find enlightenment
(which is also the meaning of his name).
28. What are the Four Noble Truths?
1. Life is full of suffering
2. People suffer because they desire worldly things and self-satisfaction.
3. The way to end suffering is to stop desiring things.
4. The only way to stop desiring things is to follow the Eightfold Path.
29. What is the Eightfold Path?
1. Know and understand the Four Noble Truths.
2. Give up worldly things and don’t harm others.
3. Tell the truth, don’t gossip, and don’t speak badly of others.
4. Don’t commit evil acts, like killing, stealing, or living an unclean life.
5. Do rewarding work.
6. Work for good and oppose evil.
7. Make sure your mind keeps your senses under control.
8. Practice meditation as a way of understanding reality.