20140121171849

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What led to the
development of
Hinduism?
Aryan society became more complex…
• Society divided into groups
• Based on occupation
• Strict rules developed
The Varnas – social divisions
• Brahmins – priests
• Kshatriyas – rulers and warriors
• Vaisyas – farmers, craftspeople,
traders
• Sudras – laborers and non-Aryans
Over time social
division became more
complex….
Developed into the
Caste System
Castes
• Groups in Indian society based on
a person’s birth, wealth, or
occupation
• at one time – 3,000 castes
Caste:
Permanent or Not?
Castes & Gender
• All belonged to castes
• Women (early Aryans) – ALMOST
same rights
• Time = laws limited rights of
women
Untouchables
•Fell outside the social caste
system
•Dirtiest and unpleasant
jobs
Mohandas Ghandi
• Untouchables – Harijans
• “children of god”
• Worked to raise status
• 1949 – constitution gave them
legal recognition and rights
• Discrimination continues
Castes Rules
• Sutras – guides that listed all the
rules for the caste system
• Broken rule: banned from home
or castes = untouchables
Brahmanism
• Religion of the Aryans
• Even before coming to India
• Beliefs based on Vedas
Vedas
• Collection of books containing
hymns, myths, rituals, and poems
• Written by Aryan priests
• Sanskrit
• Veda – “knowledge” in Sanskrit
4Vedas
• Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda
and Atharva Veda
• Rig Veda: Oldest – written before
1000 B.C. (1500 B.C.)
• http://www.sacredtexts.com/hin/rigveda/
Other Vedic Texts
• Written by priests
• Contain thoughts on Vedas
• Compiled into books
• Explained:
-how to perform sacrifices
-secret rituals
-Upanishads
Upanishads
• Written 600 B.C. (800 – 400 B.C.)
• Reflections of religious students
and teachers about the Vedas
Result
• Vedas, Upanishads, other Vedic
texts – basis of Indian religion for
centuries
• Began to blend with other cultures
• Hinduism develops – main
religion of India today

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