Chapter 3 Ancient India & china 2600 BCE – CE 550

Chapter 3
Ancient India & china
2600 BCE – CE 550
3.2 Hinduism and Buddhism (p 76 – 82)
Focus Question
In what ways were religion and society intertwined in
ancient India?
The Beliefs of Hinduism Develop
(p 76 – 78)
What is the ultimate goal of existence for Hindus and how do
they achieve it?
◦ Moksha: achieve union with brahman
◦ Freeing themselves from selfish desires over several lifetimes
 How do karma, dharma, and ahimsa relate to achieving this goal?
◦ By living a good life (virtuously) people earn good karma
◦ They acquire merit by obeying the rule of dharma (a person’s
moral/religious duties)
◦ Earn credit for having respect for all living things (ahimsa)
How do the Hindu gods relate to Brahman?
The Caste System Shapes India
(p 78)
How were lower castes (social groups people are
born into & can rarely be changed) treated in
ancient India?
◦ Very harshly – viewed as impure
◦ Held unpleasant jobs
◦ Segregated from other castes – had to use a clapper
to let people they were coming
Could people change their caste?
◦ No – not until next life
◦ Only if their caste duties (dharma) of this life was
How did caste provide a sense
of order in society?
Key Teachings of the Buddha
What does the term
Buddha mean?
◦ Enlightened one
Key Teachings of the Buddha
(p 80)
What is nirvana and how does one achieve it?
◦ Nirvana: goal of union with the universe and release from the cycle of
◦ Achieved by:
 Understanding of the Four Noble Truths
Life = suffering
Suffering caused by desire
Cure suffering by ending desire
Way to end suffering:
 Following the Eightfold Path
 Living a moral life
 Meditating
How is nirvana in Buddhism similar to moksha in Hinduism?
◦ Ultimate goal of each religion
◦ Achieved through proper actions
◦ Puts an end to cycle of rebirth (reincarnation)
What did Gautama hope to learn when he left
Buddhism Spreads beyond India
80 – 82)
What is the Tripitaka?
◦ Buddhism’s collection of 3 sacred texts containing Buddha’s teachings
What are some examples of the Buddha’s teachings collected in the
Do your duty
Don’t get angry
Avoid evil
Be truthful
What is the main difference between Theravada Buddhism and
Mahayana Buddhism?
◦ Theravada = orthodox Buddhism, monks and nun only can achieve
◦ Mahayana = easier for ordinary people to follow, allows them to use the
religion to help solve everyday problems
How do you think the collecting of the Buddha’s
teachings helped the religion to spread beyond India?
Focus Question
In what ways were religion and society intertwined in
ancient India

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