Buddha and Ashoka: Crash Course World History #6 Essay

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The Vedas
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Earliest of the Religious texts left behind by the Aryans. The Vedas is what will come to be known as Hinduism
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The Caste System
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One of India’s most enduring and fascinating institutions, separated classes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras) of India using the God Purusha. Foundation of Dharma, samsara, moksha, and Karma
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Brahmin
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Purusha’s mouth, spoke to the gods (top of caste system)
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Kshatriyas
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Purusha’s two arms, the warriors
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Vaisyas
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Purusha’s two thighs, the merchants and artisans who provided money for the priests and warriors
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Sudras
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Purusha’s two feet, the laborers and farmers who are the foundation of social order
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Dharma
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One’s role in life and society and is defined primarily by birth and caste
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Samsara
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Cycle of rebirth, also called reincarnation. Based on your fulfillings of dharma, you reborn into a higher being (class)
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Reincarnation
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After death, a person’s soul is transferred to another living thing as it is being born
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Moksha
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Release from the cycle of rebirth impelled by the law of karma.
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Karma
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Your actions reflect your future. If you do good then good will happent to you, if you do bad then bad will happen to you
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Buddhism
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6th century BCE. Began with Siddhartha Gautama (brahmin who has been locked in his home for his whole life). He goes outside for the first time and encountered an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. Having realized the definition of suffering, siddhartha left his home in search for enlightenment (Nirvana) and became known as Buddha. Taught the four noble truths
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The Four Noble Truths
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1. All life is suffering 2. The source of suffering is desire 3. To stop suffering, you must rid yourself of desire 4. Following the eightfold path
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Eightfold Path
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A set of eight prescriptions on how to live. 1. Right View 2. Right intention 3. Right speech 4. Right action 5. Right livelihood 6. Right effort 7. Right mindfulness 8. Right concentration
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Buddhism’s appeal
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Attractive to low-caste Hindus because there is no caste system. Anyone who follows the eight fold path and renounces desire can be freed from suffering and achieve Nirvana
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Ashoka
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Leader of the Mauryan Dynasty. Initially a warrior who ended up exapnding the empire that his grandfather (Gupta) started. Converted to Buddhism after his army slaughtered the Kingdom of Kalinga. Built stupas and pillar that proclaimed bins benevolent rule
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Stupas
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Mound-like monuments to the Buddha built by Ashoka, all over his kingdom to show his devotion
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Buddha’s teachings migrated to where
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East to China

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