Chapter 9: Expansion of Civilization in South Asia

Chapter Objectives

Glossary

Bhaktidevotion, central concept in evolution of Hinduism, belief that religious devotion brought the possibility of improving one’s karma

 

Bodhisattvas:  in some schools of Buddhism, individuals who have achieved enlightenment but, because of their great compassion, have chosen to renounce Nirvana and to remain on earth in spirit form to help all human beings achieve release from reincarnation

 

Caste system:  a system of rigid social hierarchy in which all members of that society are assigned by birth to specific "ranks," and inherit specific roles and privileges

 

Gamelan:  orchestra composed of percussion instruments

 

Gopurasgreat towers, found in India

 

KampongsMalay villages

 

Hinduism:  the main religion in India, it emphasizes reincarnation, based on the results of a previous life, and the desirability of escaping this cycle.

 

Mahayana:   a school of Buddhism that promotes the ideas of universal salvation through the intercession of bodhisattvas, predominant in north Asia.

 

Moon:  Indian Ocean, blows from southwest in summer and northeast in winter

 

Nada:  physical vibrations of music, related to Indian spiritual world

 

Nirvana:  in Buddhist thought, enlightenment, the ultimate transcendence from the illusion of the material world, release from the wheel of life

 

Nuclear family:  a family group consisting only of father, mother, and children

 

Parsis:  Persian Zoroastrians who fled to India, they became a major economic force in Mumbai (Bombay)

 

Purdahthe Indian term for the practice among Muslims and some Hindus of isolating women and preventing them from associating with men outside the home

 

Raga:  Indian musical scale

 

Reincarnation:  the idea that the individual soul is reborn in a different form after death

 

Sati:  the Hindu ritual requiring a wife to throw herself upon her deceased husband's funeral pyre

 

Sikhs:  “disciples,” religion founded in Punjab by Nanak, integration of parts of Hinduism and Islam

 

Sitar:  stringed instrument

 

Theravada:  “teachings of the elders,” a school of Buddhism that stresses personal behavior and the quest for understanding as a means of release from the wheel of life, rather than the intercession of bodhisattvas, also known as Hinayana or the “lesser vehicle”

 

Varna:  Indian classes or castes, term also appeared in Southeast Asia

 

Wayang kulit Southeast Asian shadow puppet play