Ancient Indian civilization religion stages organization and location

Ancient Indian civilization

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world in existence . The culture of the Valle del Indio has its beginning around 6000 BC. C. His influence in the Western world has reached unprecedented limits, leaving contributions with great value even if he comes from a complex culture and very different from the Western one.  In this article we will provide you information about the Ancient Indian civilization religion.

In addition, it became a nation with a large territorial extension and a huge population over the years. Next, let’s talk more about Indian civilization .

Location of Ancient Indian civilization

Indian civilization developed in the southern part of the Asian continent, specifically between the Ganges and Indus rivers . As it is a peninsula with a large area of ​​territory, it was also known as Hindustan.

Its territory extends to the north with the Himalayan mountains and its surroundings , which has a frigid climate and is practically unexplored for humans. Also in its central part it ranges from the Arabian Sea to the Bengal , and is crossed by huge rivers such as the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Indus, which makes it an extremely fertile and populated terrain. Finally, it extends south with a plateau that encompasses the entire lower end of India , including Bombay and Madras.

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Stages of Ancient Indian civilization

The culture of Valle del Indio has a long history, below we will trace its history from the beginning:

  • Neolithic Period (7000-3300 BC) and Early Harappan (3300-2500 BC):  Here begins with the domestication of plants and animals. Pottery also arises. Mehrharh, in the Indus Valley, an area of ​​present-day Pakistan, was the important center of this time. (important center for archaeological research today).
  • Period of the Indus Valley Civilization or mature Harappan (2500-1500 BC):  In this stage urbanism develops  . We also find the first written records of the Indus Valley (not yet deciphered, the information that comes to us from this period is only through archeology, that is why it is considered Prehistory ). Possible emergence of state logic. Important sites in this period were Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Dholvira, among others.
  • Vedic Period (1500-500 BC):  At this stage urban planning enters into crisis. There are records of important migrations in the region. It is also believed that it is in this period that the Vedas emerged  , which were late in writing and are fundamental to the beliefs of the Indian Civilization. The important sites were Vaisali, Kashi and Ujjain.
  • Epic and Puranic Period (500 BC – 500):  The second wave of urbanization occurs, centered in the Ganges River Valley. During this time the rule of the Persians and Macedonians in the Indus Valley (5th – 4th centuries BC) developed. The main dynasty of this time was the Maurya. On the religious level there are Jain currents, Dubists, and different variants of Hinduism. The important sites were Taxila, Delhi and Pataliputra.

Political Organization of Indian Civilization

In their origin, the Hindus were not a single and united nation, but rather were a set of independent peoples with at least three main entities:

  • The king : this ruled the town as absolute authority and monarch who had divine origin.
  • The Brahmans : these represented the class of priests of the Hindus and also helped the king to administer justice in the town, that is why they were considered superior.
  • The feudal aristocracy : these had official positions but with a lower rank. Even so, they were the owners of huge fiefdoms.

Social Organization of Indian Civilization

In Indian civilization there was a type of class distinction different from that of other civilizations in the world, since it was based on customs, religion and law. This society was divided into four distinct groups, known as castes :

  • The Brahmins : these represented the highest class for performing priestly tasks. They especially engaged in meditation and study, thus they could teach and worship the Vedas. Brahmins were believed to have originated from the mouth of the god Brahma.
  • The chatrias : these represented the warriors of the people, who were considered to have come out of the arms of the god Brahma.
  • The Vaisias : these were engaged in commerce, agriculture and other professional fields. They were believed to have come from the thighs of the Brahma god.
  • Sudras : these came from the Dravid and represented the servants of the people. They were believed to have come from the feet of the god Brahma. Also, their skin color was dark, and they dedicated themselves to serving the other Breeds.

Economy of Indian Civilization

The economy of the Hindus was based mainly on agriculture, as they harvested important products and in large quantities due to their fertile territory . These include barley, wheat, cotton, and sesame. Additionally, they were dedicated to raising goats, camels and buffalo. In addition, they developed pottery in materials such as copper , bronze , tin, and lead. The textile industry was not far behind either. All this coupled with the great strength of its land and sea communication with European, African and Asian peoples, which contributed enormously to foreign trade.

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Religion in Indian Civilization

India is characterized as a place where religions, spirituality and the sacred have a central place in people’s lives, customs and culture . Faith in India manifests itself in different creeds.

Originally there were two main religions for Hindus:

  • Brahmanism : This religion was monotheistic and was the first among the primitive Hindus, which was based on the worship of the supreme god Brahma, who was considered to be the creator of all things, including other gods, living beings and also of the soul. This soul was believed to be immortal and, therefore, after the person died, this soul reincarnated in another person, if it had been good, or in an animal, if it had been bad. On the other hand, they were guided by fundamental principles of life, collected in what was known as the Manu Code, through which all the beliefs of Brahmanism were explained.
  • The Buddhism ⁽⁷⁾ : This religion has its beginning in the sixth century. C., this religious doctrine is born from a character called Sidarta Gautama, who was a descendant of the Rajá from the kingdom of Sakias. This principle became a beggar with the firm belief that he had been chosen, so he adopted the name of Buddha, which means “the enlightened one.” Buddha dedicated himself to preaching his doctrines against Brahmanism, condemning things like social difference and racism. One of their beliefs states that the soul can be guided to Nirvana, or paradise, through love, good, charity and other good virtues.

Culture of Ancient Indian civilization

  • Food : Indian food is quite varied, with various types of dishes that you can prepare. As their culture has thousands of years of existence and they have very diverse cultures, then they have developed an excellent gastronomy. Over time, different culinary arts were included through the colonizers of these lands, which became the trend that continues to this day. Most of the Indian foods have flavors that are related to the use of vegetables and spices in abundance.
  • Clothing : the clothing that the Hindus use is made with cotton of very fine levels, in addition to silk and cachifollan. It is also characteristic to see a variety of colors in their clothing, which varies depending on the weather and the social occasion. On the other hand, the level of hierarchy that the person has cannot be set aside, which determines the making of clothes and also the use of ornaments.
  • Language : Several languages ​​are spoken in India, but the official ones are Hindi and English. Most are fluent in these two languages ​​at a native level, especially those involved in tourism work and other international business.
  • Marriage : this must be celebrated only between members of the same social caste. Those who violated this rule in the past ended up being considered as people who were not part of any caste and, therefore, did not enjoy any kind of rights.

Contributions of the Indian Civilization

Cultural diversity and millennia of existence have allowed Hindus to contribute in different fields:

  • Mathematics : Like the Mayans , the Hindus managed to implement the use of zero as part of the numbers. In addition, they developed algebra, something that has been extremely useful in the mathematical field.
  • Medicine⁽⁸⁾ : Traditional Hindu medicine has provided interesting systems and procedures that have been useful in our time. For example, the natural system known as Ayurveda, is one of the oldest and was created by the Hindus.
  • Architecture : Indian civilization was characterized by designing and building impressive monuments, temples and palaces such as the famous Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world.
  • Philosophy : the philosophy of the Hindus is the oldest in the whole East, even older than the Greek . This is based on Buddhism and Sikhinism.
  • Textile : Indian civilization was one of the first in the world to make cotton and other types of fabrics for making clothing.
  • Gastronomy : spices are one of the characteristics of Indian food, which has been adopted by other cultures throughout the world.

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