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Caste system in ancient India

By |2019-03-01T06:25:28-07:00July 20th, 2017|India, People|

Indian people partying: members of a high caste Why is caste important? Castes were the central feature of people's identities in ancient India. Beginning soon after the Yamnaya arrived in India, about 1500 BC, people in India began to divide everyone into one of five groups, or castes. Who are the Yamnaya? All our ancient India [...]

Lalla Arifa – Poetry – Medieval India

By |2017-07-20T17:36:28-07:00July 20th, 2017|India, Literature|

Spinning thread in the garden (1400s AD) Lalla Arifa lived in the 1300s AD, in Kashmir, in northern India, where most people were Muslims and lived under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate. When Lalla Arifa was twelve years old, her family arranged for her to marry a Brahman, a rich man. At that time (and still [...]

What is Zen? A branch of Chinese Buddhism

By |2018-10-12T08:23:18-07:00June 7th, 2017|China, Religion|

Zen master Bodhidharma sitting alone Bodhidharma: the first Zen master In Zen Buddhist traditions (but nobody really knows), the first Zen master was a Brahman man called Bodhidharma. According to these stories, Bodhidharma came to China from India about 425 AD. Possibly Bodhidharma was fleeing the Guptan kings. They were Hindus and not Buddhists, so [...]